Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in New Jersey
Commercial real estate owners, prospective purchasers or renters, lenders, and asset managers should conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) before finalizing a property acquisition. Its objective is to evaluate the property’s present and previous use to determine if such actions impacted the soil or groundwater underneath the property. This will aid in identifying whether those activities threaten the environment or individuals’ health. Doing this evaluation concurrently with a commercial building inspection NJ helps to confirm adherence to the accepted property codes and safety requirements.
Like the property condition assessment NJ, a Phase I ESA is usually conducted at the lender’s request before granting funding. It may also be undertaken as part of real estate transactions, property redevelopment or rezoning, or as a lease arrangement. To obtain safeguards against environmental liabilities, a Phase I ESA must be conducted or updated180 days before the property purchase date. In addition, the assessment must be conducted by a qualified environmental specialist.
A Phase I ESA is essential to real estate dealings, notably for commercial transactions. It demonstrates the requestor’s thoroughness in identifying past or current property concerns. The assessment protects the user from liabilities and the landowner from future legal issues.
Environmental site evaluations can also provide evidence that can hold liable parties accountable for producing contamination. If detected and recorded at the time of the real estate transaction, buyers, lessors, and even lenders may be held accountable for owning, running, or financing facilities with environmental contamination. This is true even if the preceding owner created the contamination.
Although not required by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials), a Phase I ESA may include checking for suspected asbestos-containing materials (ACM), lead-based paint (LBP), mold development, and the potential presence of lead in drinking water.
A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment will be recommended if more site study is needed. A Phase II ESA often includes collecting subsurface samples of soil, groundwater, or soil vapor to identify pollutants of concern.
Check the infographic below from Lockatong Engineering to learn about Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in New Jersey.