The objective of any degree of environmental due diligence is to identify potential environmental issues associated with a property. If findings indicate hazardous materials in any quantity are being utilized or have been utilized in the past on the property, then this would constitute an environmental issue. Environmental issues are separated into two categories: recognized environmental conditions and de minimis conditions.

Recognized Environmental Condition (REC):  Recognized environmental conditions denote “the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on a property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property.” Basically, evidence was discovered that there is a significant potential for a hazardous substance to have been released from a site’s operations onto (or into) the surface, and may be subject to government enforcement.

De minimis condition:  De minimis conditions denote “the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that did not indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on a property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property.” Basically, no compelling evidence was discovered that there is a significant potential for a hazardous substance to have been released from a site’s operations onto (or into) the surface, and are not likely to be subject to government enforcement.

Limited Phase II vs. Baseline Environmental Site Sampling

If findings indicate recognized environmental conditions, then further investigation and/or documentation is warranted.

Limited Phase II Environmental Site Sampling:  A Phase II site investigation is the evaluation of recognized environmental conditions (i.e., confirmation of the significant potential of a release into soil, groundwater, or structures on a property). Basically, soil and/or ground water sampling is required to address the potential that a hazardous substance has been released from its operation onto (or into) the surface. This phase of an environmental assessment can require multiple steps; however, it typically starts out as a private investigation (i.e., Limited Phase II Environmental Site Sampling).

If results of the sampling indicate levels of hazardous materials in the soil and/or groundwater above the local regulatory action levels, recommendations for further review by the federal or state and local agencies is warranted. A report of positive contamination may require the owner/operator to define or provide more specific information about the release into soil, groundwater, or structures on a property, etc. subject to government enforcement (i.e., additional Phase II Site Investigations).

Baseline Environmental Sampling:  If findings indicate de minimis conditions, then further investigation and documentation is optional. Baseline Environmental Sampling is the evaluation of de minimis conditions (i.e., confirmation of a potential release into soil, groundwater, or structures on a property). Basically, soil and/or ground water sampling is optional (based on the environmental risk level required by the client) to address the potential that a hazardous substance has been released from its operation onto (or into) the surface.

If results of the sampling indicate levels of hazardous materials in the soil and/or ground water above the local regulatory action levels, recommendations for further review by the federal or state and local agencies is warranted. A report of positive contamination may require the owner/operator to define or provide more specific information about the release into soil, groundwater, or structures on a property, etc. subject to government enforcement (i.e., additional Phase II Site Investigations).

Environmental Reports Review

Basics provides the expert opinion you can rely on.

Basics can also evaluate existing environmental reports performed by other consultant(s) and evaluate the conclusions and recommendations presented by other consultant(s). This scope of work typically involves:

  • Task 1 – Evaluate if the prior environmental reports are clear, complete, technically competent, and internal consistent with generally accepted professional environmental practice;
  • Task 2 – Evaluate if the prior environmental reports properly identifies the presence or likely presence of environmental conditions that may trigger or represent a potential environmental liability or, restrict the use of, or affect the marketability or value of, the property;
  • Task 3 – Evaluate if the prior environmental reports have identified any immediate risk to the public health, safety or the environment that should be immediately communicated to the Client; and
  • Task 4 – Evaluate if the prior environmental reports have provided recommendations that clearly delineates the need for any additional testing or assessment to confirm and evaluate the location, extent, source, and nature of any environmental condition.