Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs)
Using common industry standards of care (ASTM), our environmental assessment personnel review the historical land use activities of a given property for the purpose of evaluating the possibility that past uses have environmentally impacted the property. Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) associated with a parcel's current or planned use are key determining factors that can impact a property investment. We directly assist any client with business environmental risks because this potential risk category can have an unexpected material cost impact on a business enterprise.
Phase I ESAs
Phase I ESAs are a core component of McGinley's environmental due diligence services. Our personnel has collectively performed thousands of Phase I ESAs and Transaction Screen Assessments for commercial real estate throughout Nevada, California, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, and New Mexico. Sites assessed have included industrial and manufacturing facilities, office buildings, retail plazas, automotive service and gasoline stations, dry cleaners, multi-family communities, agricultural properties, telecommunications leases, and raw land. Our Phase I ESAs are conducted in accordance with the most up-to-date guidelines developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM Phase I Standard E1527-21) to identify recognized environmental conditions, satisfy the All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) and Landowner Liability Protections (LLPs) requirements, while catering to individual client and lender requirements such as the evaluation of Business Environmental Risks.
Our Phase I ESA services include the following:
- Transaction Screen Assessments (TSA)
- Environmental Transaction Screens (ETS)
- Customized Limited or Desktop Environmental Assessments
- Business Environmental Risk Evaluations (Asbestos, Lead Paint, Radon, Mold)
- Vapor Encroachment Screens (VES)
The typical Phase I ESA includes the following scope of work and procedures:
- Site reconnaissance of the Subject Property and observation of adjoining properties and vicinity by a qualified person under the direct supervision of a McGinley Certified Environmental Manager;
- Environmental setting review to determine potential pathways for the migration of contaminants, including solids and liquids at the surface or subsurface and vapor in the subsurface;
- Review of site history/land use through city directory listings, historical aerial photographs, historical topographic maps, local jurisdiction records, and personal interviews/questionnaires;
- Review of regulatory agency records to identify and assess any listings of regulatory permits, registrations, or enforcement actions at the Subject Property, adjoining properties, or proximal sites (if necessary), through both a commercial database search and agency inquiries; and,
- Preparation of the report that describes all work performed and discusses the findings and conclusions.
Phase II ESAs - Soil and Groundwater Investigations
Assessment of environmental impacts has become a reality for companies whose facilities, operations, or products intersect with the physical world. Environmental site characterization and Phase II ESAs are often conducted to determine whether environmental impacts to real property have occurred or to characterize and delineate such impacts. Environmental site characterization studies are often a legal necessity and generally occur during real estate transactions or following an event that caused impacts that can only be fully understood by conducting a proper environmental investigation.
In many instances, Phase II ESAs are conducted following the identification of a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) in a Phase I ESA conducted on the property. The purpose of a Phase II ESA is to evaluate the presence (or absence) of petroleum products, heavy metals, chemicals, or other hazardous substances on a site. Although most Phase II ESAs are conducted in accordance with the ASTM E1903 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process, designing and implementing the scope of each investigation requires highly trained and experienced professionals that understand site conditions and how to satisfy regulatory compliance.
Environmental investigations for soil and groundwater are often common on sites where known or perceived contamination exists. These investigations involve various assessment methods and typically require environmental drilling to obtain subsurface soil and groundwater samples. Thorough assessment and analysis are critical when making recommendations and helping owners, buyers, and agencies understand liabilities and business risks.
One of the most common mistakes we see when conducting environmental site investigations is hiring a consultant that lacks an understanding of site characteristics, local regulations, and existing regional environmental issues. Hiring the wrong team to complete this work can result in incomplete assessments and misguided recommendations that ultimately result in additional expenses and failed transactions.
Our team of licensed environmental professionals has the experience and knowledge to develop the most appropriate scope for every investigation. Before a scope of work is designed, we gather an understanding of the site variables that will ultimately determine how the investigation is completed and the cost of the job. These variables include contaminant sources, chemicals of concern, geologic conditions, and groundwater depth/flow. It takes an experienced firm like McGinley to know how to effectively take these variables and conduct a cost-efficient and satisfactory investigation. This experience is attributed to our performance of thousands of environmental site characterization studies on a variety of industrial and commercial properties across the West.
Our Phase II ESA services include the following:
- Environmental Drilling
- Soil/Groundwater Analytical Testing
- Soil Sample Collection
- Soil Gas Surveys
- Surface and Source Water Sampling
- Groundwater Sample Collection
- Groundwater Monitoring Wells Installation and Sampling
- Aquifer Testing
- Groundwater Transport Modeling
- Health and Safety Plans (HASP)
- Utility clearance (USA Dig Alert)
- Waste Characterization
- Regulatory Reporting and Compliance
- Third-Party Review