Risks are real – there is no way of eliminating them. However, risks can be managed by relying on a qualified firm like Pyramid to perform an Environmental Site Assessment or Phase I assessment.
The technical aspects of a Phase I usually are pursued in stages with each step being based on information obtained from the one before. The initial stage of Phase I is commonly comprised of a historical review of the site. Typical tasks associated with a historical review might include, among others:
- Reviewing public documents to chronicle site ownership for the past 30, 40 or more years
- Looking into the site’s regulatory history to learn about permits granted or citations issued
- Determining prior uses of the site and those adjacent to it
- Reviewing available topographic and real estate maps, historic aerial photos, geologic information and hydrologic data
- Reviewing readily available published information about surface and subsurface conditions
- Interviewing public officials with respect to local concerns
Following the historical review, we perform a site reconnaissance. This means “walking” the site, using any current maps, aerial photos, or development plans available. Particular concerns include ground stains, trash, landfills, depressions, and evidence of any below-grade tanks or other potential contaminant sources. In those instances where some type of contaminant is suspected, additional sampling including soil and groundwater analysis can be performed to expedite the transaction process.