Protecting our clients’ interests from recognized environmental conditions
The transfer or development of industrial and commercial properties comes with a great number of risks. At Westhorp & Associates, we help our clients to mitigate the environmental risks associated with their property and/or project. The environmental professionals at Westhorp & Associates, Inc. conduct Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in accordance with the standards set by ASTM International in ASTM E1527-05. The purpose of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is to identify, to the extent feasible, recognized environmental conditions that may be associated with the property. Our environmental professionals are involved every step of the way from the site reconnaissance and interviews through the regulatory file review and report preparation. Our trained environmental professionals help our clients evaluate the potential impacts of a particular property and deliver customized assessment strategies to measure and minimize any environmental risks.
Our records review will pertain not just to the property but also to properties within an additional search distance in order to help assess the likelihood of problems from migrating hazardous substances or petroleum products. The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) was enacted in part to limit the liability of the property owner or purchaser and hold both past and current owners and operators of contaminated facilities financially responsible for the costs of cleanup.
Our environmental professionals perform the following activities to give you the assurance you need to be able to make sound business decisions:
- Performance of an on-site visit to view present conditions;
- Evaluation of risks of neighboring properties upon the subject property;
- Review of Federal, State, Local and Tribal Records out to distances specified by the ASTM Standards (ranging from 1/8 to 1 mile depending on the database);
- Interview of persons knowledgeable regarding the property history (past owners, present owner, key site manager, present tenants, neighbors);
- Examine municipal or county files to check prior land usage and permits granted;
- Conduct file searches with public agencies having oversight relative to water quality and soil contamination issues;
- Examine historic aerial photography of the vicinity;
- Examine current USGS maps to scrutinize drainage patterns and topography.
Should the outcome of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment identify recognized environmental conditions, such as the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property, Westhorp & Associates will assist our clients in determining a continued course of action which may include a voluntary comprehensive Phase II Environmental Site Assessment.
A Phase II environmental site assessment will be done in accordance with the ASTM E1903-11 Standard to evaluate known releases or likely release areas and/or to assess the presence or likely presence of substances for legal or business reasons. This is an investigation done using the scientific method to evaluate the recognized environmental conditions identified in the Phase I environmental site assessment report, and may include both soil and groundwater sampling, data analysis, and the preparation of a Phase II environmental site assessment report summarizing our findings and recommendations. This practice is intended to meet the business community's need for a written, practical reference describing a scientifically sound approach to investigating a property to evaluate the presence or likely presence of a substance. The role of the Phase II assessor is not to provide legal or business advice, but to assist our clients in making sound informed decisions while carefully considering financial needs and time constraints.