Phase 1 & Phase 2 Property Assessment

Let Seneca help you make a sound commercial property investment with an Environmental Site Assessment.

A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is another due diligence tool which enables investors, lenders, brokers and attorneys to better assess commercial real estate liabilities.

Reasons for conducting a Phase 1 ESA

  • Many lending institutions and the Small Business Association (SBA) require an environmental site assessment prior to approving financing or refinancing. 
  • Phase I ESAs are conducted utilizing a standard practice governed by ASTM (ASTM E 1527) and USEPA rules for All Appropriate Inquiry, 40 CFR Subpart C – Standards and Practices, §§312.20 through 312.31.
  • Phase I ESAs are the industry standard.
  • Phase I ESAs are the only method regarded as meeting due diligence requirements for a landowner liability defense if seeking protection under the Comprehensive Environmental Resource Liability Act (CERCLA).
  • Determining whether any immediate actions at the subject property are necessary to comply with existing environmental laws and regulations.
  • Assistance in evaluating the legal and financial liabilities associated with the subject property.
  • Assistance in evaluating the subject property’s overall development potential.

Assessments include:

All of Seneca’s ESAs include the four main components of a Phase I ESA as set forth in the most current ASTM E 1527 standard.

  • Records reviews, such as governmental databases, historical photographs and maps.
  • Site reconnaissance to visually identify potential risks.
  • Interviews with past and present owners, operators, occupants, as well as governmental officials.
  • Fully inclusive report.

P_ Leaking drum and plume, center of prop, looking SEPotential risks:

Examples of potential risks that may be identified either through document research, visual observation or interviews include:

  • Underground or aboveground storage tanks and associated piping systems.
  • Evidence of current or historical dry-cleaning activities.
  • Improper handling or storage of hazardous materials.
  • Evidence of a spill, or release of hazardous materials (no secondary containment for tanks or barrels, stained surfaces, stressed or dead vegetation, etc.) and accumulated refuse or abandoned landfills.
Phase 2 ESA Recommendations

Seneca can also make recommendations for conducting Phase II ESAs (ASTM E1903) based on the conclusions of the initial Phase I ESA. Phase II ESAs are carefully and prudently tailored, using state-of-the-art engineering techniques and procedures to address the specific findings discovered during the Phase I.

If the conditions identified during the Phase I ESA are confirmed above regulatory levels during the Phase II ESA, Seneca can work with regulators and responsible parties to provide solutions. These solutions may include:

  • Traditional removal and disposal methodologies.
  • Venting.
  • Bioremediation.
  • Other in-place treatment techniques.

The scope of the remediation plan is determined based on individual client needs, available on-site resources and specific site conditions.

Learn more about landowner liability protections at