Why environmental assessments are so vital(finished)
Why EnvironmentalAssessments Are So Vital
When purchasing a commercialproperty you have to think aboutthe environmental aspects of thesite. Contaminants can enter thesoil via careless waste disposal, accidentalspills, historical contamination and mismanagementof hazardous wastes. Environmental siteassessments should be an integral part of the duediligence package undertaken in order to assess theviability of a commercial site. It’s a necessary stepto protect your investment in the property.
There are serious concerns aboutenvironmental contaminants asthey can cause acute, long-termhealth effects. They can also createsafety hazards and havedetrimental effects on local plant and animalpopulations. As a result of these very seriousissues, more individuals and corporations are beingcharged and convicted of offenses related to sitecontamination. In addition, there is also theinherent expense associated with the cleanup of acontaminated site to consider when purchasingone.
An environmental site assessment (ESA) is partof the solution to problems associated withenvironmental contaminants. The assessmentsare done by experts to determine if a site iscontaminated. A comprehensive ESA shouldidentify the extent of any contamination on aspecific site.
The assessment consists of threedistinct phases:
Phase 1 is a preliminary evaluation designed toidentify sources of actual or potentialcontamination. The collection process involvesresearch about the site, a siteinspection, interviews and a written report. Thisprocess is often termed a “preliminary risksurvey,” as there is no invasive testing conductedto determine the extent of any contamination.
Phase 2 is a more in-depth assessment of the siteand should be completed if Phase 1 reveals anyevidence that suggests the site has beencontaminated. The purpose of the Phase 2assessment is to confirm the presence and type ofcontaminants at the site. The assessment makesuse of various measuring, sampling and analyzingtechniques in order to determine thelocation, depth and extent of any sitecontamination. Some intrusive techniques such asdrilling and groundwater monitoring are doneduring this assessment phase. A Phase 2assessment is substantially more expensive than is aPhase 1 assessment.
Phase 1 and 2 assessments are important stepstoward any remedial processes that are requiredto deal with contaminants. Phase 3 is theinvestigative process to determine the feasiblefollow-up approaches to dealing withunacceptable levels of contaminates. Remedialinvestigations are site-specific and can betailored to contamination found in the Phase 2assessments. From a purchase standpoint, thisthird and final assessment phase will determinethe viability of the site by identifying the cost toremediate the contamination.
With heightened awareness surrounding theenvironment, an ESA is essential to ensure thatyou’re protecting your investment in anycommercial property. Failing to assess theenvironmental impacts could have costlyconsequences, such as fines, jail time and havingto deal with the costs associated with remediationof any contamination.