A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is an investigation conducted on a property to identify potential or existing environmental contamination liabilities. The assessment is conducted in accordance with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z768-01 and is generally accepted as the industry standard in Canada.
The primary purpose of a Phase 1 ESA is to protect all parties involved in a property transaction by identifying any potential environmental concerns prior to the completion of the transaction. A Phase 1 ESA is typically undertaken when a property is being sold, leased, or financed, and is often a condition of financing. In some cases, a Phase 1 ESA may also be requested by a municipality when a property owner applies for rezoning or a building permit.
What Does a Phase 1 ESA Include?
A Phase 1 ESA includes three main components:
1. A site reconnaissance
This involves a visual inspection of the property and surroundings to identify any obvious signs of contamination, such as spills or staining on the ground. The site reconnaissance may also include interviewing the current property owner and occupants to gather information about any past uses of the property that could have resulted in contamination.
2. Reviews of historical documents
This involves review of historical aerial photographs, fire insurance plans, city directories, and other records to identify any past activities on or near the property that could have resulted in contamination. These records can also provide information about any former business or buildings on the property that may no longer be there.
3. Research of government databases
This involves searching government databases for information about environmental incidents, clean-up sites, landfill sites, and toxic waste sites in the area. These databases can also provide information about any permits that have been issued for past activities on the property that could have resulted in contamination.
Once all this information has been gathered and reviewed, it is used to prepare a report that includes a summary of findings and recommendations for further investigation (if necessary).
Who Can Conduct Phase 1 ESA?
In order to ensure that a Phase 1 ESA is conducted properly, it is important to use the services of a qualified environmental professional (QEP). Azure Group is a top recognized Environmental Engineering & Consulting Firm in Mississauga and Toronto that offers Phase 1 ESA services. We have a team of experienced and certified professionals who can help you with all aspects of your Phase 1 ESA, from site reconnaissance to government database research.
How long does it take to complete a Phase 1 ESA?
The length of time it takes to complete a Phase 1 ESA depends on the size and complexity of the property, as well as the availability of information. In most cases, a Phase 1 ESA can be completed within two to four weeks.
What are the next steps after a Phase 1 ESA is completed?
Depending on the findings of the Phase 1 ESA, there may be a need for further investigation, which typically takes the form of a Phase 2 ESA. A Phase 2 ESA is conducted to gather more information about potential contamination on a property and can involve soil and groundwater sampling, as well as indoor air quality testing.
A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is an important due diligence tool that should be considered whenever you are planning to buy, lease, finance, or redevelop a land. The assessment will help identify any potential environmental contamination concerns so that they can be addressed before the transaction is completed.