A Guide to Phase 1 and Phase 11 Environmental Site Assessment in NJ
By the end of last year, there were almost 15,000 contaminated sites in New Jersey. These contaminants usually consist of pollutants or hazardous waste and substances. Often they’re found in everyday household products or can result from industrial processes.
Regardless of which, they’re usually harmful to humans. Unfortunately, many have already polluted water sources and land. Your property might be one of them.
This makes it crucial to ensure that you conduct a Phase 1 and Phase 11 ESA before purchasing any property.
Why are these important? In New Jersey, they can provide you with state and federal liability protection. Read on to learn more.
What is an Environmental Site Assessment?
ESA is the acronym for an environmental site assessment. This is something you’ll hear about when conducting real estate transactions.
These assessments include detailed reports. They determine if a property has potential or existing contamination.
It should include relevant information about the land. This also incorporates any physical improvements the property may need.
AN ESA is usually conducted before the finalization of a real estate transaction. An environmental site assessment can help limit your liability after the sale if contamination is discovered.
There are two types of ESAs required in New Jersey – Phase 1 ESA and Phase 11 ESA.
Phase 1 ESA in New Jersey
A Phase 1 ESA aims to identify recognized environmental conditions (RECs). This includes hazardous chemicals or materials, including petroleum releases.
It covers the past and current history of the property and usually includes:
- A site inspection of all building interiors as well as exterior surroundings of the property
- A review of historical records that may include aerial photos and maps
- Interviews with past and current building occupants
- A review of any available government records
An ESA’s validity in New Jersey depends on who conducts it. It must be a qualified environmental professional. This ensures that it meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
You’ll be covered under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). This is also known as the federal Superfund law.
New Jersey Phase 11 ESA
When is a Phase 11 ESA required? If your Phase 1 ESA reveals the possibility of contamination.
Phase 11 involves additional sampling to confirm the presence of any suspected contaminants. It may include various types of analyses or sampling.
This will be dependent on who requires the ESA. It may be for your own needs or a state or local regulatory agency.
As with Phase 1, it must be conducted by an environmental professional, as determined by the state.
Getting An ESA in New Jersey
There are thousands of contaminated sites in New Jersey. If you’re purchasing a property or plan to redevelop one you already own, you’ll need to find out if it is as well. This means you’ll also need to know about ESAs.
The Phase 1 ESA can help you determine if contamination is possible. While a Phase 11 ESA confirms it through sampling and testing. Regardless of your requirements, you’ll want to ensure an experienced company does it.
All American Environmental conducts site investigations and assessments. We ensure they comply with local, state, and federal regulations. Contact us today to learn more.