Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are visual assessments used to determine if environmental concerns exist for a property and are performed by an Environmental Professional (EP) as defined by 40 CFR Part 312.10(b). The concerns associated with a property are further characterized as Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs), and are defined by ASTM E1527-13 as the following: The presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property: (1) due to any release to the environment; (2) under conditions indicative of a release to the environment; or (3) under conditions that pose a material threat of a future release to the environment.
An important component regarding legal protection during a property transaction is a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) [link to Phase 1 ESA blog]. The current industry standard for Phase 1 ESAs is the American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM) E1527-2013. The purpose of the Phase 1 ESA is to identify Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs). A REC is the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property.