ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENTS
An Environmental Site Assessment is a report prepared for a property which identifies potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. The report, often called an ESA, typically addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property.
Actual sampling of soil, air, groundwater and/or building materials is typically not conducted during a Phase I ESA. The Phase I ESA is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. Standards for performing a Phase I site assessment have been promulgated by the US EPA and are based in part on ASTM in Standard E1527-05.
If a site is considered contaminated, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment may be conducted, ASTM test E1903, a more detailed investigation involving chemical analysis for hazardous substances and/or petroleum hydrocarbons.
Various triggers to perform a Phase I ESA: