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A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a thorough evaluation conducted on a specific land parcel to ascertain its susceptibility to contamination by hazardous or toxic substances, encompassing petroleum products. Phase I ESAs focus on off-site efforts such as analyzing historical, material and chemical spill records. Typically conducted in the context of real estate transactions, this assessment aims to examine whether current or past activities on the property have adversely affected the soil or groundwater beneath, raising concerns for environmental and human health risks. The primary objective of the report is to provide a comprehensive analysis that enables potential buyers or lenders to make well-informed decisions regarding the environmental hazards associated with acquiring the property. In essence, Phase I reports serve as a critical tool in assessing and mitigating potential environmental risks linked to property transactions.

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The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sets the standard for determining an environmental risk or "recognized environmental condition" (REC). According to the ASTM standard E1527-21, a REC is characterized by "the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at ta property: (1) due to any release to the environment: (2) under conditions indicative of a release to the environment; or (3) under conditions that pose a material threat of a future release to the environment."


The primary objective of conducting a Phase I ESA is to gather sufficient information to formulate an independent professional opinion regarding the environmental condition of a property. This process is instrumental in identifying actual or potential environmental contamination that could impact the property's value.

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At AET, our Phase I ESAs are conducted by a team of seasoned professionals. We take pride in the efficacy of our assessments, which not only pinpoint potential liabilities but also adhere rigorously to ASTM guidelines. Working closely with our clients, we strive to make informed recommendations and see the entire real estate transaction through to completion, ensuring that the needs of all parties involved are met. Your confidence in our expertise is our commitment to delivering thorough, reliable, and compliant assessments.

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Phase I ESA Reports are completed to ASTM 1527-21 standard and contain the following:

  • Results on Inquiry by an Environmental Professional

  • Reviews of Historical Sources of Information

  • Searches for Recorded Environmental Cleanup Liens

  • Reviews of Federal, State, Tribal and Local Government Records

  • Visual Inspections of the Property, Facilities and of Adjoining Properties

  • Commonly Known or Reasonably Ascertainable Information about the Property

  • The Degree of Obviousness of the Presences or Likely Presence of Contamination at the Property, and the Availability to Detect the Contamination by Appropriate Investigation.

For assistance with your next project, or for further information about our services, call us at +1-800-989-8298 or contact us today.

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