Environmental Database Reviews

The Environmental Database Review is typically utilized for residentially zoned sites that do not currently utilize hazardous materials and are not believed to have utilized hazardous materials in the past.

This scope of work typically involves the obtainment and professional review of publicly available information maintained by various federal, state, and local governmental agencies that administer environmental regulations, including records of known or potentially contaminated and/or problem sites, landfills, and other disposal sites, and underground storage tank records (for both leaking and registered USTs).

Environmental Transaction Screens

The Environmental Transaction Screen is typically utilized for commercially zoned sites that do not currently utilize hazardous materials and are not believed to have utilized hazardous materials in the past. This scope of work typically involves:

  1. Environmental Database Review

    Performed as above.

  2. Historical Research

    Basics environmental professionals will obtain and interpret readily available historical information to provide brief research into the potential presence of an environmental condition associated with historic activities. Readily available information may include: fire insurance maps (Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps™), topographic maps, local street maps/directories, aerial photographs, building department records, and fire department records. Historical research of the property and the surrounding properties typically extends as far back as the 1940s or with first development of the property.

  3. Site Reconnaissance

    Basics environmental professionals will perform a visual inspection of the site noting number of buildings, approximate size of building footprints, number of stories each, approximate age of buildings, occupancy status, pavement, fences, foundation/ruins, utilities, and ancillary structures in order to uncover evidence of the presence or likely presence of impacts or other environmental problems on the subject property. In addition, visual inspection of adjacent sites will be made from the subject site and/or from access roads, as appropriate for the assessment of the property. At a minimum, Basics environmental professionals will walk the perimeter boundary of the property, each side of the drainage pathways, the boundaries of all on-site bodies of water, and a grid pattern for remaining exterior areas (including overgrown or wooded areas).

    For the interior of the structures on the property, environmental professionals will, at a minimum, visually inspect accessible common areas expected to be used by occupants or the public (e.g., lobbies and hallways), maintenance and repair areas (e.g., boiler rooms), and a representative sample of occupant spaces. The visual inspection will consider past and present use(s) of the property that may adversely impact the soil and/or ground water. The ASTM Environmental Transaction Screen Questionnaire is utilized to facilitate this process.

  4. Interviews

    Basics environmental professionals will interview easily accessible site contacts (property/site managers, environmental managers, real estate agents, local county personnel, etc.) with knowledge of the current and past uses and physical characteristics of the property. The ASTM Environmental Transaction Screen Questionnaire is utilized to facilitate this process.

  5. Summarizing Report

    This phase of the assessment concludes with a report describing the results of the historical review, site visit and database records evaluation.

Local Regulatory Agency File Reviews

Basics conducts reviews of local enforcing agency personnel and files (e.g., for Regional Water Quality Control Board, County Department of Environmental Health, local fire and building departments, etc.), where reasonably available and to the extent necessary, to identify sites with “known” or “potential” contamination and “environmentally sensitive business activities” on or adjacent and/or “perceived” up-gradient of subject properties.

The files will be reviewed to determine:
  1. If the identified known or potential properties are listed on the regulatory databases;
  2. If there are any issued environmental permits;
  3. If there have been any notice of violations;
  4. If any corrective actions have been taken;
  5. If there have been any complaints;
  6. If there have been any environmental investigations; and
  7. If there is any other pertinent environmental information.
Note: Environmental Screens are meant to identify a “potential environmental concern” only, as opposed to “recognized environmental conditions,” which are identified by an E1527 Phase I. However, the finding of a “potential environmental concern” could be an impetus for additional investigation by an environmental professional, to include an E1527 Phase I Site Assessment.