10 Reasons to Conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment

            A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA I) is an investigation into the past and current uses of a commercial or industrial property. Phase I ESAs are an important protection from legal liability when purchasing a property with environmental contamination.  Consequentially, Phase I ESAs are critical in commercial and industrial real estate transactions. 

If a commercial or industrial property is purchased without a Phase I ESA and the property has environmental problems, the new owner will become responsible for those problems. It is important to remember that remediating and managing environmental problems can be costly and complicated.


There are 10 important reasons to conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.                                

  1. You are the purchaser of the property and you are not previously on the title.
  2. You are a lender contemplating providing a loan on the property.
  3. You are refinancing the property.
  4. You are part of a partnership buyout or principal redistribution of ownership.
  5. You have an application to a public agency for change of use or other discretionary land use permit.
  6. You are the existing property owner and you want to understand any toxic history of the property.
  7. You have been ordered by a regulatory agency who suspects toxic conditions on the site, to perform the study.
  8. You are selling the property
  9. You are planning on leasing or renting the property
  10.  You are seeking federal grant money for development of the property

Remember the basics, Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are an investigation into the current and past uses of a property in an attempt to identify any environmental problems.  If a Recognized Environmental Condition is found, typically a Phase II Environmental Assessment is required to determine the extent. A Phase III Environmental Assessment consist of the actual remediation to eliminate or reduce the environmental risk.

Also, Phase I Environmental Assessments do not evaluate asbestos hazards, lead-based paint hazards, or mold issues associated with the property. These are additional services provided by an environmental consultant.  It is helpful to have these studies completed before purchasing the property since once the property is purchased these problems become the new owner’s liability.


For help with Commercial Real Estate ESAs in Dayton and Southwest Ohio, please contact us today for a free quote.