Partner has a strong presence in San Diego, California. The Partner San Diego office provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys in support of commercial real estate transactions. Mark Lambson heads the San Diego office with 15 years of experience managing and performing environmental and engineering consulting projects on a national level.
Partner is the national leader in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments by volume. Most reports are performed to meet the standards of ASTM E1527-13. Partner often customizes reports to meet individual client or agency lender's (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) requirements. Partner San Diego staff are familiar with the diverse geographical as well as the geological characteristics that are particular to San Diego.
In addition to providing Phase I ESAs, Partner provides Property Condition Assessments and Commercial Building Inspections for a wide variety of clients; including, CMBS lenders, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac lenders, and equity clients. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set within ASTM E2018-08 guidelines.
While Partner offers Probable Maximum Loss Reports (PMLs) to every seismic zone in the United States, those that do commercial or multifamily transactions in San Diego truly understand the importance of an accurate PML report. Understanding the local geology and correctly reflecting the math in a PML report is most important to those that purchase or lend on commercial or multifamily property in San Diego.
Partner is a coordinator of American Land Title Association (ALTA) Surveys/American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM), Boundary Surveys, Topographic Surveys, and Zoning Reports across the United States for use in commercial transactions. We effectively handle, and facilitate the coordination of surveyors, title, ordering, process, product and delivery. We manage the entire process of acquiring your survey and can effectively manage single-site or multi-site transactions.
Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-11.
While conducting a Phase I ESA, Partner does a visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). Should it become evident that Asbestos Containing Materials may be present, Partner can perform sampling and testing to evaluate if Asbestos Containing Material is in fact present.
A zoning report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations, San Diego and municipality provisions into consideration as well as other regulations; such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.
4 Reasons Why Phase I Environmental Site Assessments are Different in California.
1) Regional Water Quality Control Boards: In most states the regulations are statewide rules with maybe some variations for cities and counties. In California, the State Water Board grants a lot of power and autonomy to the Regional Water Quality Control Boards. The regional water boards are organized generally by watershed and may split counties. Water boards may have very different regulations. For example, the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board developed Environmental Screening Levels (ESLs) for soil and groundwater contamination, whereas the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board uses different screening levels including Soil Screening Levels, CHHSLs for soil-gas (see below), and Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for groundwater.
2) CHHSLs: The California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the California Human Health Screening Levels (CHHSLs) in 2005. The CHHSLs provide the user with a chemical specific look up table for what levels of soil gas or indoor air concentrations represent a threat to human health. CHHSLs are not intended to be regulatory numbers, but are often treated as such. CHHSLs are also famously conservative. You need an environmental consultant doing your Phase I ESA that knows how to interpret soil gas and indoor air data in relation to CHHSLs and this requires a lot of California experience.
3) CUPAs: Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPAs) have a lot of power in California. CUPA are city or county agencies that have been more or less deputized to handle certain regulatory functions. An example of a CUPA is the City of Los Angeles Fire Department, which oversees releases from underground storage tanks (USTs), termed leaking USTs or LUSTs. To do proper regulatory due diligence during a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment your environmental professional must understand the California CUPAs.
4) CEQA: The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is California’s equivalent of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA). A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment sometimes has to deal with CEQA/NEPA issues like wetlands, endangered species, and/or historical resources as additional scope items.
Southern California Experience
Some recent projects and experience that provide insight into our robust Southern California consulting practice include:
Property Condition Assessments, 45 site portfolio in Southern California
Partner preformed Property Condition Assessments on 45 office buildings mostly in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Our PCAs were done in support of acquisitions and were all completed within two weeks.
Probable Maximum Loss Reports, 33 site portfolio in Southern California
Partner preformed a Probable Maximum Loss Reports on 33 multi-family assets in Orange County, mostly in Irvine, California and Newport Beach, California. Partner’s robust Seismic Risk Assessment practice routinely supports Fannie Mae DUS Lenders in assessing seismic risk.
Environmental Due Diligence on 330 Gas Stations in Southern California
Partner preformed environmental due diligence on 330 gas stations located in the six large Southern California Counties: Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside. The gas stations had a lot of subsurface data and over 100 open cases. Partner reduced a large amount of data and quantified the portfolio’s environmental liability for our client.