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Commercial Inspection Frequently Asked Questions

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WHAT IS A PHASE I ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENT (ESA)?

A Phase I ESA includes a walkthrough assessment (interior and exterior) of the subject property, review of state and local regulatory databases, current and past use of the subject and adjacent properties (to the extent such information is available) to identify recognized environmental conditions (e.g., hazardous materials and wastes, petroleum products, storage tanks, PCB equipment, and wells) at the subject or adjacent properties. The assessment results are presented in a written report, including conclusions and recommendations.

WHAT IS A RECOGNIZED ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION?

The term recognized environmental condition means “the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on the property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property,” as defined in ASTM Standard Practice E 1527-05, Section 1.1.1.

WHY DO I NEED A PHASE I ESA?

Conducting a Phase I ESA is the prudent thing to do. It will provide you with first-hand information regarding actual and/or potential recognized environmental conditions at a property you are considering for purchase. Additionally, it may be required by lenders.  You should always contact your lending institution for applicability.