Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment, ESA Environment

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are the most commonly used form of environmental due diligence, both for lending institutions and their borrowers. A Phase I ESA for commercial properties can be initiated for the following circumstances:

  • Purchase of a property by a person or entity not previously on title;
  • Contemplation by a new lender to provide a loan on the property;
  • Partnership buyout or principal redistribution of ownership;
  • Application to a public agency for change of use or other discretionary land use permit;
  • Existing property owner’s desire to understand toxic history of the property;
  • Compulsion by a regulatory agency who suspects toxic conditions on the site; and
  • Divestiture of properties.

Actual sampling of soil, air, groundwater and/or building materials is not conducted during a Phase I ESA.

JADA Solutions (HSE) Inc. methodologies are based on the standardized and generally agreed upon procedures of the Canadian Standard Association (CSA) Z768-01 (R2012) – Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment. Using the CSA standard guarantees the appropriate combination of formal education, skill, experience and training to provide a technically sound Phase 1 ESA.

The CSA’s principal components of a Phase I ESA are as follows:

Government records provide information kept in municipal archives and engineering departments can include drawings, city planning documents, public work projects, heritage property information and general municipal historical documents.

Historical reviews reveal potential environmental concerns relating activities that took place on-site and surrounding areas from the date of first development up until the present.

Aerial photographs provide a visual historical progression of a site and surroundings. Aerial photographs typically show physical structures such as buildings, aboveground storage tanks, fuel pumps, quarries, landfills, excavations, bodies of water.

Interviews with the landowner are essential to obtain information on the environmental characteristics of the site.

The objective of the Site Visit is to obtain information indicating the likelihood of identifying recognized environmental conditions in connection with the property adjoining properties.

Formalized report based on the CSA reporting structure including recommendations based on findings.

Once a Phase 1 is completed it may be necessary to complete a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment.