Every real estate transaction carries inherent environmental risks that should not be overlooked. Soil Pacific Inc. (SPI) offers a specialized property transfer division that empowers you to thoroughly evaluate these risks from an environmental engineering perspective and implement effective risk management strategies.
As a comprehensive environmental technology company, we provide a wide range of services tailored to meet your needs, including:
Bank Financing Assessments
Sales Due Diligence
With SPI as your partner, you can navigate the intricate landscape of real estate transactions with confidence, backed by our expertise in identifying, assessing, and mitigating environmental risks.
In the 1970s, property purchasers in the USA initiated specific studies akin to contemporary Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) following the ASTM method. These assessments aimed to evaluate the risks associated with owning commercial properties that had potential historical risks from previous land use, unauthorized release of toxic substances, toxic chemical utilization, or accidental waste disposal. Often, these studies were conducted as a preliminary step to comprehend the potential cleanup costs, particularly when contemplating property redevelopment or a shift in land use.
In today's context, it has become a standard practice in the United States to prepare environmental site assessment reports for real estate holdings, outlining potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. Commonly referred to as an ESA or Phase I assessment, this analysis not only examines the underlying land but also delves into the physical improvements on the property.
In certain scenarios, in addition to examining historical records, there is a recommendation for actual soil sampling, air sampling, groundwater sampling, and/or testing of building materials during a post Phase I ESA. This additional testing is recommended if the review of historical records indicates the potential for soil or groundwater contamination due to past land use.
Consequently, the Phase I ESA serves as the initial phase in the process of environmental due diligence. The protocols for conducting a Phase I site assessment have been established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are based, in part, on the ASTM Standard E1527-13.
The evolution of these assessment practices reflects a commitment to proactive environmental awareness and responsible property management in the context of real estate transactions.
The Phase I ESA stands as the initial stride in the environmental due diligence process, and its foundation rests on the ASTM Standard E1527-13.
When a site holds potential for contamination due to historical use or the possibility of toxic waste release stemming from a lack of knowledge or misuse, the necessity of a Phase II Site Assessment emerges. Particularly common in aged dry cleaning facilities, the abuse of sites through the release of hazardous waste underscores the importance of this assessment. The Phase II Site Assessment can manifest as a soil gas survey or encompass soil and groundwater sampling, serving to confirm or negate the presence of contamination beneath the earth's surface. In some cases, a Phase II site assessment can incorporate various geophysical survey methods to identify shifts in soil density or type, or the presence of underground storage spaces. It's advisable to conduct Phase II site assessments in accordance with ASTM test E1903.
Leaking underground storage tanks and dry cleaning facilities hold prominence as recurring sources of hazardous substance releases in the United States.
To encapsulate, a Phase II Environmental Assessment involves the collection of tangible evidence to delineate and ascertain hazardous waste presence in soil and groundwater. The assessment encompasses tests to screen for volatile chemicals and heavy metal contamination.
Sampling procedures typically employ drill rigs, hydraulic pushes, hand augers, or backhoes, contingent upon site-specific conditions. Phase II Environmental reports may also encompass groundwater and surface water sampling. This type of testing is recommended when the potential for an environmental liability that could impact property value is significant.
Environmental liabilities encompass the expenses tied to regulatory-mandated cleanup, regulated waste disposal, and civil liability. Civil liability arises when contamination migrates offsite or when tenants initiate legal action due to exposure to hazardous substances.