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Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

Benefit for Seller – Provides a clean bill of health to avoid litigation that may be associated with environmental issues of a property.
Benefit for Purchaser – Provides a level of comfort that property is free of environmental issues that may result in litigation or remediation.
Benefit for Lenders – Ability to manage risks, and lower risk management costs.
Benefit for Realtors – Ability to make appropriate environmental disclosures and help avoid litigation.

Purchasing or leasing property includes the risk of acquiring environmental conditions caused by previous owners.  The costs of cleaning up or managing the adverse impacts of contamination can vary widely, but even small unanticipated expenses are always unwelcome. Some environmental problems have the potential of significantly impacting the market value of a property.

A properly conducted Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) can provide a good general indication of the past and existing conditions on a site that could indicate a recognized environment condition. The Phase II ESA is intended to provide a review of known and observable conditions that allows for the evaluation of environmental conditions at a site or property.

CES uses the latest ASTM standard for Phase II ESA’s: Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, and expands on each of the four ASTM-defined Phase II ESA components:

  • Records Review,
  • Site Reconnaissance,
  • Interviews, and
  • Reporting.

The three principals of CES are members of the E-50 Task Force Committees that revise the ASTM standards.  Since CES is involved in the standard making process, we are in the best position to provide sound technical and administrative direction and guidance to our clients.  Our professional staff, dedicated to performing and reviewing our Environmental Site Assessments, include registered Professional Geologists (PGs), Environmental Professionals (EPs), Registered Environmental Assessors (REAs), and AHERA Building Inspector/Management Planners.

CES also conducts our own research when providing Federal, Tribal, State and Local Government Environmental Data using ASTM specified parameters and search radii.  CES has found that utilizing third party sources for environmental database information has been historically unreliable, and utilizing databases provided to CES by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and various other government agencies ensures that the most detailed information is being communicated to our clients.

Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

If a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) is uncovered that cannot be resolved without further investigation, a Phase II ESA is typically recommended.  The Phase II ESA generally involves a focused soil, soil-gas, and/or groundwater sampling and analysis program. CES utilizes ASTM and EPA sampling techniques and chemical analysis methods based on information obtained through the Phase I ESA.

For properties where a Phase II ESA investigation is conducted, the Phase II ESA report summarizes and interprets sampling and analytical results. The Phase II ESA report discusses the results with regard to the regional context of the site (environmental sensitivity, groundwater use, background environmental quality, etc.) to evaluate the significance of any hazardous substances onsite.

If environmentally significant concentrations of hazardous substances are detected in the Phase II sampling, a separate letter is also generally prepared, giving options and recommendations for follow-up activities (further investigation or cleanup) based upon the Phase II results.