Environmental Site Assessments

Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are regularly requested by our clients when they are taking into consideration buying, mortgaging, valuing, or selling their property. CommTank works closely with owners or their agents prior the purchase or sale of a property to assure that potential environmental problems and considerations are well understood.

The ESA is also known as a "21E report". This term is used because the Massachusetts General Law Chapter 21E covers the cleanup of oil and hazardous materials in soil and groundwater. Contaminated properties regulated under this law are often called “21E sites”. Banks require ESA's as part of the commercial loan application process. Lenders need to know if there are environmental liabilities that could interfere with taking title to a property through foreclosure, or what impact a cleanup may have on cash flow of the borrower.

Our assessments adhere to these ASTM standards for site investigations:

  • ASTM E-1527-00 -"Phase I Site Assessment Process"
  • ASTM E1903–11 – “Phase II Site Assessment Process”

The Phase I assessment may include:

  1. Examination of any chemical residues within structures
  2. Identification of possible asbestos building materials
  3. Inventory of hazardous substances stored or used on site
  4. Assessment of mold and mildew
  5. Evaluation of other indoor air quality parameters

This Phase II assessment is used to evaluate the presence or likely presence of a substance. It typically requires taking of soil, air, or groundwater samples within an area that was used for fuel or chemical storage. Samples can also be taken from different quadrants to provide an equal representation of the site.

Under ASTM E 1527-05 parameters were set forth as to who is qualified to perform Phase I ESAs. The new parameter defined an Environmental Professional as someone with

  1. A current Professional Engineer's or Professional Geologist's license or registration from a state or U.S. territorywith 3 years equivalent full-time experience;
  2. Have a Baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher education in a discipline of engineering or science and 5 years equivalent full-time experience; or
  3. Have the equivalent of 10 years full-time experience.

A person not meeting one or more of those qualifications may assist in the conduct of a Phase I ESA if the individual is under the supervision or responsible charge of a person meeting the definition of an Environmental Professional when concluding such activities.

It's important to hire a company that has industry experience when it comes to hazardous material handling and cleanups. Without this background it can be difficult to spot potential areas of concerns. It's also imperative that the engineer understands the characteristics of chemical releases and migration of these chemicals. At CommTank, we have 20-years of industry experience in both the storage and cleanup of hazardous materials. You can trust that we will provide a thorough investigation and report of the property you are purchasing or selling.