Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition (CREC) is a proposed new term for the ASTM E1527 standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs). The Controlled REC concept was introduced to address contaminated sites that have received risk-based regulatory closure, where no further remediation is required but residual contamination still exists at a site and the property is subject to activity and use limitations or “AULs.” These sites, where contamination is controlled but could still pose ongoing or future obligations on the owner (such as special precautions during construction or grading activities), have been a source of some confusion to the environmental due diligence industry with regards to how they should be classified. The Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition or “CREC”, if accepted, would be a distinct classification from Historical Recognized Environmental Condition (HREC) and Recognized Environmental Condition (REC). The environmental professional would be required to list any CRECs identified in the findings and conclusions section of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report.
An Environmental Professional is someone qualified to conduct and/or supervise a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, based on experience and education requirements. An Environmental Professional or “EP” must possess sufficient knowledge and experience to exercise professional judgment, appropriately evaluate risks and form conclusions regarding conditions indicative of releases or threatened releases at a property. The requirements for an Environmental Professional include:
A federal, state or tribal issued certification or license (Professional Geologist, Professional Engineer or other certification to perform environmental inquiries) and 3 years of relevant full-time experience;
A Baccalaureate degree or higher in science or engineering and 5 years of relevant full-time work experience;
10 years of relevant full-time work experience.
The Environmental Site Assessment is a process of evaluating the environmental liability of a real estate asset. Specifically, Environmental Site Assessment or “ESA” is the process of conducting “all appropriate inquiry” into the past or present uses of a property to determine whether the property is impacted by a “recognized environmental condition” (REC). The ESA process includes a site inspection, a review of historical records of the property and research of records available at government agencies. This information is detailed and evaluated in the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report, and an opinion is made as to whether past or present activities may have caused a release of hazardous substances or petroleum products at the property. The ESA is the primary tool used to qualify a user for the Landowner Liability Protections under CERCLA. Learn more about ESAs here.
The ASTM E1527-05 Standard is the industry standard used for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Fully named “ASTM E1527-05 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process,” the Standard outlines the purpose and use of the Phase I ESA as well as the scope of work to be conducted, including: records review (historical and governmental records); site reconnaissance (inspection of the property and adjacent sites); interviews (with owners and occupants and local government officials); evaluation and report preparation.
The ASTM E1527-05 Standard was formed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (now ASTM International), and is designed to meet the EPA’s condition for All Appropriate Inquiry for environmental due diligence. The E1527 Standard for Phase I ESAs has gone through many versions, the latest being finalized in 2005. The standard is reviewed and revised by the ASTM Committee E50 on Environmental Risk Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action.
The Partner Philadelphia office provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys in support of commercial real estate transactions. Partner Philadelphia staff is experienced with the numerous variables and approaches associated with Pennsylvania Act 2 (the Land Recycling Program) and unique environmental issues local to Pennsylvania, such as Marcellus natural gas drilling.
While conducting a Phase I ESA, Partner does a visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Should it become evident that ACMs may be present, Partner can perform sampling and testing to evaluate if ACM is in fact present.
Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-27(2002).
A zoning report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations, Philadelphia and municipality provisions into consideration as well as other regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Partner has completed engineering assessments on all types of commercial real estate including office, retail, multi-family, industrial, and hospitality. Some recent Pennsylvania projects and experience include:
Partner has completed Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental Testing, and radon screening for a portfolio for 23 chain hotels across Pennsylvania (Bethlehem, Danville, Harrisburg, Malvern, Moosic and Shamokin Dam) and several other Northeastern states.
Partner conducted 24 Phase I Environmental site Assessments of medical facilities in Pennsylvania (Bethel Park, Clearfield, Dresher, Greensburg, Hazel Township, Lower Burrell, Monogahela and Norristown) and several other states for US Bank.
For more information regarding Partner’s Philadelphia practice, visit http://www.partneresi.com/city/philadelphia.php
The Partner Utah office provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys in support of commercial real estate transactions, taking into consideration Utah’s diverse geology, climate, and topography.
In addition to providing Phase I ESAs, Partner provides Property Condition Assessments and Commercial Building Inspections for a wide variety of clients, including CMBS lenders, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac lenders, and equity clients. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set within ASTM E2018-08 guidelines.
Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the Utah Environmental Protection Agency (UEPA). Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-27(2002).
Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality requires that any consultant that provides advice or makes conclusions regarding underground storage tanks for a fee to have a Certified UST Consultant License. Soil and groundwater samples collected at underground storage tanks should be collected by a certified Soil and Groundwater Sampler otherwise, the DEQ will not accept the results. This can be important if the results are ever needed to try to gain site closure.
Partner has completed engineering assessments on all types of commercial real estate including office, retail, multi-family, industrial, and hospitality. Some recent Utah projects and experience include:
Partner completed Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental Testing for four national chain auto repair facilities in Vernal, UT.
For more information on Partner’s practice in Utah, visit http://www.partneresi.com/city/salt-lake-city.php