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Protect your commercial real estate investment with a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA).

MEI is an environmental consultant providing Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) reports.  This assessment is normally purchased as part of a commercial real estate transaction, usually sought by the bank and prospective buyer. The purpose of this assessment is to evaluate the potential environmental risk or condition of a property and to identify potential contamination which may impact the value of the property.


At MEI, an Environmental Professional (EP) completes the assessment by ordering sufficient information used to develop an opinion on risk to the property. Normally the research information includes historical records of the property dating back to the early 1900's, sometimes earlier. To complete the historical research, we order historic aerial photographs, city directory information, Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, topographic maps, and a Physical Setting Report. The Phase I assessment will also include a regulatory records database review and discussion. The database provides information (if any available) for the property connected to environmental records that may be on file; some of which include, petroleum and/or hazardous chemical storage and/or use, registered underground and above-ground fuel tanks, spills or cleanup actions that may have happened on the property. These are to name a few, however, we research multiple databases not only for the subject property, but also for listings connected to adjoining properties, properties within 500 feet, and up to a mile for federal listings. The research includes State, County, and Federal databases. 

In addition, MEI will conduct interviews with local officials, and property owners, key contacts, managers, etc - in order to gain more environmental knowledge of the property to better formulate an opinion. The local building inspection department and fire department, or any local, county, or federal department the EP finds useful, may be contacted for available environmental or building records on file for the property.

This assessment will also include a physical site inspection of the property. The inspections last normally 30 - 90 minutes and includes visual observations and photographs of the entire property - all interior and exterior locations where possible. The EP will look for potential environmental issues; some of the significant issues could include, underground storage tanks, major interior or exterior staining attributed to chemicals and/or petroleum product; drinking water wells, dry wells, sumps, chemical inventory, petroleum inventory, disposal practices, on-site fill and/or dumping, general house keeping practices with petroleum products and/or hazardous chemicals. 

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report is prepared. The environmental consultant / EP will conclude with any environmental conditions that may exist for the property.  In addition, the EP consultant will determine if the adjoining and/or adjoining properties pose an environmental risk or condition to the subject property. The Phase I assessment will normally conclude with No Further Assessment or recommended additional assessment. 

Types of properties that are of  high environmental concern (especially historic) are gas stations, dry cleaners, automotive servicing shops, machine shops, etc. 

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