- Cultural Resources
Environmental Site Assessments
The purpose of conducting environmental site assessments is to identify environmental factors and conditions at a site, which may create environmental liability or restrict the use of a property. By conducting an environmental site assessment, potential property owners can demonstrate that all appropriate inquiry has been made into the condition of a parcel of property and access the CERCLA innocent landowner defense provisions. Environmental site assessments are generally performed in phases which are designed to progress in scope from determining a potential for regulated substances at a site to determining the horizontal and vertical extent of regulated substances on a particular site if such substances are found. ECA has extensive experience in performing environmental site assessments. The different phases comprising the environmental site assessment process are briefly described below.
PHASES I ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENTS
Phase I environmental site assessments are usually required by lending institutions involved in refinancing or ownership/leasehold transfers of real estate. The Phase I site assessment is designed to identify circumstances associated with past and present site uses that may indicate a potential for environmental liability. Such liability may exist in the form of petroleum or regulated substance releases. The Phase I may be modified to include assessment of possible wetlands, radon, lead, asbestos, endangered species, or other environmental conditions.
In performing Phase I site assessments, ECA conducts site inspections, interviews individuals familiar with the history of a site, and reviews federal and state regulatory information.
ECA performs Phase I site assessments according to the procedures outlined in the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) "Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process", E 1527. Generally, no samples are taken in conjunction with a Phase I assessment.
PHASE II ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENTS
Phase II environmental site assessments are conducted when a Phase I site assessment indicates a potential that regulated substances are present on site or when the client requires further assurance that a site is free of regulated substances. Samples are usually collected and tested to determine if potential environmental conditions identified in the Phase I site assessment are indeed present on a site. Phase II site assessments can include any combination of specific activities such as: installation of soil borings and/or monitoring wells; soil, ground water, and surface water sampling and analysis; wetlands delineations; asbestos surveys; radon studies; lead studies; and air monitoring. This data is collected to formulate recommendations based on the presence of these environmental conditions. Where site remediation may be required, ECA considers future possible uses of wells and other monitoring locations as potential contaminant recovery locations in order to save time and money for clients on any additional assessments.
PHASE III ENVIRONMENTAL SITE ASSESSMENTS
Phase III site assessments are conducted to investigate the extent of regulated substances on a site. Depending on the type of release identified by a Phase II site assessment, a scope of work is prepared that will effectively, and as inexpensively as possible, determine the horizontal and vertical extent of releases on and off-site. During Phase III, ECA develops a strategy for the remediation of environmental media that will minimize time and cost. As with Phase II assessments, ECA develops the scope of work and project specifications to achieve economy of scale and to maximize project efficiency relative to possible future work.
Environmental Corporation of America
1375 Union Hill Industrial Court, Alpharetta, GA 30004