Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments

Phase I ESAs are completed to satisfy the requirements of the Innocent Landowner Defense to liability imposed by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and are generally completed for businesses which are involved in the sale, purchase or lease of industrial, commercial and agricultural properties. Phase I ESAs often also are required by lenders in order to assure that properties do not possess environmental conditions that could diminish the value of the property, the ability of the borrower to repay, or to establish baselines to allocate responsibility for clean-up costs.

CERCLA requires that "appropriate inquiry" be completed to invoke a defense to liability. The statute states, "to establish that the defendant had no reason to know ['that any hazardous substance that is the subject of a release or threatened release was disposed of on, in or at the facility'] the defendant must have undertaken, at the time of acquisition, all appropriate inquiry into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with good commercial or customary practice in an effort to minimize liability. . ." A Phase I ESA (as described in the ASTM E 1527 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process) is designed to meet the CERCLA threshold for due diligence. Therefore, Phase I ESAs are completed for over 500,000 commercial, industrial, and agricultural property transactions per year in the United States.

ENW utilizes a number of controls to ensure that Phase I ESAs are completed in a uniform and professional manner. ENW Phase I ESAs are completed using the ASTM E 1527 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process. 

Prominent Projects

Private Party Woodland, Washington

Lynn Green was the Principal Investigator in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment to provide detailed environmental information concerning a parcel of property in Woodland, Washington.  The information provided was used in support of litigation.

Oregon Health & Sciences University Portland, Oregon

In preparation for the demolition of existing hospital facilities and construction of new medical facilities, ENW performed Phase I Site Assessments for two areas of the OHSU campus in Portland, Oregon.

Former Tire Facility Mid-Willamette Valley, Oregon

ENW was hired by a national commercial auto parts chain to perform both Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments for a former tire and automobile service/repair facility partially demolished by fire.  The site had a previously documented release from a hydraulic lift system that was located in the fire-damaged structure of the site.  After the Phase I assessment, ENW performed a geophysical survey to identify any remaining artifacts of potential environmental concern below the site, and conducted sampling of soil and ground water in test pits excavated at the property. 

Convent Northern Willamette Valley, Oregon

A large convent was redeveloped to incorporate a new Senior’s residential complex.  The Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments identified a former dumpsite and several UST locations with associated petroleum releases.  One of the releases included bunker fuel from a tank associated with a boiler building, submerged below the water table.  The tank was decommissioned and the site was granted regulatory closure.