Welcome to Basics Environmental, Inc.

Basics Environmental, Inc. (Basics) is a small minority owned business enterprise (MBE) specializing in performing environmental screens, "Phase I & II" environmental site assessments, and reviews for real estate and financial transactions throughout Northern California.

Basics provides the environmental status of a subject property or properties that support your process in evaluating the "risks" associated with providing financing for transactions.

Depending upon applicable federal and state laws, the costs of environmental cleanup could materially affect your risk of loss and/or impair the value of your security interest in the uses of the subject property.

Accordingly, Basics provides all the appropriate inquiries into the previous ownership and uses of the subject property consistent with good commercial and prudent environmental practices in an effort to minimize liability, and follows, at a minimum, the latest protocols set forth by The American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) Standard E1527, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments, Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process and and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) Final Rule 40 CFR Part 312.

Environmental Due Diligence Services

Basics provides the environmental knowledge and expertise you can rely on. | Learn More

As an approved environmental consultant with almost all of the major financial institutions as well as a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) preferred contractor, Basics implements various levels of environmental due diligence studies and environmental reviews for properties under consideration by public and private financial institutions for real estate transfer and financial transactions.

Basics specializes in performing only these "basic" environmental due diligence reports for real estate transactions in Northern California. As such, we provide these services on a quick turnaround basis and believe our environmental site assessment reports are some of the best available!

The various environmental site assessment studies ranged in scope from performing ASTM Environmental Transaction Screens to Full ASTM/AAI Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. In addition, expert opinion and recommendations can be given on prior environmental reports performed by other environmental professionals. Sites assessed have ranged from mixed use commercial office buildings and motels to gasoline service stations and hazardous waste processing facilities.

Levels of Environmental Due Diligence

Basics performs the right amount of environmental due diligence you require. | Learn More

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) oversees enforcement and clean up of contaminated sites across the United States. The federal government enacted the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) in 1980. If you own or have ever owned a property that is presently contaminated, you may be designated as a potentially responsible party (PRP) under the CERCLA regulations. Being designated as a PRP means you may be financially responsible for cleaning up environmental contamination you did not create. The only way to avoid this liability is through the "Innocent Landowner Defense". In order to qualify for this defense, you have to show that you made a significant effort to determine if the property was contaminated before you bought it. This effort is called Due Diligence.

A properly conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessment meets the requirements for due diligence. Lenders as well as potential title holders of a property follow a number of steps to evaluate the fiscal risks before financing properties. An environmental assessment helps evaluate the suitability of the financed property as collateral. (1) Will the property value decline as a result of environmental liabilities that are identified before the loan payoff? and (2) If the borrower defaults, will the bank own a property that is a liability rather than an asset? The potential costs for environmental site investigations and remediation are substantial. Soft costs for investigation, reporting, and regulatory response can represent a large percent of the property value. Add costs for sampling, analysis, corrective action implementation, and long-term monitoring, and the overall remediation budget can easily exceed property values. Consequently, potential losses are greater for less valuable property because eventual sale of the property will recover a smaller percentage of the remediation costs. In view of the potential costs for site cleanups, lenders as well as potential title holders of a property utilize environmental assessments to help identify high-risk sites.

Note: The amount of due diligence a Lender may require depends upon the amount of environmental business risk the lender is willing to accept. Many lenders will require a lesser degree of due diligence that is required in a properly conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (i.e., Environmental Questionnaire, Environmental Database Review, Environmental Transaction Screen, Limited Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, etc.). Currently, only a properly conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessment will meet the requirements of the "Innocent Landowner Defense".


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