Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), commonly referred to as a Phase I, and Preliminary Assessments (PA) are a common requirement today for most commercial real estate transactions.  A properly conducted ESA/PA provides a review of both historic and existing conditions on a site that may indicate a recognized environment condition.  The ESA/PA is the only clear way to gain insight into the potential environmental risks that may be associated with real property.

The purpose of a Phase I ESA is to conduct all appropriate inquiry (AAI) into the previous ownership and uses of a property to allow a purchaser and/or lender to establish one of the liability protections under CERCLA sections 101(35)(B)(i)(I) and 101(35)(B)(ii).  These liability protections include CERCLA’s innocent landowner defense, the bona fide prospective purchaser liability protection, and the contiguous property owner liability protection.

A properly conducted PA also allows a property purchaser and/or lender to qualify for the innocent purchaser defense to liability under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11 et seq.).

In addition to potential liability protection under the NJ Spill Act, a PA is required under NJDEP regulations if a final remediation document is required or desired for an entire site or in conjunction with the documentation of an off-site contaminant source found to be impacting a property.  The PA must comply with NJDEP’s Technical Requirements for Site Remediation (Technical Regulations) at N.J.A.C. 7:26E to determine if potentially contaminated areas of concern that require further investigation may be present on a site.

Both federal and NJ regulations require that the Phase I ESAs and PAs be conducted by qualified environmental professionals.  The reliability of a Phase I ESA and PA depends entirely on the qualifications and thoroughness of the individual conducting the assessment.

JMC has a staff of highly qualified environmental professional with decades of experience in assessing environmental liabilities or real property.  JMC conducts each assessment in accordance with the standard practices set forth in the most recent American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) ESA Standard (E1527), which is designed to fulfill the AAI requirements for the purposes of qualifying for the liability protections under CERCLA. JMC performs each PA in strict accordance with NJDEP regulations.  We ensure that each NJ project is designed to satisfy the requirement of both the ASTM Phase I ESA and NJ PA processes.

JMC provides unmatched quality and value in due diligence services.  We provide Phase I ESA and PA products we believe are the most thorough in the industry.