Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are a common requirement today for most commercial real estate transactions. Typically, the purchaser or the bank that is financing the purchase will require a Phase 1 assessment of the property to qualify for the CERCLA "Innocent Land Owner Defense", which is designed to allow the owner of contaminated property to defend against liability for hazardous substances that were put on the property by an unrelated third party. The property will be inspected by our certified Environmental Inspector to guidelines specified by the current ASTM standards E1527, and a thorough mile radius survey is compiled from state and federal historical data of properties with underground storage tanks/wells, or hazardous chemicals.
The 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.
If a site is considered contaminated, a Phase II environmental site assessment is recommended, ASTM E1903, a more detailed investigation involving chemical analysis for hazardous substances and/or petroleum hydrocarbons.
SBA Phase I Environmental Site Assessment means all properties purchased through the United States Small Business Administration 504 Fixed Asset Financing Program require specific and often higher due diligence requirements than regular real estate transactions. Due diligence requirements are determined according to the NAICS codes associated with the prior business use of the property. There are 58 specific NAICS codes that require Phase I Investigations. These include, but are not limited to: Funeral Homes, Dry Cleaners, and Gas Stations. The SBA also requires Phase II Environmental Site Assessment to be performed on any Gas Station that has been in operation for more than 5 years. The additional cost to perform this assessment cannot be included in the amount requested in the loan and adds significant costs to the borrower.
Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are two specialized types of Phase I ESAs that are required when a loan is financed through Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. The scopes of work are based on the ASTM E1527 Standards but have specific requirements including the following: the percent and scope of the property inspection; requirements for radon testing; asbestos and lead-based paint testing and operations-and-maintenance (O&M) plans to manage the hazards in place; lead in drinking water; and mold inspection. For condominiums, Fannie Mae requires a Phase I ESA anytime the initial underwriting analysis indicates environmental concerns. Please let us know if your lender is Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae.
- Performance of an on-site visit to view present conditions (chemical spill residue, die-back of vegetation, etc.) ; hazardous substances or petroleum products usage (presence of above ground or underground storage tanks, storage of acids, etc.); and evaluate any likely environmentally hazardous site history.
- Evaluation of risks of neighboring properties upon the subject property
- Review of Federal, State, Local and Tribal Records out to distances specified by the ASTM 1528 and AAI Standards (ranging from 1/8 to 1 mile depending on the database)
- Interview of persons knowledgeable regarding the property history (past owners, present owner, key site manager, present tenants, neighbors).
- A comprehensive report with findings and recommendations is delivered via email within 7-12 business days depending on complexity and size of site.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is an "intrusive" investigation which collects original samples of soil, groundwater or building materials to analyze for quantitative values of various contaminants. This investigation is normally undertaken when a Phase I ESA determines a likelihood of site contamination. The most frequent substances tested are petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, asbestos and mold.
InterCoastal Inspections is a full service inspection firm that specializes in all phases of your commercial property due diligence process. Our property condition assessments and experience is unmatched in the state of Florida with over 40 years of combined experience, and expertise. In addition to the property condition assessment we offer both Phase I & Phase II Environmental Site Assessments for all commercial property in the Daytona Beach, Palm Coast, St Augustine, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Orlando, and all of North East and Central FLorida surrounding areas. We package our Property Condition Assessments along with our Phase I & Phase II ESA's to give our clients the most economical and efficient due diligence process in the state.
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