Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs)
The staff of Blackshare has completed literally thousands of ESAs on a wide range of properties. The scope of an ESA will vary depending on need, and Blackshare offers the full range of ESA services as listed below:
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
The Blackshare Phase I ESA is conducted to meet the ASTM standard for Phase I ESA's and EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) regulations. The scope includes:
- a site reconnaissance
- interview(s) with person(s) familiar with the property history
- a review of historical records such as aerial photographs
- and a review of regulatory agency environmental records and databases
A REC is defined in the ASTM standard as “the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on the property and into the ground, ground water, or surface water of the property”. Examples of conditions that constitute RECs include containers of stored hazardous materials, evidence of underground storage tanks, transformers which could contain PCBs, stained soil, distressed vegetation, pits, signs of fill or areas where wastes may be buried, etc.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments
If a REC is discovered during a Phase I ESA (ie. evidence of underground storage tanks, etc.), it may be necessary to conduct additional investigation to determine if the REC warrants action. Phase II is usually intrusive in nature and will be recommended when a REC is discovered in Phase I ESA. Site characterization is a Phase II activity.
Phase III Environmental Site Assessments
Phase III is generally the activity necessary to address a REC and includes activities such as asbestos abatement, excavation of contaminated soil, remediation, etc. Phase III typically requires the development of a remedial action plan and design of a remedial system.
Supplemental Environmental Site Assessments Services
Services sometimes performed in conjunction with a Phase I ESA are:
- Limited asbestos survey
- Compliance review – when an on-going business is being purchased along with the real estate
- Baseline assessment – collection and analysis of samples to establish and document the environmental condition of the real estate for future liability protection
- Application to Voluntary Cleanup Programs – requires completion of baseline assessment and often used when known environmental issues exits.
AAI stands for “All Appropriate Inquiry”. In November, 2006 EPA’s AAI regulation became effective. AAI expanded, among other things, the qualifications for who can conduct a Phase I ESA, interview requirements, data gaps, historical records searches, and the viable life of the report. ASTM is also accepted as a substitute. The Blackshare Phase I ESA exceeds all requirements of AAI.