Capitol Environmental

Service - Environmental Site Assessments

Environmental risks can have significant impact on the viability and credit quality of your real estate property transactions. The goal of Capitol Environmental in completing an environmental site assessment (ESA) is to help you understand the risks completely in a clear and unambiguous manner. Our experts can perform an environmental site assessment that will alert you of any potential environmental risks in a timely manner, thus freeing you to concentrate on the financial and business aspects of the associated transaction.

Contact your local Capitol Environmental office for a quote or email us at info@capitolenvironmental.com and someone will be in touch with you shortly. You may also request a site assessment by selecting the link on the right.

Capitol Environmental ESA services can include:

  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
  • Phase II Environmental Site Assessments
  • Phase III Environmental Site Remedial Action
  • ASTM Transaction Screening Assessments
  • Due Diligence Assessments
  • Geologic Assessments
  • Hazards Testing
  • Monitoring Well Installation
  • Air, Soil, and Water Sampling and Analysis
  • Wetlands Delineation
  • Asbestos Surveys

DEFINITIONS OF ESA PHASES

A complete Environmental Site Assessment can involve three Phases, depending upon the size, type, construction and location of the property; the past and present intended use(s) of the property; and availability and access to complete records.

PHASE I ELEMENTS

Capitol Environmental's advice to all individuals, companies and corporations nationwide, is that negotiations for real estate transactions should not proceed without, at a minimum, a properly executed Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Our Phase I ESAs are performed in accordance with American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM Standard Practice fro Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, ASTM Standard E-1527-05. The purpose of this practice is in keeping with good commercial and customary practice in the United States of America for conducting an environmental site assessment of a parcel of commercial real estate with respect to the possible presence or absence of contaminants and regulated petroleum substances in connection with the subject property, within the scope of Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42U.S.C.§9601). As such, this practice is intended to assist the Client in the development of one of the requirements to qualify for the innocent landowner, contiguous property owner, or bona fide prospective purchaser limitations under CERCLA liability (hereinafter, the "landowner liability protections," or "LLPs")

A Phase I ESA identifies the presence or absence of recognized environmental conditions in connection with the subject property. The definition of a recognized environmental condition is the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release of regulated substance(s) into structures on the property, or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property. It does this by accomplishing due diligence by performing:

  1. A visual inspection of the property, including walking over the entire site, ideally with the owner/manager/user present to answer questions.
  2. A comprehensive photographic log.
  3. Interviews with the owner/manager/user of all adjacent properties.
  4. A thorough review of all "practically reviewable" records pertaining to the property and surrounding properties within ASTM radii.
  5. A comprehensive written report.

PHASE II ELEMENTS

Based on a properly executed Phase I report that identifies the presence of recognized environmental conditions, the Client may chose to perform a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. Our Phase II ESAs are performed in accordance with ASTM Guide for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process, ASTM Standard E-1903-97) or ASTM Standard Guided for Risk Based Corrective Action Applied at Petroleum Release Sites (ASTM E1739-95;2010ef). In Texas, our Phase II assessment process, where applicable, follows the Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP) practice as found in Title 30 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 350 (30 TAC § 350)

The Phase II Site Assessment includes:

  1. The sampling of potentially contaminated air, soil, groundwater and/or surface water using the recommendations of the Phase I report as a minimum guideline.
  2. A comprehensive written report detailing the rationale for the sampling that took place, the sampling protocols and procedures employed, an explanation of the analytical results, and, if necessary, a description of the recommended remedial action needed to restore the site to the appropriate condition for its intended use.

PHASE III ELEMENTS

Based on a properly executed Phase II report that identifies environmental conditions that are a risk to human health and the environment, Phase III Environmental Site Remedial Action may be warranted:

Such a response action may include:

  1. The design and implementation remedial action methods intended to mitigate or eliminate environmental risks to human health and the environment that were identified in the Phase II of the site.
  2. Development and submittal of all necessary reports and permits to achieve regulatory compliance for environmental site conditions identified in the Phase II.

FACTORS WHICH CAN AFFECT THE EXTENT OF AN ESA

In some cases, completion of Phase I may result in an ESA which is comprehensive enough to adequately assess environmental risks. For example, Phases II and III may not be necessary if available site information is adequate or if environmental risks are satisfactorily addressed by an indemnification.

If more than one phase is conducted, the phases would logically occur in a sequential fashion, with information obtained from each phase used to better define the scope of work in the next phase. However, the schedule for completing the real estate transaction may require that several phases be conducted simultaneously.

CONFIDENTIALITY

All Environmental Site Assessment reports are confidential and remains the property of the client. All Environmental Site Assessment reports are confidential and privileged if developed in anticipation of possible litigation. Accordingly, all parties involved in the performance and review of an ESA document must take appropriate steps to protect the unauthorized disclosure of confidential and/or privileged information.

The degree to which an ESA is conducted will vary according to the environmental concerns identified for each real estate transaction and the laws of the jurisdiction in which the site is located. However, all ESAs must be comprehensive enough so that environmental risks are properly identified to the degree called for by the client.

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