Phase I: Environmental Site Assessments

Phase I - Environmental Site Assessments

Because of prevailing legal interpretations of the minimum due diligence necessary for the “innocent landowner” defense under CERCLA, environmental site assessments have become imperative for property owners/potential buyers and lending institutions, who must undertake “All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) into the previous ownership and uses of the property, consistent with good commercial or customary practice.” Without this level of due diligence, a purchaser can become liable for cleanup costs. The best tool for evaluating environmental issues on a property and/or neighboring site(s) is an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).

At a minimum, PINNACLE follows industry-recognized standards for performing Phase I ESAs as established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). However, an assessment can be tailored to address client needs. Further assessment can be conducted to comply with the requirements of a particular lender; the age, location, or use of the site; or the intended future site usage.

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PINNACLE conducts Phase I ESAs for both residential and commercial/industrial properties.

Assessments include, but are not limited to:

  • Review of available historical records, aerial photographs, city directories, and reports on the site geology and hydrogeology;
  • Review of government agency files on past and present site activities, as well as neighboring site activities;
  • A site reconnaissance survey, with specific emphasis on the identification of “recognized environmental concerns” (RECs);
  • Review of any previously performed environmental reports and studies;
  • Interviews with neighbors, past owners, and tenants; and,
  • A comprehensive report of PINNACLE’s findings and recommendations.