ASTM Phase II Environmental Site Assessment

A Phase II ESA is performed when the Phase I ESA identifies a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) and/or recommends further investigation. A Phase II ESA is a quantitative assessment to determine if potential contamination and/or hazardous materials are present to assist in making informed business decisions about the property. The standard of the Phase II ESA is typically defined by the scope proposed by the Environmental Professional and accepted by the client. This allows the scope of work to be tailored to each individual site and situation. CSE produces quick-turnaround, high-quality Phase II ESAs to provide critical environmental information to property owners and potential buyers alike. The process is a quantitative approach to evaluate RECs identified in Phase I ESAs which consists of a more detailed Subsurface Investigation and/or Vapor Intrusion Assessment on the property. Analytical data results are compared to state standards in order to establish environmental quality and determine whether or not further assessment activities or remedial action is warranted.

When is a Phase II ESA needed?

In general, a Phase II ESA is needed when previous site usage is identified as: service stations, dry cleaners, automotive and machine shops, manufacturing, hazardous waste storage, etc. Further analysis into the specific site details during the Phase I ESA helps determine, if any of these previous uses have created a significant potential for a release or if a known release has occurred. Many lenders will automatically require a Phase II ESA for a property that has had any of these environmentally sensitive uses. The subsurface investigation typically includes test borings and installing groundwater monitoring wells with extensive testing. As part of the due diligence process for real estate transactions, a more limited study should be conducted as a screen initially to determine if there is a significant problem. If this is the case, further site characterization may be required to help the buyer decide how to proceed with the transaction.

How much does a Phase II ESA typically cost?

The cost for a Phase II ESA ranges depending on the site-specific details. The site specifics include the type of lab analyses required, drilling method needed, access to the subsurface, overhead constraints, groundwater testing required, etc. Typical due diligence type Phase II ESA studies are in the $8,000 to $10,000 range. In order for us to provide an accurate price quote, we will look at the specific site and develop a strategy to minimize costs and maximize information in order to make accurate conclusions regarding the presence of a significant problem.

CSE’s Phase II ESA Services:

CSE Geologists have successfully completed soil sampling and characterizations for hundreds of sites. To reduce cost and ensure accuracy, CSE typically endeavors to utilize Geoprobe technology, provided by Bronson Drilling, to obtain core samples of soil. Once the sample results are received, CSE scientists are able to determine if the sample results collected from the site represent human health and/or ecological risks that require further action.
Soil samples obtained during the test boring program will be screened by a CSE Scientist for the presence of contamination using field indicators (visual, olfactory, and a Photoionization Detector [PID] to measure Total Organic Vapors [TOVs]).
Soil samples are analyzed by Massachusetts certified laboratories such as Alpha Analytical or New England Testing Laboratory for a select range of contaminant parameters based on site-specific information and/or the suspect environmental findings obtained from the Phase I ESA.
Groundwater monitoring wells are installed within the soil borings to obtain accurate groundwater quality data, groundwater flow direction and gradient. Groundwater remediation & characterization is performed by obtaining grab samples that are analyzed for a select range of contaminant parameters based on site-specific information and/or the suspect environmental findings obtained from the Phase I ESA. If contamination is present, our geologic experts evaluate the nature, extent, and concentration of the contaminant plume. Following assembly of the data, computer modeling techniques enable CSE scientists to determine the contaminant plume and migration.
If contaminants are found that require removal, CSE can manage all aspects of the project including; development of plans and specifications, obtaining bids from qualified remediation contractors, obtaining agency permits, and managing the remediation from start to finish.
CSE compiles the data and performs an interpretation of analytical results in comparison to applicable cleanup objectives adopted by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) through a set of regulations known as the Massachusetts Contingency Plan or MCP. Once environmental findings are confirmed through the Phase II Subsurface Investigation, proceeding steps include establishing the extent of conditions and evaluating an appropriate remedial method. This remediation process may be conducted as directed by the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup following the Waste Site Cleanup Program. Contact us for further information on Phase II ESA Subsurface Site Investigations, the Site Remediation Program, or assistance with your environmental needs.