What is a Phase I ESA?A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is an environmental report that documents the history of a property. Engineers conduct Phase I ESAs on all types of property, including residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural properties. They’re even conducted on undeveloped lands. The report, conducted by an environmental firm, examines the history of the site down to its earliest available records. In a Phase I ESA, the firm conducting the examination is looking for any “high-risk uses” of the property or adjacent properties that might contribute to a REC on the property in question. An REC is an acronym for a “recognized environmental condition.” Some common “high-risk uses” of a property include:
- It was previously used as a gas station, service station, or repair shop.
- Previously, the property was used as a junkyard, metal shop, or automobile salvage.
- The property used to be a dry cleaner’s for any number of years.