Environmental Desktop Reports Extended

Environmental Desktop Reports are a group of limited scope environmental investigations conducted for lenders and borrowers during a real estate transaction to inform decision making and risk assessment processes.

What are Environmental Desktop Reports?

An Environmental Desktop Report, sometimes called a Desktop Review, is similar in scope to a Phase I ESA but it does not include a visit to the subject property and is instead done entirely through digital review, earning the name “desktop” report. Although a site visit is not conducted, experienced Environmental Professionals still conduct thorough reviews of items such as database records from government and regulatory agencies, and historical records from third party data providers. They also complete environmental questionnaires with relevant stakeholders to build a more complete picture of the property’s history and usage.

The exact scope of a Desktop Review is often customized to the client’s needs, but in general contains one or more of the following components:

  • Environmental Records and Database Review
  • Historical Records and Database Review
  • Records Search with Risk Assessment
  • Custom items of interest to the client

Click here to download a simple 5-stage guide to obtaining your Environmental Desktop Report.

When are Environmental Desktop Reports Ordered?

Desktop reviews are alternatives to full Phase I ESAs so they are often ordered during a real estate transaction’s due diligence period in lieu of the more in depth report. The limited nature of a Desktop report means that they may be a more cost-conscious option for buyers or lenders who want a cursory overview of potential risks and concerns on the subject property. In some cases if the Desktop review surfaces a potential concern, the stakeholder will choose to engage the consultant for a complete Phase I or Phase II ESA.

Most often a Desktop Review is appropriate for a lender who has a long-standing relationship with a trusted borrower, thus making the transaction less risky, or in cases where the subject property is a low-risk asset and is unlikely to have any RECs.

Why Should I Choose EBI for my Desktop Review?

Due diligence is a highly competitive environment and some consultants cut corners–as such, not all environmental reports or regulatory submittals are created equal. For example:

  • A regulatory concern may be dismissed without a review of the appropriate records
  • The property history may be incomplete
  • Municipal records may not be reviewed
  • The soil vapor pathway may not be considered

Any of these omissions can violate AAI or state regulations and negate the value of the report, leaving stakeholders completely unprotected from liability.

Our nationwide network of local experts is ready to serve as knowledgeable, trusted partner through every phase of your real estate investments; whether your Environmental Desktop Review suffices for a particular deal, or you need experienced environmental consultants ready to further evaluate the site.

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