Purchasing or developing property? Make sure your Phase I ESA shelf life doesn’t run out.

Much like a property title or lien search, an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) has become a standard part of the due diligence conducted before real estate transactions, property development, and a host of other transactions. An ASTM Phase I ESA:

  • Assesses the site’s environmental status, identifying any existing or potential environmental concerns that may impact the value of the site
  • Aids in obtaining financing
  • Helps in securing an “innocent land owner” exemption once the site is acquired

The ASTM Phase I identifies whether Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) that warrant further investigation are present at a site.

Be aware. If you are a developer or are purchasing a property, it’s important to remember that the ASTM Phase I Report that is issued following the ESA has a limited shelf life, after which it is no longer valid:

  • A Phase I ESA completed less than 180 days prior to the date of acquisition of the property is presumed to be valid
  • A Phase I ESA completed between 180 days and one year prior to the date may be used, but will require some significant updating, including:
    • Interviewing of the property owners, operators, and occupants
    • A search for recorded environmental cleanup liens
    • Review of federal, tribal, state, and local government records
    • The conducting of another inspection of the property and of adjoining properties
    • A declaration by the environmental professional responsible for the assessment or the update
  • A Phase I ESA that is more than one year old is presumed to be no longer valid

Brennan Environmental, Inc. (BEI) provides comprehensive due diligence services, including performing ASTM Phase I ESAs and updating an existing ASTM Phase I Report. For more information, please call us at 908-918-1702 or click here.