graphicPhase I ESA

In today’s busy real estate market, businesses and lending institutions are often requiring a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) to be conducted prior to any transactions of land or building purchases, new development and bank loans.

The Empirical Company performs all Phase I ESA’s in conformance with the scope and limitations of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard E-1527-05. The purpose for conducting an ESA is to assess any current or historical land use practices and to identify the presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on or adjacent to the property of interest.

Site contamination tank removal.

Conducting an ESA limits the potential for the owner or lender of the property from being named as a potentially responsible party. The Empirical Company conducts all three phases of Environmental Site Assessments.

Detailed Reports

The Empirical Company includes the following information in all professional detailed Phase I ESA reports.

1. Historical review of property
2. Hydrogeologic conditions
3. Government environmental database review
4. Inspection of property and surrounding areas
5. Interviews with owners and occupants
6. Site plan of the property
7. Digital photographs
8. Aerial photographs
9. Statement of qualifications
10. Conclusions regarding potential liabilities
11. Recommendations.

Phase II ESA

The Phase II Environmental Site Assessment evaluates potential sources that may be contaminated, such as air quality, soil and water. Samples are collected from the above mentioned sources and are analyzed for particular constituents of concern by EPA approved laboratories.


Depending on analytical results obtained from the laboratory a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment may be recommended. A Phase III includes the design, regulatory filings, and actual remediation or removal of hazardous materials such as underground storage tanks, waste drums contaminated soils, and asbestos.

Process of the ESA

Determination of environmental condition and identification of potential contamination on a piece of land is one of the most important steps in a real estate transaction.

For reliable investigations of possible contamination, and for official documentation of property conditions and remediation services, The Empirical Company offers Phase I, Modified Phase I, Phase II and Phase III Environmental Site Assessments (ESA’s).

Phase I and Phase II ESA’s notify potential buyers of property contamination problems before purchase, insuring that the buyer will avoid liability and/or costs associated with cleanups.

Phase III ESA services aid the property owner in cost-effective remediation efforts.

Identifying Contamination

The likelihood of contamination is usually identified during a Phase I environmental site assessment. To establish the presence of actual contamination on site, a more comprehensive investigation is undertaken. The process of a Phase II ESA involves sampling and assessment of soil, groundwater, and surface water as well as the assessment of buildings and structures. Depending on the planned use of a piece of land, different environmental criteria are applied in the assessment. Where necessary, an environmental cleanup involving remediation of soil, surface water, groundwater and sediments is undertaken.

In industrial settings, an assessment and decommissioning of process equipment is often required. Where possible, recycling is attempted.

The Empirical Company performs property hazard assessment evaluations that typically involve reviewing site records to establish occupant histories of the site and neighboring properties and to determine the potential presence of chemical contaminants; designing sampling strategies; and collecting air, water, soil, wipe, bulk, and other samples for analysis.

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