Phase II Environmental Site Assessment

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Phase II Environmental Site Assessment

A Phase II is conducted on site-specific property when Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) have been found during the course of a Phase I ESA. The Phase II is very site-specific and the sampling can vary widely depending on the geography and type of media that is potentially affected. Samples typically consist of groundwater, soil, or soil vapor/soil gas. Samples are sent to a lab and typically analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PNAs), and/or metals. When these compounds are present at concentrations less than the specified state criteria/screening levels, the Phase II is complete. If compounds are present at concentrations above the specified state criteria, either remediation of the property is next, or as is the case within Michigan, a Baseline Environmental Assessment is completed along with a Due Care Plan/Continuing Obligations (DCP/CO).

Additional information regarding Baseline Environmental Assessments and continuing obligations can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Phase II ESA?

A Phase II ESA is conducted with the goal of addressing the RECs identified in the Phase I ESA. The Phase II ESA commonly includes the collection of samples of various media (e.g., soil, groundwater, soil vapor/gas) to document site conditions. Other activities that may be conducted during a Phase II ESA include further data gathering, geophysical assessment, sediment sampling, and test pits.

What is the cost of a Phase II ESA?

The scope of work for a Phase II ESA is highly site-specific to investigate and assess the RECs, all or some, identified in the Phase I ESA. The number, depth and soil stratigraphy of boreholes is a key driver of Phase II ESA cost. The other key cost driver is the type of laboratory analysis and the number of samples. The range of Phase II ESA costs is $2,000 on the low end with $15,000 on the upper end. The common range of Phase II ESA costs is $5,000 to $10,000.

In a real estate transaction how are the environmental costs shared between seller and purchaser?

The purchaser is the party that is required to complete the environmental work to be able to rely on the landowner liability protections (LLPs) available under federal and state regulation. The Phase I ESA is most often paid entirely by the purchaser. The cost sharing for Phase II ESAs ranges from 0 to 100%. In most cases the purchaser pays the entire cost of the EDD.