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Environmental Health & Safety Assessments - from Phase I's to Compliance

Environmental Assessments

EHS assessments fall into several categories.  These pages explain each type and try to assist you in selecting the right type of assessment and company to provide the services.


Environmental Site Assessments (also referred to as Phase I and Phase II Assessments)

What are Phase I Site Assessments?

Environmental site assessments are an vital tool for corporate managers,
investors, borrowers, and lenders to meet legal, financial and ethical needs for due diligence research on being developed and vacant properties before purchase, sale, development, refinancing, or foreclosure. The threat of litigation over damage to
natural resources or human health and the potential and actual cost of remedial action are important considerations with every property transaction.

Environmental site assessments evaluate existing environmental problems from past operations and potential environmental problems from current or proposed operations at a site.  The ASTM provides standards for:

Most environmental site assessments performed in the U.S. (or overseas by global US-owned companies) are called Phase I assessments, because they are conducted in conformance with ASTM Standard Practice E 1527  and include the following components:

Who Requests a Phase I?

Environmental site assessments are often conducted upon properties on behalf of banks, insurance companies, real estate financing companies, industrial companies, law firms, public institutions (e.g.,municipalities, school districts, universities), and government agencies.

Obviously, institutions with financial responsibility, such as banks, lenders, financiers, etc. want to ensure they do not buy a property that could become listed on a state superfund list, or simply require costly remediation in the future.

Landowners such as private companies and public institutions want to ensure that any property they acquire is either free of contamination, or that the contamination can be identified to determine the cost of remediation, and that cost be factored into the selling price.

Similarly, property owners who wish to sell a property often have a Phase I conducted before they put the property on the market in order to correct any problems found, thus getting a better price.

Typical Phase I ESA Report Outline

There is no precise format for the report (just the information to review, as found in ASTM 1527) but  a good report is are designed to provide the client with as much
relevant information as possible in a format which is concise and easy to read.

The Civilian federal Agency Task Force has put together an excellent guide; the "CFATF Guide on Evaluating Environmental Liability for Property Transfers" which you may download here free as a PDF file (approximately 61 pages).

You can obtain a copy of the E-1527 standard directly from the ASTM here for $45.00 (EHSO makes NO profit from the sale and has no affiliation with the ASTM: ASTM E1527-05 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process

For more information, or to have an environmental site assessment conducted, call EHSO (Benivia, LLC) at 770-645-0788 or email us


Compliance Assessments

Compliance assessments are designed to help businesses assess their overall level of compliance with environmental, health and safety requirements. They especially focuses upon the basic environmental requirements, plans, reports and documents which are required. Depending upon the nature of the facility being assessed, greater attention can be paid to certain specific areas of the regulation, such as water discharge rules for an electroplating company with a discharge into a stream, air emissions at a auto spray paint facility; or OSHA hazard communication compliance at a facility with many employees working with dangerous compounds.

A summary of the requirements and an explanation of the actions required to achieve compliance is provided in a quick, easy-to-understand and use format.

For more information and pricing, click here.

This page was updated on 28-Feb-2014