What Is a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment?

A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment is an essential step to take when acquiring commercial or industrial property. This initial test is conducted to gather information regarding the current and historical use of the land included in a commercial real estate sale. This assessment is crucial because it addresses any irregularities with the property’s soil, which may pose a potential threat to the environment or human health. At Care Environmental Remediation Services in Northern New Jersey, our team performs Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments and other services. Here, we discuss this evaluation and what it entails.

The Purpose of a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment

This assessment is designed to gather detailed information about a property’s use, with the intent of developing a professional opinion about its environmental condition. During this test, it will be determined if any contamination is present. If contamination is found, it may affect the value of the property and present a potential liability to the owner.

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments can be conducted on a variety of property types, such as:

  • Commercial: This type of real estate is used for business activities.
  • Industrial: Industrial property may be used for manufacturing, retail, or warehousing purposes.
  • Multi-family residential: This class of housing includes separate housing units for residential inhabitants contained within one building.
  • Vacant land: This land has no buildings on it and isn’t in use.
  • Agricultural: This is property used for growing crops for food or feed (in the form of harvested crops, cover crops, or pastures).

What Happens During the Assessment?

An important step in property evaluation, a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment needs to be thorough and concise. A typical assessment includes:

  • Visiting the site to evaluate its current and past conditions and uses, along with observing adjacent properties
  • Researching historical records, such as aerial photographs, city directories, fire insurance maps, and historical topographical maps
  • Reviewing the proper databases to determine if the property has ever featured an underground storage tank (UST), an aboveground storage tank (AST), release cases, and other items of note
  • Reviewing records from state and local agencies, such as fire departments, health departments, environmental agencies, and building departments
  • Conducting interviews with current and past property owners, current and past occupants, and anyone else who is familiar with the property

Once the necessary research has been conducted and the area has been evaluated, an environmental specialist will identify any potential risks the property may possess. Next, recommendations will be made as to the right course of action to address these risks. It’s important to note that no soil or water samples are taken at this time. 

Schedule an Appointment with Care Environmental Remediation Services

When it comes to discovering potential site contamination, trust the experts at Care Environmental Remediation Services. Our team is knowledgeable in environmental compliance, environmental database research, land assessments, and more. We are licensed by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) as a Certified Subsurface Evaluator, and our dedicated staff is well-versed in navigating state and federal environmental regulations. To schedule a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment in Northern NJ or the surrounding area, contact us today.