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In the simplest terms, an ESA is an on-site assessment of a specific parcel of land and/or building to determine whether there is, or has been, negative environmental impact in amounts considerable enough to impact human habitation or usage of the site. ESAs are done in three phases:

A Phase I ESA reviews the site from a current as well as a historical perspective. It is performed to determine the likelihood of the presence of contaminants in the soil, groundwater, or improvements of a specific property and its immediate surroundings.

The major components of a Phase I ESA are: site inspection, interviews with individuals familiar with, or connected to the specific site and historical research and review of available documentation, to determine the potential for contamination of the specific property from on-site, or nearby off-site commercial and/or industrial activities. Nearby industrial sites, gas stations, dry cleaners, or old commercial facilities are examples of some of the adjacent uses that may impact a site that has been clear or benign in its own utility.

If the Phase I ESA indicates the potential for contamination is present, a Phase II ESA will likely be recommended and performed. This consists of obtaining samples for analysis to determine the nature and extent of any potential contamination.

In the event that the Phase II ESA confirms the presence of contaminants within the property, a Phase III ESA – or site remediation – is carried out. Remediation of a specific property can be as simple as the removal of detritus such as empty waste drums and spilled fuel or oil. More extensive site remediation is performed as required, up to the level of a complete site cleanup. The degree of remediation necessary is determined by the results of the Phase II ESA.

Elford Environmental is well qualified to carry out thorough Phase I and Phase II ESAs, and works with skilled professionals who specialize in site remediation to carry out Phase III ESAs.