Environmental Site Assessments

Environmental Site Assessments are standard procedures for commercial and industrial real estate transactions. Pre-acquisition environmental inquiry allows a prospective buyer to evaluate a property for potential environmental contamination and can provide “innocent landowner defense” to prevent CERCLA liability for contamination created by a previous landowner.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) have created due diligence guidelines that are fully compliant with the EPA’s “Standards and Practices for all Appropriate Inquiries” rule to protect those involved in real estate transactions such as merges and acquisitions, transfers, redevelopment, zoning, bank financing and foreclosures

Phase I ESA

The Environmental Site Assessment Professionals at Simon & Associates, Inc have the training, experience and tools necessary to prepare Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), providing the information individuals and businesses need to make informed decisions in real estate dealings.  Unlike many firms who use junior-level staff to complete these assessments, Simon & Associates, Inc. only uses senior level staff to conduct ESAs. We believed that the “experienced eye” is one of the most valuable tools of the investigator.  By using only senior level staff for ESAs we believe that our clients receive better value for their expenditure.

By reviewing available, federals, state, and local governmental records, conducting interviews, conducting site walkovers and other research, or professionals develop an independent opinion about the environmental conditions of a property, identifying actual or potential environmental concerns that could affect property value and potential future legal actions related to the property.

If environmental concerns are identified during the Phase I ESA, a Phase II ESA may be recommended. A Phase II ESA is performed to confirm or refute the potential presence of environmental impacts. A Phase II ESA typically involves the sampling and analysis of soil, groundwater, soil vapor, and/or impacted media at a property. Typically, a more detailed scope of work will be prepared after a review of the available information and discussions with the client (and possibly the appropriate regulatory agency) regarding site specific needs. The scope of work should attempt to minimize cost but still provide enough data to make good business decisions before, during, and after a real estate transaction.