What is a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?

Written By: Doug Ruhlin | Apr 30, 2014

Time to Read 3 Minutes





We explain what a Phase II ESA is.

I've you've ever been a part of environmental due diligence before, chances are you've heard someone mention either a Phase I or Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. Some folks aren't sure what a Phase I ESA is, let alone what a Phase II is. Here we discuss what a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is, and why you could need one after a Phase I.

We find that many of our clients, at one point or another during the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment process, invariably end up asking about the next step, a Phase II. A lot of times folks will ask do I need a Phase II?

The answer is not always yes, and I'll explain why below. But first, let's discuss what a Phase II ESA is.


What is a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?

What is a Phase II ESA?

First off, I'm going to presume you know what is a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. If you don't, check that link for more information. Long story short, consider it a background check & property inspection without any digging or sampling.

Ok, so a Phase II.

Let's say the results of a Phase I ESA come back and there's a chance contamination is present. It's not the end of the world, and the information could be wrong. What's recommended at that point is a Phase II. While the Phase I ESA has to follow a very regimented routine, a Phase II is purely based off the findings of the Phase I, and is more varied.

For instance, depending on the results of the Phase I ESA, Phase II work could include surficial and sub-surficial soil analysis, or groundwater analysis, or installing monitoring wells, or indoor air sampling, mold sampling, asbestos sampling, lead sampling, etc. The need for any sampling or testing in Phase II Environmental Site Assessments is based purely on the findings of the Phase I.

Unfortunately, since there's usually a fair amount of sampling or testing, a Phase II ESA tends to cost significantly more money than a Phase I. It also takes longer. You need the time to sample, monitor, or test results, as this is the only way to really get a good handle on releases at the property, or to confirm the absence of contamination.

 

 

 

There might be contamination. Do I need a Phase II ESA?

Sometimes when we’re conducting a Phase I environmental site assessment, we’ll recommend that further work occur. Other times, we don’t recommend any further investigation. It depends on your site and the findings of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

A few weeks ago I talked about do I need a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment? in an article, and it definitely helps answer the question for folks who think a Phase II is always necessary. I'll give you a hint, as you can probably already guess, it's not. It's up to the opinion of the environmental professional's opinion based on the conclusions and recommendations made in the Phase I ESA, along with the user(s) of the Phase I themselves based on their level of risk acceptance. When warranted, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is a very necessary thing to fully understand the condition of a property. Without it, and you just don’t know, and you could be buying an environmental nightmare.

The whole process can be somewhat tricky, especially if you've never had or know anything about Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Were here to help you understand the process, and if you have any questions about environmental due diligence, click here to contact us, or call us at 609-693-8301 to discuss your needs today.

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