What Is a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment?

If you’re planning to buy a property that has previously been used for commercial purposes, you may be hearing about Phase 1 Environmental Assessments. What is a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment? It’s a valuable tool that can help you to understand and identify potential contamination that might exist on the property.

What Is a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment?

A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment is an assessment on a property (downtown lofts, for example) that has previously been or is currently being used as a commercial property. The assessment is intended to determine whether the property may be contaminated from its use. A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment is designed to identify common significant issues like soil contamination, water quality, mold, lead-based paint, and the presence of asbestos in the buildings.

The assessment is rather involved and is often conducted by environmental scientists. It can take some time to complete and compile the results, so an assessment is not a last-minute action. A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment helps to paint a more detailed and accurate picture of the conditions – hazardous or not – in a commercial property.

What Is Included In a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment?

A Phase 1 Environmental Assessment is a detailed assessment of a commercial property. Generally the assessment consists of an on-site review to assess the property’s current condition. The assessor may interview the past owner of the property, neighbors, and the property manager to gain additional information about potential contaminants and hazards. This information will be compared with any records available on the property, such as those filed by the local health department.

If a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment identifies that the site is contaminated, then a Phase 2 assessment, in which the site is tested for contaminants, may be necessary.

When Is a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment Necessary?

There are a number of circumstances that may necessitate a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment, but an assessment is most commonly instituted when a commercial property is to be purchased by a new party. In some cases, an assessment may be called for when the business’s ownership changes hands, a new lender assumes an existing loan on a property, or when the property’s owner wants to better understand the property’s history.

What is a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment? It’s a necessary step when commercial property is purchased or sold, and it can leave buyers better informed about the situation they are entering by buying a particular property.

What Are Environmental Compliance Audits?

Have you ever heard of an environmental compliance audit? If you’re a business owner or property owner, you may have heard the term, but what are environmental compliance audits, exactly?

What Are Environmental Compliance Audits?

Environmental compliance audits are audits designed for specific companies or sites by environmental consulting firms. These audits are created with the intention of determining the company’s compliance with legal regulations. During an audit, a business or site (such as a student housing facility) is carefully examined to make sure that it meets any necessary environmental regulations. These regulations may have to do with how the site or business affects the air and water supplies, and how it handles waste disposal.

When an environmental compliance audit is conducted, the site or business needs to meet legal regulations. The regulations can include federal and state regulations, along with local permits and codes. For instance, a business may be audited for its adherence to the standards set out in the Clean Air Act.

Environmental compliance audits may be conducted with attention to all regulations, or there may be a focus on a pre-determined regulation, such as studying the kind of commercial laundry equipment a business uses and whether it meets environmental guidelines.

How Is an Environmental Compliance Audit Conducted?

Environmental compliance audits are offered by a wide variety of programs. Companies can hire an auditor to conduct an environmental compliance audit to identify potential issues that need to be resolved before they become significant and more expensive to fix.

When it comes to actually conducting an environmental compliance audit, there is no one standard method. Since there is no regulatory checklist or unified certification program to be completed, each individual auditor may take a different approach, resulting in different degrees of thoroughness and detail.

Why Conduct an Environmental Compliance Audit?

Business owners may choose to conduct an audit so that they can better understand how their business meets or fails to adhere to legal requirements. A business which does not adhere to laws and permits can face costly fines, and if a business owner is unaware that there is a problem, he or she may be blindsided by fines and the cost of fixing the problem later on. Environmental compliance audits can be a good way to check up on a business or site’s progress and overall operating methods. These audits can provide valuable information, empowering a business owner to fix issues that they might not otherwise know about.

What are environmental compliance audits? Rather than something to be feared, these audits are a valuable tool that can help business owners ensure their operations are up to speed.