A Phase I ESA identifies a Recognized Environmental Condition – the presence or likely presence of hazardous substances or petroleum products, either on the target property or an adjoining property. Phase I ESAs are required by some lenders, and recommended by most, as a good practice to know what possible issues you are purchasing.
If completed before purchasing the property, these conditions (if found) are identified as pre-existing and the potential buyer is relieved of liability for the clean up under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA).
A typical Phase I Environmental Site Assessment takes 3-4 weeks, with much of that time dedicated to research. The result is a report of the findings and an opinion regarding the presence of Recognized Environmental Conditions and next steps.
Depending on the requirements of the lender, a limited due diligence investigation, such as a Records Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA) or Transaction Screen, may alternatively be requested.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments Contact
Zach Jilek, CPESC, CISEC