What is a Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?

The primary goal of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is to make an "appropriate inquiry into previous ownership and use of the property consistent with good commercial or customary practice." A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is generally performed by the current owner or prospective purchaser. This step is a vital part of commercial and industrial property transactions where potential liability is a concern and is most often required by lenders and attorneys prior to finalizing a real estate transaction. Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are conducted according to guidelines established in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessment (E 1527) and EPA's All Appropriate Inquiries Rule. 

There are four primary components to the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment: Records Review, Site Reconnaissance, Interviews, and Report Preparation. The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report will include a statement as to evidence of recognized environmental conditions. Phase I Environmental Site Assessments do not include sampling or chemical analysis of soil, groundwater or other media. Phase II Environmental Site Assessments include site-specific sampling and chemical analyses to characterize the occurrence, distribution, nature and extent of hazardous compounds in soil and groundwater at a property. Phase II Environmental Site Assessments generally provide the necessary information needed to determine if cleanup activities are warranted on the property.

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1. What does the program offer property owners?
2. Why would property owners want to participate?
3. What are All Appropriate Inquiries?
4. What is a Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?
5. If I am a property owner and I participate what happens if environmental contamination is found?
6. What activities are included in cleanup/redevelopment planning?
7. What if redevelopment opportunities are not identified?
8. I am an interested property owner, who do I contact for more information?