MVES specializes in Environmental Site Assessments, which is often broken down into two phases. Often clients begin with a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and depending on the results, may continue with a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
When purchasing a commercial or multi-family property a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is a vital component to the Environmental Due Diligence process. MVES understandings the needs of all types of clients and in providing real solutions. Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are the central product in MVES’s Environmental Due Diligence practice. MVES fully understands how the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report is used in the commercial and multi-family real estate industry.
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is the main standard for evaluating the environmental liability associated with a real estate asset. Our Phase I Environmental Site Assessments meet the requirements of the U.S EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry Standard. Having performed Phase I Environmental Site Assessments on hundreds of properties, we offer our clients an expert perspective on every property type.
The EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries Rule governing the scope of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments went into effect on November 1, 2006 and provided specific scope requirements for a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment to meet the requirements of CERCLA’s innocent landowner defense. The changes from the 2005 to 2013 ASTM standards do not significantly alter the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment report or process, but there are a few key changes you should be aware of. The most significant changes include:
- The E1527-13 standard imposes a stronger imperative for conducting regulatory file reviews.
- E1527-13 places greater emphasis on assessing impacts to the subject property from vapor migration. This is done through several changes in the standard: 1) clarifying that the definition of a release does include contamination in the soil vapor phase, not just in soil or groundwater; 2) adding a definition of “migration” that includes vapor (as well as soil and groundwater); and 3) clarifying that vapor migration/intrusion does not fall under the category of an Indoor Air Quality concern (which is out of the ASTM 1527 scope of work).
- Certain definitions have been clarified and simplified, and a new definition has been added of a “Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition” or “CREC.” You may see a CREC as an additional section being discussed in the executive findings and conclusions.
Environmental Transaction Screen
Environmental Transaction Screen Environmental Transaction Screens are the most widely accepted limited product and are typically done to meet the requirements of ASTM 1528-14 Standard Practice for Limited Environmental Due Diligence: Transaction Screen Process.
Limited Environmental Site Assessment
The scope and price of a Limited Environmental Site Assessment is between the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and the Environmental Transaction Screen. The scope is usually customized, designed to meet the lender’s specific requirements.
Environmental Historical Report
This very economical report provides great value for low risk asset types. The Environmental Historical Report accesses many of the same historical resources as in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment to assure the lender or investor that the site has always been low risk. Environmental Database MVES orders a database report and reviews the report for the lender. Our clients can take advantage of our purchasing power on the database product and save time by having an environmental professional review the database.
Phase II Environmental Site Assessment
MVES provides Phase II Environmental Site Assessment to test soil, soil gas, and/or groundwater for possible contamination. When a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment identifies a recognized environmental condition or the potential for soil contamination, most clients request to evaluate the potential contamination by performing Phase II Environmental testing.
The purpose of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment report is to determine the presence, or absence of, petroleum products or hazardous waste in the subsurface of the site. Our Phase II Environmental Site Assessment projects can be done according to the ASTM E1903-11 Standard Guide for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process standard or to meet a client’s specific needs. When designing a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, the most important pieces of information necessary are: Areas of Concern, Chemicals of Concern, Local geology and Site access issues.
MVES is familiar with a number of drilling boring technologies. We will select the best drilling technology to economically meet the goals of the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. Drilling methods used most often during Phase II Environmental Testing projects include: Direct Push Probe, Hollow Stem Auger, Hand Auger, and in some cases Sonic drilling. All of these technologies are important options.
Soil Gas Sampling
When the Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is being done to investigate volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the Phase II scope should consider sampling for soil gas instead of, or in addition to, soil samples. Soil gas sampling is particularly advantageous in porous media and when contaminant plumes are in close proximity to buildings. MVES is very experienced with proper collection techniques for soil gas sampling projects.
MVES’s remediation goals are designed to provide the most cost-effective remedial process that will take our clients to regulatory closure and/or through the legal process. The design is critical to the success of the project.
Implementation and Closure
MVES will implement the remedial action plan and work with regulators until site closure is achieved. MVES will also collaborate with our clients to restore the property to its full potential. An environmental cleanup is a very trying experience for owners of real estate or responsible parties. Trusting your consultant to negotiate for you and make good decisions is vital. MVES will never lose sight of how precious that trust is.
MVES will guide you through the proper closure of underground and above ground storage tanks. The State of Vermont lists several different categories of tanks based on size, use and the contents stored in the tank. Mountain View Environmental Services can assist you with identifying the proper closure requirements if your are switching to a different fuel source or if the tank is out of service for more than one year.