Intro to Phase I Phase II and Phase III ESA
While purchasing, financing, or renovating a commercial, industrial or multi-unit residential property environmental site assessment will likely be required by your lender. It is important to note that environmental site assessment or preliminary site investigations are a crucial part of your due diligence process. It is an essential tool that helps you identify the presence of contamination which can be detrimental to your property. The main types of contaminants are hydrocarbons and metals which cause soil and groundwater contamination. Others include asbestos, lead, or mold which are present in building products.
There are three stages to ESAs which are Phase I, II, and III which are in succession
Phase I: The purpose of a Phase I ESA is to predict the presence of contamination based on records review, interview, site visit/reconnaissance and lastly evaluation or analysis that is presented as a report. This process uses non-intrusive methods to measure the likelihood of contamination. If contamination is suspected, then a Phase II ESA is recommended.
Phase II: A Phase II ESA occurs after contamination has been suspected. This process involves an intrusive approach where boreholes and monitoring wells are drilled to collect soil and groundwater samples respectively. These samples are then sent to labs to test for the presence of hydrocarbons, metals, and other contaminants. The results are then compared to residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural regulation limits established by the federal and provincial governments. If the limits are exceeded, then a Phase III ESA or an Environmental Remediation Plan must be developed. A Phase II ESA is usually two or three times the cost of Phase I due to the amount of time and resources spent on it. Where Phase I can take 2-4 weeks, a Phase II ESA takes more than a month.
Phase III: After the presence and type of contamination are found, an environmental remediation plan has to be developed. Once all parties are in agreeance on the steps moving forward, remediation is conducted by removing the pollutant or contaminant from usually either soil or groundwater sources. Tests are carried out until no contamination exists or is controlled according to the appropriate standards and regulations. This step is definitely the most time-consuming and expensive of the three phases but, rightfully so. So, you might wonder why even do remediation.
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Here are the top five benefits of remediation:
- Human health
Hazardous substances such as soil and water can negatively impact human health. Remediation protects the well-being of human health of all residents and employees in the area by reducing pollution. The impacts carry on and can protect the health of all future employees and residents. Ignoring the contaminants can lead to a variety of illnesses and injuries. Seriously, environmental contamination can lead to a higher rate of diseases such as cancer, breathing issues, development problems etc.
Like human health, remediation directly improves the environmental state of the land that exists. When a piece of land is contaminated, the main goal of environmental remediation is to return it to its previously healthy condition so that it can be used safely moving forward without harming anybody or anything. Usually, the presence of metal or hydrocarbon contamination in the soil or water can harm animals, plant growth, and even bacteria. It affects the life cycle of the environment by harming organic matter and preventing decomposition.
As we all know, reputation is a huge part of owning a business. Performing environmental remediation can largely improve your reputation. It shows that you value the community that you’re a part of since you’re prioritizing their safety. From the perspective of a stakeholder, this in turn boosts business and brings in more customers which then reaps benefits such as profits. However, a common problem with businesses is waste disposal. Depending on the type of business, the amount of waste generated must be managed because it is more expensive to dispose of it. Therefore, hiring the right environmental remediation company is crucial. The right type of remediation must be conducted to save as much as possible.
- Compliance and Regulation
When contamination is found, environmental remediation is required to maintain compliance with environmental laws. It is the duty of all businesses to comply with these regulations. By hiring professional environmental remediation services, you can ensure you are following the letter of the law. This also allows businesses to create meaningful relationships with environmental officials.
- Expert Insight
Environmental remediation requires expert insight into the process. A team of various groups with different skill sets is required to even plan the remediation, let alone carry it out. It refines your decision-making skills as you have to go through the process of picking the right company for your remediation needs. Once you’ve teamed up with a remediation company, it is easy to gain optimal results as the work will be completed by trained experts. This will help save costs and prevent any future issues.
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Also Read:What is Soil Remediation?
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