ENVIRONMENTAL FAQ’s

When do I need to hire an environmental consulting company?

FAQ-ust-removal-300x250Services provided by environmental consulting firms include performing due diligence during property acquisitions; inspecting sites for the presence of hazardous substances; removing asbestos, lead paint or mold from a building; assessing indoor air quality concerns; disposing of contaminated soil; monitoring groundwater conditions; interpreting regulations and negotiating with regulatory officials;  and complying with  permit requirements and reporting.

What is a Phase I ESA?

Lenders often require a Phase I ESA prior to approving loans for commercial, industrial or multi-family properties. The Phase I will include a cursery inspection of the subject and adjoining properties by an environmental professional and research into the past use of those properties. Interviews of past and current property owners will also be conducted to understand more of the property’s past.  A Phase I ESA does not include sampling or analysis of soil, groundwater, or surface water.

When should I complete a Phase II ESA?

Upon completion of a Phase I ESA, areas of concern may be identified which would require further investigation in order to complete your due diligence. The Phase II ESA is a follow up investigation to the Phase I and can include site-specific sampling and analysis of soil, groundwater, surface water, or suspected hazardous materials. The Phase II ESA may also include invasive or non-invasive investigations of suspected underground storage tanks (USTs), above ground storage tanks (ASTs), buried drums, or other subsurface waste materials.

What are Brownfields?

Brownfields are underutilized or abandoned industrial or commercial properties where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination. Examples include factories, rail yards, landfills, dry cleaners, etc. They are typically located in or near urban areas but may be found in rural areas as well. A Brownfield property may be owned by private citizens, companies, land trusts, banks, or local governments, to name a few.

WETLANDS & SOILS FAQ’s

What is a Jurisdictional Determination and how do I know if I need one?

First wetlands are inspected and delineated in the field and a map is created. A JD package is sent to the Army Corps of Engineers for approval, and there are usually several site visits with the ACOE staff before a final JD is issued.

How are wetlands determined?

They are determined by using the guidelines set out by the Army Corps of Engineers include the three parameter approach using soils, hydrology, and plants.