Phase II Site Investigations

A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, sometimes called a Subsurface Investigation, is a field analysis used to confirm suspected environmental contamination and, if necessary, to set the groundwork for remediation plans.

WHAT IS A PHASE II ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT?

A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, often called a Phase II ESA or just a Phase II, is a field analysis used to confirm suspected environmental contamination. If the initial Phase I ESA (link to ESA service page) reports suspected environmental contamination, a Phase II ESA is used to conduct further sampling and confirm the presence of the condition.
EBI’s Phase II ESA program allows clients to build a report that meets their own needs as well as those of any local or state regulatory agency with which they need to comply, including:

  • Soil & Groundwater Sampling & Analysis
  • Sediment & Surface Water Sampling & Analysis
  • Soil Vapor & Indoor Air Sampling & Analysis
  • Groundwater Flow Modeling
  • Indoor Air Vapor Intrusion Assessment
  • Contaminant Source Differentiation
  • Risk Characterization
  • Sensitive Receptor Surveys
  • State specific requirements, such as:
    • MA Contingency Plan (MCP) and LSP Services (link to relevant glossary page)
    • MA 21-E Site Assessments
    • New Jersey LSRP services
    • CT LEP services

WHO NEEDS A PHASE II ESA?

Phase II ESAs are ordered by a variety of stakeholders in a property, often during a real estate transaction, as a result of site improvements and redevelopment, or in order to refinance. Banks and lenders may require a Phase II ESA as a follow up to a Phase I prior to lending on a property that has suspected environmental contaminations, or in the case of foreclosure when the lender acquires the property.

Property owners and investors may receive a recommendation for a Phase II in their original Phase I ESA but choose not to pursue the Phase II until they move forward with site improvement plans. Owners then use the information from a Phase II to inform their cost and scope planning.

Properties that most often require Phase II ESAs are those on which it was highly likely that environmental contamination happened throughout general course of business or operation. Sites like dry cleaners, gas stations and mechanics, industrial facilities and even gun ranges are likely to experience contamination and require further investigation.

WHO CONDUCTS A PHASE II?

Phase II ESAs are conducted by experienced Environmental Professionals such as biologists, environmental scientists, and environmental engineers. Some states have requirements for credential, such as Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs) in Massachusetts, Licensed Site Remediation Professionals (LSRPs) in New Jersey, and Licensed Environmental Professionals (LEPs) in Connecticut.

No matter your geography, you want to choose a consulting firm that has the staff you need to meet your site-specific needs with the experience to provide expert interpretation and recommendations.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE EBI OVER OTHER CONSULTING FIRMS?

EBI Consulting provides quick-turnaround, high-quality Phase II Environmental Subsurface Investigations, Comprehensive Site Assessments, and Baseline Site Assessments nationwide to derive critical environmental quality information for use in business decision-making.

Our team uses rapid field assessment measures to obtain faster turnaround and to manage costs. We understand the importance of preserving the evidentiary value of the data collected. In discussions with regulators and in negotiations with third parties, we serve as effective and experienced advocates for our clients. And if your project requires further investigation and remediation, EBI’s team will work side by side with you to create a custom action plan to achieve your site goals.

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

A Phase I ESA is a report ordered by stakeholders in real estate transactions to provide disclosure on possible or existing environmental contaminants on a property site or its surroundings.

WHAT IS A PHASE 1 ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT?

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, or Phase I ESA, is a report ordered by stakeholders in real estate transactions to provide disclosure on possible or existing environmental contaminants on a property site or its surroundings.

WHO NEEDS A PHASE I ESA?

Buyers, owners, investors, developers, lenders – any person or organization taking on substantial risk in a real estate transaction will benefit from having the findings of a Phase I ESA before the transaction is concluded

Most lenders, as well as the US Small Business Administration, require environmental due diligence be completed before approving commercial loans

All property buyers who wish to avoid the weight of liability for environmental contaminants already existing on or near the property in question, are required to conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment to be eligible for CERCLA liability protection

WHY DO I NEED A PHASE I ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT?

The vast majority of lenders require environmental due diligence before approving commercial loans. In addition, proper due diligence is a stakeholder’s greatest weapon for reducing the delays and surprises that often derail a deal.

Some of our clients work within rapid turnaround times, while others have more time to make their decisions. But one thing everyone shares is the desire to avoid obstacles and address potential issues up front.

At the end of the day, you need a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for any property in which you’re a stakeholder for the peace of mind of having a comprehensive understanding of the possibilities, obstacles and costs associated with lending for, or making a new property purchase.

Even if a “recognized environmental condition” (REC), “historical recognized environmental condition” (HREC), or “controlled recognized environmental condition” (CREC) is identified by the Phase I ESA, you can still close the deal and avoid federal clean-up liability through a legal defense known as the “bona fide prospective purchaser.”

But without completing a Phase I ESA prior to closing on the property, you effectively forfeit this and all other “innocent landowner” legal defenses against a recognized environmental condition liability.

WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR A PHASE 1 ESA?

The goal of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is to identify or rule out the presence of RECs. All valid Phase I ESAs adhere to the latest ASTM standard: E1527-13.

At EBI, your Phase I ESA begins with you. It is extremely helpful and can often decrease the turnaround time of a report when you provide:

  • The reason for your transaction: are you acquiring, selling, financing, etc.? The plan for the property can help your consultants hone their approach
  • Timing for the report: How fast do you need it? Are there transaction deadlines waiting for the results?
  • Property details: construction date, acreage, square footage, age of the building, etc.
  • Historical information about the property and building operations
  • Any known concerns about the property or prior reports
  • Site access concerns: Is the roof inaccessible? Is it challenging to access in the winter?

From there, your consultant will begin crafting the scope of work required to produce a comprehensive Phase I ESA.

WHO CONDUCTS PHASE I ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENTS?

This is an important question many real estate stakeholders forget to ask. According to the EPA’s standards for All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI), an Environmental Professional (EP) must conduct or be in responsible charge of all appropriate inquiries (a Phase I ESA is one way to satisfy AAI).

So… who conducts Phase I ESAs? The short answer is, it depends who you hire.

It could be a qualified and seasoned Environmental Professional like one of EBI’s 400 full-time employees. Other providers may staff the job with a new college graduate in training under a qualified EP, or sub the job out to a freelance EP who will visit your site, take down notes with his/her assessment, and email them to the consulting firm’s “report generator,” who, having never set foot on or seen your property, writes your Phase I ESA.

At the end of the day, much of the quality in your Phase I depends on who you hire. Look for a consultant with a robust and experienced full-time staff of EPs to save yourself from costly oversights and liability.

HOW MUCH DOES A PHASE I ESA COST?

With EBI, a standard Phase I ESA ranges in price between $2,000-$5,000 or more.

At EBI, we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality, most comprehensive assessments a consulting team can provide. We do not sacrifice the quality of your data for the sake of brevity, nor do we send out inexperienced apprentices to your property site, for the sake of reducing our costs.

EBI is widely known for being comprised of the best, brightest, most experienced real estate environmental professionals. We are a unified and dedicated team of senior staff specialists, collaborating daily to meet our clients’ goals and needs.

There are cheaper options than EBI Consulting. It’s up to each stakeholder to decide what matters most: a cheaper, corner cutting, faster-than-average report, or a rapid turnaround of in-depth insights that help drive sound business decisions and negotiations.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE EBI CONSULTING OVER OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTING FIRMS?

If you were supervising the cross-country shipment of a valuable work of art, would you hire:

An experienced moving company that subcontracts out different segments of the trip and relies on several drivers, trucks, stops, and dispatchers to keep the artwork intact and on track for timely delivery, or

An experienced moving company with the track record and capacity to execute a direct route with a single truck and safe and timely delivery?

Can you tell which type of service EBI strives to provide?

We pride ourselves on hiring and retaining the highest caliber engineers, scientists, and technical experts who work as a collaborative team on project after project, amassing knowledge and experience both as individuals and as a cohesive team.

EBI has the know-how, capacity, and decades of experience serving as trusted partners to our clients across every phase of their real estate investments.

The EBI Advantage is simple: exceptional outcomes from exceptional analysis. No short cuts. We meet your unique needs, solve problems, and create value for your business.

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