Phase II Environmental Testing

December 26, 2008

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is designed to identify recognized environmental conditions (RECs).   Typically, a REC represents the potential for the release of a hazardous substance or petroleum to the subsurface soil.  RECs apply to specific chemicals or to classes of chemicals which may have been used and released on-site.   The Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is designed to confirm the presence or absence of the chemicals of concern on-site.  

Typically, the whole site is not a concern; rather, a specific area on the site is of concern.  For example, the Phase I ESA identifies the drum storage area on the northeast corner of the site to be an area of concern.  The Phase II Environmental designer would obviously locate borings in these areas of concern.

Phase II Environmental Testing almost always involves soil borings.  Soil samples are typically collected and the site’s lithology can be logged on boring logs.   Soil, soil vapor, and/or groundwater samples are collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis.

The environmental professional receives the laboratory data and integrates it with field data such as boring logs and PID readings.   The environmental professional then interprets the data to determine if there has been an actionable release. 

Phase II Environmental Testing can be performed according to ASTM Standard E1903 for Phase II Standard Guide for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process.

The user of the Phase II should be careful to work with a registered professional such as a registered civil engineer or a registered geologist.   Partner Engineering and Science is a national firm with several qualified and experienced registered professionals.


Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments

December 7, 2008

A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments is designed to identify the environmental risk associated with a real estate asset.   The Phase 1 includes multiple required scope items and these items can be placed into the following four buckets:  

          Site Visit;

          Historical Research into the Use of the Site;

          Regulatory Research.


Most Phase 1s are prepared to meet the scope of work defined by ASTM E1527 – 05 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.  This ASTM standard is designed to fulfill the requirements of the Federal EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry rule and therefore qualify the user for the innocent landowner defense as defined under CERCLA.

Other scope consideration might be driven by the ultimate users of the Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment.    One important stakeholder is the lender in a real estate transaction.  Many lenders have their own scope requirements.  For examples, all SBA Lenders will require the Phase 1 meet the requirements of SBA SOP 50-10.

A Phase 1 should be conducted by an Environmental Professional as defined by ASTM E1527-05. 

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