Phase I ESA
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) should be conducted whenever you are going to purchase a commercial property, industrial property, undeveloped land or vacant property. If you are buying a residential property next to a service station, dry cleaners or other environmentally sensitive businesses, you should have a Phase I ESA conducted before final purchase. This is to safe guard your liability of any unforeseen environmental hazards.
Phase II ESA
A Phase II ESA normally is performed when the Phase I ESA identifies Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) and/or recommends further investigation. The standard practice for Phase II ESAs is ASTM E1903-11.
Unlike the Phase I ESA AAI rule, the Phase II is not a rule, but a standard of practice for performing the assessment. The standard of the Phase II ESA is typically defined by the scope proposed by the Environmental Professional and accepted by the client. This allows the scope of work to be tailored to each individual site and situation. Any additional testing or characterization should meet all state and local guidelines. Normally, a Phase II ESA is actually a screening to determine if potential contamination and/or hazardous materials are present. The Phase II does not typically characterize contamination present nor is it a feasibility study. However, this can be included as part of the Phase II ESA scope or may be part of the screening recommendations.