The PanTerra Group

environmental consultants


Environmental Site Assessments

As a direct result of the past inadequate management of hazardous and toxic materials, the potential presence of contamination in soil, groundwater and buildings has become a major concern in real estate transactions. In order to minimize future risk to the buyer, seller, financial institutions, and other involved parties, an assessment of the property is made to determine if it has been environmentally impaired. The PanTerra Group follows the standard phased approach to perform an assessment for a given site, with each successive phase serving to further reduce the innate uncertainties in the evaluation process.

Since site characteristics, client needs, and local regulations vary greatly, we adjust the specific scope of work to address the situation and meet our clients’ needs. To properly differentiate between the various levels of environmental site assessments and remediation activities, one may need to understand the considerations behind the necessity of conducting environmental site assessments.

Requiring an ESA is not only advantageous for the purchaser, but also has positive implications for the seller as well. Primarily, the seller may wish to define site conditions so as to protect against future joint and several liability claims. In addition, a property which has been shown to have a low likelihood of environmental impairment may command a higher price and can even used as a bargaining tool.

The performance of each phase is not necessarily required for every property transaction. Thus, if a Phase I ESA is conducted and there is no significant evidence of prior contamination or violation of environmental regulations, there is no need to proceed to Phase II. However, certain real estate transactions will inherently require a Phase II ESA, especially when the likelihood of contamination is high, where one or more parties are environmentally sophisticated, or where past activities on the site are not normally considered environmentally benign. The generalized scope of work for each phase is briefly discussed below. Click on the following links to view explanations of ESAs.

 

 

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