Environmental due diligence is a critical component of commercial real estate acquisition, development, financing, leasing, restructuring and sale transactions, corporate mergers, and business expansion where the potential for environmental risks exist. We provide environmental due diligence support services to commercial and residential developers, property management companies, real estate investment trusts, Brownfield developers, financial institutions, law firms, and governmental agencies. Our services are specifically tailored to help our clients identify, understand, and manage risks associated with environmental liabilities.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is generally considered the first step in the environmental due diligence process. Our Phase I Environmental Site Assessments meet the US Environmental Protection Agency's All Appropriate Inquries Standard (40 CFR 312) and the associated ASTM 1527-13 standard. The following activities are considered to be within the scope of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment:
- Performance of a site reconnaissance visit to view present environmental conditions, catalog the presence of hazardous substances or petroleum products, and evaluate the potential for environmental liabilities from neighboring properties.
- Interviews with persons knowledgable of the property history (present owner, past owners, present tenants, neighbors, state and local environmental regulators).
- Review municipal and county planning records to evaluate prior land usage and permits granted.
- Review historical aerial photography and Sanborn maps of the vicinity to evaluate historical site activities.
- Search local, state, and federal environmental records relating to the site and neighboring properties.
- Examine chain-of-title for environmental liens and land-use limitations.
- Review provided reports and documents.
- Prepare a report that presents the findings of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessments
When a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment indicates the likelihood of site contamination, a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is undertaken to evaluate known releases and/or likely release areas and to evaluate the presence or likely presence of environmental contaminants. Our Phase II Environmental Site Assessments meet the ASTM E1903-11 standard and can include the following scope of work:
- Analysis of soil, soil vapor, and groundwater for petroleum hydrocarbons and solvents.
- Analysis of surficial soils for pesticides and agricultural-related heavy metals (lead, arsenic, and mercury).
- Analysis of building materials for asbestos, lead, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
- Analysis for site-specific contaminants of concern (PCBs, metals, dioxins/furans, etc.).
- Prepare a report that presents the findings of the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment and provides recommendations to the client.
Third Party Peer Review
During the due diligence period of a real estate transaction, it is the responsibility of the buyer to thoroughly investigate the property. During this time, the buyer may be presented with Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments and other environmental records that may be complex to analyze. We provide the buyer with an independent third party peer review of these environmental documents and clearly communicate to the buyer the potential environmental liabilities associated with the property. We understand the strict time constraints of the due diligence period and are highly responsive to working within the buyer's schedule.