What is a Phase I?

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I) is a common step in the commercial real estate transaction process.  Each Phase I is site-specific to evaluate the environmental condition of a particular property and to assess potential risks.  A Phase I completed in accordance with ASTM E1527-13 and prior to ownership or occupancy fulfills the innocent land owner defense under All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) and the requirements for CERCLA liability protection

A Phase I includes:

  • A site walkover to observe current site and adjacent properties conditions. 

  • A review of Federal, State, Tribal, and Local regulatory databases.

  • A review of State and Local regulatory records and files (state environmental agencies, fire departments, health departments, and assessing departments).

  • A review of historical resources such as historical aerial photographs, street directories, fire insurance maps, newspaper articles, and plat maps.

  • Interviews with current and past property owners, operators, occupants, local and state agencies, historians, and others that might have knowledge regarding the property.

Prism evaluates the information collected to determine if the current or past land usage of the property or surrounding properties have the potential for hazardous substances to be released into the environment and impact the property.  If environmental concerns are identified, a Phase II Site Investigation might be necessary.

Prism has completed numerous Phase I’s since 1997 with each one meeting the requirements outlined in the standards. The average turnaround time for a Prism Phase I is two to three weeks but can be completed quicker as needed. Feel free to contact Prism to discuss your commercial property interests and let us answer any questions you might have!