AirQuest professionals have performed hundreds of environmental site assessments (ESAs) on industrial, agricultural, commercial, military, and undeveloped property. Our clients include lending institutions, developers, property managers, law firms, hospitals, and the public sector among others.
Our professionals perform assessments in accordance with current American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards for evaluation of potential environmental risk to buyers of real estate. Since promulgation of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfield’s Revitalization Act, the vast majority of our ESAs in Florida also satisfy the “all appropriate inquiry” section of the act (40 CFR Part 312). Our team also incorporates the recent voluntary ASTM standard for assessment of potential for vapor intrusion into structures (ASTM E 2600) which may be used in conjunction with the ASTM E 1527-13 standard.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
Intended to identify areas of potential environmental concerns on or adjacent to a particular property, ESAs are performed before acquisition of properties for two primary reasons:
- To preserve the innocent buyer defense and the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA) limitations on liability for cleanup of contaminated properties; and
- To provide comprehensive baseline environmental data to assist with management of the properties.
A Phase I ESA includes a review of environmental records such as environmental cleanup liens with federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, site inspection, and interviews with owners, occupants, operators, neighbors and local government officials. The goal of of a Phase I ESA is to identify recognized environmental conditions and the likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in or on a property.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments
A Phase II ESA (ASTM E-1903) is based on the findings of a Phase I ESA. A Phase II ESA includes sampling and laboratory analysis to confirm the presence of petroleum and/or hazardous contaminants. AirQuest has significant experience in investigating sites with a wide range of contaminants, from agrichemicals and petroleum products to hazardous and “unknown” wastes. The process of a Phase II ESA investigation may include the following:
- Soil boring advancement and/or monitoring well installation to obtain samples
- Surficial and/or subsurface soil and groundwater sampling and laboratory analysis
- Geophysical assessment to determine the presence of buried structures such as cattle dip vats, underground storage tanks and drums
- Surficial and subsurface sampling at areas with electrical transformers/capacitors for the presence of Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
- Sampling of drainage structures such as floor drains, septic tanks, catch basins and soakage pits
Depending on the outcome of the Phase II ESA, real estate or regulatory requirements, additional investigations such as contamination assessment and remediation may be necessary.