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FAQs: General2020-11-20T00:37:07+00:00

General FAQs

Our most common questions are answered in our blog articles here, but here are a few general FAQs.

How much does a Phase I ESA cost?2020-11-20T00:12:33+00:00

How much does a Phase I ESA cost?

How much does a Phase I ESA Cost? – That’s a question we hear often.  First, let’s make it really clear that the question: How much does a Phase I ESA cost? –  can’t be answered with one overall price. The Phase I ESA Report must take many things into consideration such as the location, the prior use of the property, the number of prior owners, travel costs, etc. In general, Phase I ESA costs vary with the nature of the property (size, use, and regulatory history) as well as the client’s needs (refinance, purchase, risk tolerance).

How much does a Phase I ESA cost?

So, How much does a Phase I ESA cost?

Given the caveats we’ve stated here, the average cost for a Phase I ESA is $1,750 to over $20,000. (Some outline Phase I ESA – for a Brownfield site could be as high as $100,000 – we can’t put a limit on it if the site project is a large railroad yard, a large hospital complex, or an entire town. See our City of Speedway Redevelopment Project. The $1,750 figure for a Phase I ESA Report is a smaller simpler site, a $20,000 Phase I ESA Report is for an industrial site with a history of issues that will need to be evaluated. The larger and more complex a site is the more time required and thus the more expensive.

What to ask a consultant when inquiring about the question: How much does a Phase I ESA cost?

  • Will you visit the environmental governing agency if there are files accessible? By statute, they must answer yes.
  • How long will you spend on-site? It must be long enough to walk the complete property, examine the interior as well as the exterior (including the roof), and analyze all on-site records.  How long would that take?
  • What are the qualifications of the individual performing the site visit and composing the report (not just the person who will be signing off on the report, but preferably the person actually doing the work)? The ASTM E-1527 standard sets forth who qualifies as an Environmental Professional including precise education and experience requirements. Depending upon the advanced degrees and/or the licenses and certifications as few as three years or as much as ten years of relevant full-time work experience may be expected.
  • How long has your company been in business?
  • Have you ever been sued and what is the limit of your professional liability insurance policy? If a company is cutting corners on a Phase I ESA Report, then they probably have been sued before and probably carry the least insurance possible to limit their vulnerability. There are no limit requirements for environmental professionals, but you should demand at least enough coverage to protect the value of your investment!

Want more information on the question: How much does a Phase I ESA cost?

We’ve written a complete article on this topic which we encourage you to read. It is called How much does a Phase I ESA cost? If you want to speak to us to discuss your unique Phase I Environmental Site Assessment needs or to discuss any other aspect regarding environmental concerns with buying or selling real estate, please get in touch.  We are more than happy to answer your questions. If you have more inquiries on the topic “How much does a Phase I ESA cost?” you can reach us via our online contact form, or you can call us at Indianapolis – Carmel office at 317-590-0521, or email us directly at info@lougheedengineering.com.

What is a Phase I ESA?2020-11-19T22:15:08+00:00

What is a Phase I ESA?

What is a Phase I ESA? – That’s a question we hear often.  A Phase I ESA (also called a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment) is often the first step of the environmental due diligence process and is completed prior to the completion of a real estate transaction. It describes the current and historical use of a property and provides guidance for the next steps if Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) are identified. Phase I ESAs are used for all classes of real estate transactions including new purchases, property development, bank financing, refinancing, and foreclosures.
What is a Phase I ESA?
The purpose of administering a Phase I ESA is to get the famous “innocent landowner protections.”  The environmental due diligence process is required by law under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). A Phase I ESA is the most common way to satisfy the requirements of CERCLA’s innocent landowner defense under the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) rule, known as landowner liability protections (LLPs). If the due diligence process is not properly completed and LLPs are not satisfied, the property owner would be financially and legally responsible for environmental liabilities on the property.

If no RECs are found during the Phase I ESA process, due diligence ends with the Phase I ESA. If any RECs are identified, the next step is to investigate the potential contaminants by administering a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). This assessment samples the soil and groundwater in the areas of interest to ascertain if contamination is present and posing an environmental risk. If the contamination that is being tested falls within acceptable state specifications, no further due diligence is required. If the contamination that is being tested falls above the state’s tolerable levels, the final step in the due diligence process is to remove any hazardous materials and remediate the site.

Want more information on the question: What is a Phase I ESA?

We’ve written a complete article on this topic which we encourage you to read. It is called What is a Phase I ESA? If you want to speak to us to discuss your unique Phase I needs or to discuss any other aspect of environmental concerns with buying or selling real estate, please give us a call. We are more than happy to answer questions. If you have more questions on the topic “What is a Phase I ESA?” you can reach us via our online contact form, or you can call us at Indianapolis/Carmel office at 317-590-0521, or email us directly at info@lougheedengineering.com.

What is a Phase I ESA? – External Resources for Further Review

For your convenience, here are some popular websites that expand on the definition of a Phase I ESA aka a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
Wikipedia: Environmental Site Assessment.
ASTM E1527 – 13: Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process

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