There are plenty of things that determine the quality of an environmental site assessment: but the expertise; diligence and experience of the assessor conducting the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is arguably the most important.
I recently wrote a blog that explores the fundamental pillars of the ESA process that contribute to the level of quality in a report, and offers a helpful checklist for what to look for when selecting the right due diligence firm and assessor to perform your Phase I ESA.
In short, the assessor must be able to take into account context – such as the type of transaction, the client’s risk tolerance, the intended purpose of the subject site etc – to create a valuable report. Any environmental conditions (such as Recognized Environmental Conditions [REC]; Historical Recognized Environmental Conditions [HREC], or Controlled Recognized Environmental Conditions [CREC]) must be thoroughly researched and analyzed, and accurately reported. The Environmental Professional must have extensive knowledge of all applicable regulations (such as the recently updated ASTM E1527-13 standard), and be able to appropriately interpret and effectively communicate data and make recommendations to the client. Lack of experience on the assessor’s part will result in a Phase I ESA report that is less than useful.
To read in more detail red flags and things to look out for when selecting the right environmental consultant who will be able to deliver the Phase I ESA report you can rely on to accurately and reliably evaluate the environmental liability associated with your real estate asset, check out my full blog here.