There’s no surprise worse than discovering the property you just purchased is contaminated with some sort of hazardous waste. Conducting a Phase I site assessment can help warn you of unpleasant and potentially very costly problems before you purchase commercial real estate, protect you as the property owner and mitigate your liability when you’re ready to sell.
At first glance this investigation process may seem like just another painful governmental intrusion. But in fact it’s a smart business investment if you’re considering purchasing property that could even conceivably be contaminated. A Phase 1 site assessment also helps protect lenders or anyone else that must meet “All Appropriate Inquiry” requirements.
Here’s a checklist of factors your Phase 1 site assessment should cover.
Historical search includes:
Regulatory agency review is aimed at discovering any indication of known problems that are deemed not solely the user’s responsibility. This search looks at documents from all relevant jurisdictions including local, county, state, federal or tribal.
Site inspection identifies possible contamination on the property or proximate to it. This review looks at:
Findings and recommendations sum up Phase 1 site assessment results. You are not required to formally report these results to any regulatory agency. But if it turns out the real estate you’re considering is indeed contaminated, you’ll be able to make an intelligent, fully-informed decision about whether to go forward, and at what purchase price.