Our engineers get asked the question, “when does a Phase I ESA expire?” all the time. If you’ve googled this question, you probably know the answer already: after six months, a Phase I ESA needs to be updated, and after one year, a Phase I ESA can no longer be used.
You might be wondering, why does a Phase I ESA “expire” so quickly?
The long and the short of that question is this: just like everything, property conditions change. The property adjacent to the one in question that used to be a hair salon is now a dry cleaner facility, a nearby gas station which had previously been “clean” is now under investigation for their leaky underground storage tanks, or hazardous material at the property that was previously handled properly has since been spilled, creating an REC.
Now, we know it can be frustrating to have to conduct a Phase I ESA on a relatively frequent basis when it doesn’t appear that anything on the property has changed.
However, we think about Phase I ESA “expiration” differently.
It might seem as though Phase I ESAs are just another process to check off of your long list of things to do before buying a property, but if you’re investing your time, energy, and future into a property, Phase I ESAs are a great opportunity to get to know the property better. After all, it’s a lot less expensive to conduct an investigation or further testing on the property before any investments have been made.