What is a Phase 1 Environmental SITE Assessment (ESA)
A phase one level environmental site assessment is done to provide information regarding the current or past uses of a commercial real estate transaction in regards to environmental concerns. The purpose is to determine if uses have effected the soil and or groundwater under the property and if that could be a threat to human health or to the environment.
Issues can pose a liability to the owner and/or to the lender as well as the value of the property.
Having a Phase 1 ESA completed prior to closure of the purchase can be used to satisfy the requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) innocent and owner defense. This is the initial step in the process of environmental due diligence.
The purpose a of Phase 1 Assessment is to determine if existing or potential environmental contaminations liabilities are present for a specific location.
The Phase 1 Professional conducts an assessment of the location and a review of records to determine likely evidence of environmental contamination. Findings are provided on a report that the buyer uses to protect their interests.
A Phase 1 ESA is not only for factories, businesses, or manufacturing types of buildings. These inspections are also done for multi-family properties such a larger building or a group of duplexes.