There are numerous risks involved with starting your own business. One that can be costly is dealing with hazardous waste contamination discovered on property you have recently acquired. Performing an environmental site assessment prior to acquiring a property can minimize that risk.
Be an Informed Consumer
Some people take a used car to a mechanic before they buy. Most people hire a building inspector to check out a house they wish to purchase. You should do the same when considering a commercial or industrial property purchase. To that end, Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) have been developed to evaluate environmental issues at any site previously used for commercial purposes.
What is a Phase I ESA?
The Phase I ESA involves a review of records, a site inspection, and interviews with owners, occupants, neighbors and local government officials. While sampling and laboratory analysis are not always included in this phase, they should still be conducted by an environmental professional trained in the appropriate standards. The review of government records and interviews may take a lot of time. To ensure a quality assessment, allow sufficient time for the process. Contamination can result from activities that took place on the site. Contamination could also come from activities at a nearby property. The records and interviews will be the best sources to provide this information. Public records are available regarding the locations of properties that have been classified as contaminated by federal or state regulations. Depending on their proximity to your site, contamination could have made its way to your site.
What is a Phase II ESA?
If a Phase I ESA identifies potential contamination of the site by hazardous materials, a Phase II ESA may be conducted. The Phase II ESA includes sampling and laboratory analysis to confirm the presence of hazardous materials. Some of the tests that may be performed include:
- surficial soil and water samples
- subsurface soil borings
- groundwater monitoring well installation, sampling, and analysis (may be appropriate on neighboring properties as well to determine the presence of contamination)
- drum sampling (if any were left on the property)
- sampling of dry wells, floor drains and catch basins
- transformer/capacitor sampling for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
- geophysical testing for buried tanks and drums
- testing of underground storage tanks
Professionals at Wingfield Environmental have been conducting Phase I and II ESAs for nearly 30 years now. Let our knowledgeable staff assist you with any environmental due diligence needs you may have. Typical turn-around time on Phase I ESAs is 10 business days and 30 days for Phase II ESAs.