Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

In US conception, Phase I ESA performed in accordance with ASTM Practice is focused on determination of impaired soil and groundwater conditions due to petroleum products and defined range of contaminants and identification of the presence of hazardous substances at the site.

Thus the Phase I ESA based on ASTM includes examination of potential soil contamination, groundwater and surface water quality, past and current hazardous chemicals and waste handling and storage practices, identification of chemical residues within structures and possible presence of asbestos or polychlorinated biphenyls.

In Europe, the scope of Phase I ESA is often wider than required in accordance with ASTM and includes the evaluation of the actual site operations with respect to regulatory requirements. Topics covered include emissions to the air, water use and wastewaters management, environmental permits, appropriate waste disposal, environmental noise and other environmental issues that may result in a regulatory violations or fines or may be associated with significant investments.

Typical scope of Phase I ESA includes:

  • A physical visit to a site to review the actual site conditions, (e.g. land uses, chemical releases, hazardous substances and waste management)
  • Evaluation risks arising from neighboring properties
  • Review of available geological and hydro-geological data and environmental setting
  • Examination of historical land uses with particular attention to past hazardous substances or waste handling practices through interviews of knowledgeable site personnel and/or review of historical aerial photos
  • Research of public agency files and publicly available databases
  • Review of the site environmental records and documents
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