FAQ: What is a Phase II ESA?

What is a Phase II ESA Comprised of?

What is a Phase II ESA?

If you’ve been told you need environmental due diligence during the sale of purchase of property, perhaps you’ve heard about a Phase I or Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.  Many people aren’t sure what a Phase I ESA is, not to mention what a Phase II is. Here we explain what a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is, and why one is often needed after a Phase I Report.

You may not always need a Phase II Assessment and we will discuss why below.  First, let’s consider exactly what a Phase II ESA is.

Phase II ESA Explained

To begin, let’s assume you are aware of the need for a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. If you don’t, please visit that page for more information. In a nutshell, consider it an informational background check & property examination without any testing or sampling.

If, perhaps, the results of a Phase I ESA determine there is the possibility that contamination exists.  Don’t be alarmed.  A more thorough investigation is needed before you accept any liability.   A Phase II report is required to determine exactly what issues exist. The Phase I ESA follows a very strict process, a Phase II is solely conducted based on the findings of the Phase I Report.  The requirements of a Phase II investigation are more diverse.

For example, based on the results of the Phase I ESA, Phase II efforts might include surface and sub-surface soil analysis, groundwater analysis, installing monitoring wells, indoor air sampling, mold sampling, asbestos sampling, lead sampling, etc.  The need for any sampling or testing in Phase II Environmental Site Assessments is determined essentially on the findings of the Phase I Report.

Regrettably, as there is normally a reasonable quantity of sampling or testing, a Phase II ESA does cost significantly more money than a Phase I. It also takes more time. You need the time to sample, monitor, or test results.  This is the only way to really understand the potential contaminations released at the property or to confirm the absence of pollutions.

If there is contamination do I need a Phase II ESA?

Often a Phase I Report will indicate the need for further investigation. There are times, however, that we don’t recommend any further examination. It depends on your unique situations and the conclusions of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

If you aren’t sure whether you need a Phase II Report, please check this link:  Do I really need a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?  This page digs deeper into the issue, and it may help you answer that question.

As you might imagine, a Phase II Report is not needed every time a Phase I Report is conducted.  It is based on the determination of the environmental professional.  The environmental professional is trained to make a determination during the Phase I ESA, and they decide along with the user(s) of the Phase I themselves based on their level of risk acceptance.

When recommended, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is a very necessary process to fully understand the condition of a property. If you don’t have it, you are taking a risk and might be buying an environmental horror.

Overall, the process can be complicated, particularly if you’ve never be involved in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

We’re here to help you through the process, and if you have any questions about environmental due diligence, click here to contact us, or call us directly to chat about your unique situation.

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