Environmental Site Assessment

An Environmental site Assessment encompasses a set of reports to assess the contamination of a property or land.

It is commonly divided into 2 phases that first off assess the history of the land and property, and to visually inspect it.

The second part of the report involves conducting specific laboratory tests to spot the contamination and develop a concept for remedial action.

Environmental Site Assessment Phase 1

An Environmental Site Assessment Phase 1, sometimes referred to as ESA, is a report that identifies already existing or potential future contamination to sites which are a relevant concern for organizations involved in Property Transfer Evaluations (PTE) and developers involved in construction on undeveloped land.

The Environmental site Assessment phase 1 generally addresses the underlying land, also it addresses physical enhancements to the property.

While the particular sampling of soil, air, groundwater, and building materials is usually not undertaken throughout an Environmental site Assessment phase 1, the ESA phase 1 is usually thought of as the initial start in the process of environmental site assessment due diligence.

Once the Environmental site Assessment phase 1 is complete, an analysis will be conducted on the contamination levels.

If the site is considered contaminated, then an Environmental Site Assessment Phase 2 would then be conducted.

Generally, the Environmental Site Assessment phase 1 method will embrace gathering relevant information and conducting a visible, non-destructive, non-sampling site inspection.

This can include:

  • Performance of an on-site visit to look at the conditions
  • Evaluation of the risks of neighboring properties upon the subject property
  • Interview of persons with data concerning the property history (including past owners, key managers, tenants, neighbors etc.)
  • Examining municipal or provincial planning files to check the prior land usage permits that were granted on the property
  • Visual inspection for:
    • Asbestos Containing Building Materials
    • Lead Based Paints
    • Lead in Drinking Water supplies
    • Mold / Mildew
    • Radon
    • Mercury Poisoning etc.

Environmental Site Assessment Phase 2

Using the recommendations provided within the Environmental site Assessment phase 1 that a contamination exists on the selected site, an Environmental site Assessment phase 2 can be conducted to further study the contamination.

The Environmental Site Assessment phase 2 focuses on researching specific information needed concerning the specific property and land, and can include the sampling of:

  • Sediment
  • Ground and surface water
  • Surface and subsurface soil
  • Soil vapour

In addition, the tasks of the Environmental site Assessment phase 2 will embody the top of and underground tank content testing, asbestos containing material (ACM) sampling, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) identification and sampling, and geomagnetic or geophysical surveys.

When undertaking an Environmental Site Assessment Phase 2, our teams will specifically measure conditions such as noise levels as well as radiation.

Using environmental fate and transportation models, our teams can examine and report the potential movement of the contamination across the site.

The results of the Environmental Site Assessment phase 2 report can help to define the data gathered by the investigative team.

This will also include laboratory results and it will determine if the conditions or events at the affected site are or are likely to cause, adverse effects in the future and will require notification to the appropriate regulatory authority.

Together, the Environmental Site Assessment Phase 1 and Phase 2 allow for the complete examination of contamination, and they include a plan for the steps that can be taken to mitigate the situation.