Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments

The Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) process identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. The analysis typically addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property; however, techniques applied in a Phase I ESA never include actual collection of physical samples or chemical analyses of any kind. Scrutiny of the land includes examination of potential soil contamination, groundwater quality, and surface water quality. The examination of a site may include: definition of any chemical residues within structures or on the land; and, inventory of hazardous substances stored or used on site.

The Phase I ESA is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. Standards for performing a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment have been promulgated by the US EPA and are based in part on ASTM in Standard E1527-21. If a site is considered contaminated, a Phase 2 Environmental Site assessment may be conducted; a more detailed investigation involving chemical analysis for hazardous substances and/or petroleum hydrocarbons. Phase I ESA’s are typically ordered on all commercial and industrial properties, and some agricultural properties containing chemical storage, chemical mixing, equipment parking areas, or buildings. They are typically ordered whether it is a new loan or a refinance.

The study will include:


Enviro Assessment, PC will conduct a review of Federal, State, and Tribal Environmental Records Sources as defined in the ASTM Standard E1527-21 Section 8.2.1.

The review includes researching the Subject Property and upto one mile surrounding the Subject Property. Based on the Information located in the Database Search, surrounding properties may be determined to have likely Impacted the Subject Property and may therefore, be a Recognized Environmental Condition.

Enviro Assessment, PC may include additional databases (when available) as defined in Section 8.2.3 of the ASTM Standard. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Local Brownfield
  • Lists Local Lists of Landfill/Solid Waste Disposal Sites
  • Local Lists of Hazardous Waste/Contaminated Sites
  • Local Lists of Registered Storage Tanks
  • Local Land Records (for activity and use limitations)
  • Records of Emergency Release Reports (42 U.S.C. 11004)
  • Records of Contaminated Public Wells
Before After


Enviro Assessment, PC will conduct a review of the Physical Source Settings as defined in the ASTM Standard E1527-21 in Section 8.2.4 and Historical Use Information as defined in the ASTM Standard E1527-21 Section 8.3.

The historical search includes reviewing documents for the past uses of the Subject Property. The documents Enviro Assessment, PC reviews include the following sources (as available):

  • Aerial Photographs
  • Fire Insurance Maps
  • City Street Directory
  • USGS Current and Historical Topographic Maps
  • Building Department Permit Records




Enviro Assessment, PC as part of the interview process will send out a questionnaire to the client. Within that questionnaire are several questions that the Client MUST answer as part of the Phase I Environmental Process, without the responses the Phase I Report may not be completely compliant with the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries Requirements. However, the Report will still be produced by the stated timeframe outlined in the proposal.

The Second Part of the questionnaire is to be completed by someone with the most knowledge about the subject property. These questions and answers help the Environmental Professional complete the historical information on the subject property. The Phase I Report will be completed with or without the answers to these questions.

As part of the interview process we are required to ask agencies about the subject property, many of the agencies we contact require a form submitting and files to be reviewed after a given time frame. Many of these agencies can take 4 to 6 weeks to reply. Enviro Assessment, PC will contact the required agencies and attempt to review the files by the agreed to time frame, if files are needed to be reviewed to determine the fate of the property, yet the report is due, Enviro Assessment, PC will complete the report with a identified “data gap” that the needed files were not available and should be reviewed as soon as they are available.


A Visual Inspection of the Property will be conducted by our Staff under the supervision of a Environmental Professional. The periphery of the Property will be inspected. An inspection will be conducted of all major site features visible from the public portions of the Property.
If portions of the property or buildings are inaccessible as determined by the Enviro Assessment, PC employee then the site inspection will document that and a determination will be made if this is a significant data gap or not. Only one site visit attempt is included in this proposal, any additional inspections will be billed at the standard rate and will include travel time.


A Report of Findings, Opinions and Conclusions will be provided in Digital Format. No hard copies are provided as the research includes digital sources that include hyperlinks that do not translate into hard copy reports. A limited Hard Copy Report can be provided for an additional fee. Recommendations are provided under a separate cover as a letter. Any Recommendation provided is only for the client and is based on our professional opinion and the clients risk tolerance.

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