Phase I ESA for Your Commercial Real Estate Transaction.
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, or Phase I ESA, is an examination of the current and historical use of a property as part of a commercial real estate transaction to identify potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. Issues discovered during a Phase I Enviromental Site Assessment could present a potential liability for the owner or lender and may affect the property's value.
During the Phase I ESA, we will conduct an on-site inspection, historical record search, and more to determine whether or not current or historical use of the property has impacted the soil or ground water beneath the property in way that could pose a threat to the environment or human health. Sampling of soil, air, groundwater, etc is not typically part of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
While not required for all commercial property transactions, an ESA is required for CERCLA liability protection and may be required by the lender based on current and previous use of the property. Ultimately, an ESA should be conducted if the property has historically been used for a potentially environmentally-sensitive industry or is located near such an activity. There are many industries that would be considered environmentally-sensitive, but a short list of examples would include the following: