Environmental Site Assessments - Due Diligence

Buyers of real estate (including ground lessees), may want to include a Phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) as part of their due diligence before buying real estate if there is any chance that the site was used as a gasoline station, recycling facility, manufacturing facility, landfill, dry cleaners, or a site that stored or contained asbestos, heavy metals such as lead, paints, pesticides, petroleum, solvents, septic tanks, or storage tanks.

A Phase I ESA is generally considered the first step in the process of environmental due diligence. It consists of a written report that addresses both the land and building, identifying potential or existing environmental liabilities. It does not include the sampling and testing of the soil, air, groundwater, or building materials. If a building or site is considered contaminated, a Phase II ESA should be conducted.


Soil Boring Tests

The most common reasons for conducting soil boring tests include: (1) When a building permit is needed for construction , and (2) when purchasing or selling land. In order for sellers to disclose environmental conditions, they can conduct soil borings and testing in order to avoid potential liability. Likewise, a buyer can be assured their land acquisition does not involve toxic soil.



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