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Phase I Environmental Site Assessment: What to Expect from It?

If you are looking to buy property, you must be aware of the importance of a Phase One Environmental Site Assessment of ESA. This assessment will help you avoid problems that can cost you both money and time down the road. It is meant to identify possible or existing environmental health hazards or liabilities. These days, properties are subjected to possible environmental risk. Thankfully, an ESA can help determine whether the property you are buying has been contaminated by past or present activities.

Moreover, an ESA is a common requirement by creditors because it helps them determine the existence of environmental risks that could impact the property’s value or the finances of the borrower. The assessment process includes an assessment of the physical improvements to a property and the underlying land. Geotechnique assessments will evaluate previous and current property use and how the surrounding land is used. Also, it involves consulting with different environmental agencies and quantifying the environmental risk associated with a property. Keep reading to know what ESA involves:

Site Inspection

During this part of the assessment process, the property is visually assessed, including the interior within the property’s structures, the exterior areas that surround such structures, and the property lines. Also, inspectors will observe and inspect adjacent or nearby properties. The site must be inspected to discover and identify evidence of past activities that may have resulted in soil or water contamination. You will know that property may have environmental issues if it is located near gasoline stations, industrial facilities, dry cleaning operations, and illegal garbage dumping activities.

Review of the Property’s Regulatory Record

This review may disclose any previous incidents of hazardous substances near or at the property you are eyeing to acquire that may have contaminated it. For instance, this property may have businesses that do not have any environmental concerns; however, it may use to have an auto repair shop on it before. This auto shop probably let oil and other waste substances penetrated the surrounding water sources and soil.


An ESA also includes interviews with previous owners, workers, and tenants of the property. As they spent significant time on the property, they have the first-hand experience that can be valuable to any assessment. These people can provide insights into the property’s past and current use. Through these interviews, the evaluators might be able to learn information that only these people can provide based on their experience and presence on the land itself.

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