The complexities of real estate transactions require the comprehensive evaluation of environmental conditions in order to identify potential liabilities. Recent litigation and legislation has reaffirmed the role of the environmental audit or assessment as an essential means of identifying and evaluating environmental risks associated with property transfers and protecting prospective purchasers.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
AFI conducts each Phase I Environmental Site assessment (ESA) consistent with the scope and limitations of ASTM Practice E1527-13 and the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA’s) final rule and standard for “All Appropriate Inquiry” (AAI). This rule establishes a minimum due diligence standard for innocent landowners, bona fide prospective purchasers and contiguous property owners seeking liability protection under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) and for assessments under CERCLA 104 (k) (2) (B) Brownfield Grant Program. AFI’s Phase I ESA meets or exceeds the ASTM Practice E1527-013 and the USEPA’s final rule and standard for AAI requirements and typically consists of four components:
Records Review -
AFI reviews federal, state, and local government records in accordance with ASTM protocol to help identify recognized environmental conditions. Additionally, historical records are thoroughly reviewed to determine the property’s obvious first developed use, or back to 1940, whichever is earlier.
Interviews - AFI conducts interviews of owners and operators of the property as well as local governmental officials to determine uses of the property and to identify any recognized environmental conditions (RECs).
Site Inspection – AFI’s environmental professionals perform visual and physical site reconnaissance to aid in determining the current and past uses as well as physical, geologic, hydrologic, hydrogeologic and topographic conditions of the site and surrounding properties.
Report of Findings – AFI prepares a clear and concise written report presenting all findings, opinions, and conclusions with full documentation in accordance with ASTM protocol.
Transaction Screen (ASTM E 1528) –The Transaction Screen was developed to provide a reduced scope of environmental inquiry for small cap loans and/or properties perceived to represent a low environmental risk. AFI’s staff has completed numerous transaction screens and can determine whether a Transaction Screen is appropriate for a specific property. Transaction Screens consist of the following components:
Remedial Investigations & Cleanup Cost Estimating for Real Estate Transactions
AFI’s professional staff is experienced in the design and implementation of efficient cost-effective resolutions for thorough site investigations and remediation. We have experience with investigations ranging from underground storage tanks to complex, multimedia-contaminated sites such as gas stations, dry-cleaners, automotive repair shops, sand blasting industrial sites and former oil fields. Through this experience, AFI is able to interpret and understand the data collected in the Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment to develop innovative and cost-effective solutions in the expedited time frame generally required for real estate transactions.
Contact us today to learn more about our Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments in Buffalo, NY!