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.