Identify Past Uses and Environmental Concerns of Your Property

Your property shouldn’t hinder any future goals or endeavors—but if there are environmental contaminates present, you may have trouble. You’ll need to properly handle any hazards if you ever want to sell, transfer ownership or expand buildings.

Environmental site assessments (or ESAs) are an environmental audit of a parcel of real estate. They help you understand the true extent of a property’s historic use and determine the contamination of the land or surrounding environment. And if any hazardous situations are discovered, these environmental assessments then help determine who is liable. These assessments are seen as your environmental due diligence but are also a useful part of land transactions for buyers or banks and lenders as well as land donations.

The site assessment process is done in two phases. A Phase I ESA is the initial survey of the landscape and historical uses, while Phase II ESA dives deeper to then examine the extent of any contaminations found on site.

Commonwealth Environmental Associates provides both Phase I and Phase II ESAs to keep you informed and help mitigate environmental hazards so you’re able to embrace your endeavors confidently. 

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are completed to research the current and historical uses of a property as part of a commercial real estate transaction. These reports are used to assess if current or historical property uses have impacted the soil, groundwater beneath the property, and if they pose a threat to the environment and/or human health. If found, it helps establish liability whether you’re expanding, selling or donating your land as well as affecting the value of the property.

Performing Phase I ESAs completed prior to the closure of a real estate transaction can be used to satisfy CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act). It will also help establish what the next steps for your property are. On the contrary, discovering past uses that may have contributed to hazards or finding issues not readily visible provides you with the opportunity to mitigate future issues.

Commonwealth Environmental Associates conducts our Phase I ESAs in line with ASTM standards to ensure your property is thoroughly researched and examined. An overview of our process is as follows:

  • Research and review federal, state, tribal and local databases
  • Conduct interviews with previous owners, local authorities and other familiar with the property
  • Send field personnel to the site for a hands-on assessment, to observe current and past conditions and uses of the property and adjacent properties

Once our experts have determined if a recognized environmental condition (REC) exists, then a Phase II ESA would be recommended to dive further into the level of contamination and develop a clean-up plan.

Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)

As Phase I ESAs examine existing information and rely on historical data, while Phase II ESAs provide more detailed and current information through sample collection. Our experts collect soil, ground and/or surface water samples along with actual building materials or wastes for testing. 

By collecting and testing samples from your property, our team can truly assess the extent to which your landscape is polluted. Then a removal or remediation plan can be developed with our environmental consulting and advice. Your action plan will depend on which contaminants are found and the concentration levels present.

After your property’s hazards are mitigated, our environmental professionals can revisit the site to test that contamination concentrations are at an acceptable level. 

Environmental Site Assessments for Commercial or Residential Properties in Eastern States

While our team is based in Richmond, VA, we also serve commercial properties across eastern states including: 

  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Maryland
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Ohio

CEA serves all of Virginia. Specific areas that are easily accessible for our environmental professionals to offer residential services include: 

  • Richmond, VA
  • Harrisonburg, VA
  • Lexington, VA
  • Staunton, VA
  • Roanoke, VA
  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Norfolk, VA
  • Fredericksburg, VA 
  • Lynchburg, VA 

Discover Environmental Conditions to Reduce Liability in Future Transactions

If you don’t assess possible hazardous substances or contaminations present from current or past operations, any future transactions for your property have the opportunity to be riddled with environmental liability.

Trust our recognized environmental experts to provide you with detailed surveys and examinations so you’re able to rest assured your landscape is free from contaminants. And if our team discovers issues, our team’s further sampling followed by comprehensive environmental responses and consulting will help you toward a cleaner property and healthier environment. 

Get in touch with us today for your ESA.