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You are here: Home » Locations » Seattle, Washington » Seattle Washington Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Seattle, Washington Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Phase I ESAs in Seattle, Washington are typically conducted in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E1527-13 standard. This standard provides a detailed outline of the steps that should be taken to conduct a comprehensive Phase I ESA.

It’s essential to work with a reputable environmental consulting firm or individual who is experienced in conducting Phase I ESAs in the Seattle area to ensure compliance with local regulations and a thorough assessment of potential environmental concerns. Additionally, this process can help protect the interests of all parties involved in a property transaction.

Here are some of the benefits of having a Phase I ESA performed:
  • Identify potential environmental hazards early in the transaction process
  • Reduce the risk of unexpected environmental costs
  • Protect yourself from financial and legal liability
  • Improve your chances of obtaining financing for the property
  • Enhance the marketability of the property

If you are interested in learning more about Phase I ESAs in Seattle, Washington, please contact a qualified environmental consultant.


Here are the key components and considerations for Phase I ESAs in Seattle, Washington:
  • Purpose: Phase I ESAs are typically performed to assess potential environmental contamination issues, such as hazardous substances or petroleum products, on a property. This assessment helps buyers, sellers, and lenders make informed decisions regarding property transactions.
  • Legal Requirements: In Washington, including Seattle, Phase I ESAs are often conducted in accordance with federal regulations, such as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) and the All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) Rule. Washington State also has its own environmental regulations that may apply.
  • Site Inspection: A Phase I ESA begins with a thorough site inspection, which includes a visual examination of the property, interviews with current and past property owners, occupants, and neighbors, and a review of historical documents and records. The goal is to identify potential environmental concerns.
  • Historical Research: Research is conducted to uncover historical land uses, past site activities, and environmental permits. Local records, aerial photographs, historical maps, and previous environmental reports are often examined.
  • Regulatory Database Review: The environmental consultant will review various databases, including federal, state, and local environmental agencies' records, to identify any known environmental issues associated with the property.
  • Interviews: Interviews with current and past property owners, occupants, and neighbors can provide valuable information about potential environmental concerns or activities that have occurred on the property.
  • Report: The findings are documented in a Phase I ESA report. This report includes a summary of the site's history, regulatory records, findings from the site inspection, and any potential environmental concerns or recognized environmental conditions (RECs) identified during the assessment.
  • Recommendations: If RECs are identified, the report may include recommendations for further investigation (Phase II ESA) to assess and mitigate potential environmental risks.
  • Compliance with Local Regulations: In Seattle, the assessment process should also take into account local environmental regulations and ordinances, which can vary. The property's location within Seattle may also influence the specific requirements and considerations.
  • Qualified Environmental Professionals: Phase I ESAs should be conducted by qualified environmental professionals or firms experienced in conducting such assessments in accordance with relevant regulations and industry standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Phase I ESA is a preliminary assessment of the environmental condition of a property. A Phase II ESA is a more detailed assessment that is conducted if a Phase I ESA identifies a potential environmental hazard. A Phase II ESA may involve soil and groundwater sampling, as well as other tests, to determine the nature and extent of the contamination.
Phase I ESAs in Seattle must follow the standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) E1527-13 or later versions. Washington State may also have specific requirements or additional considerations.
You may be able to use a previous Phase I ESA if it was conducted recently, typically within the past 180 days, and if there have been no significant changes in the property or surrounding conditions.
Seattle has a history of industrial and commercial activities, and there may be concerns related to underground storage tanks, contaminated sites, and other potential sources of environmental contamination.

Digging Deeper

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a process that identifies and assesses potential environmental hazards associated with a property. Phase I ESAs are commonly performed in conjunction with real estate transactions, but they may also be conducted for other purposes, such as property development or regulatory compliance.

Here are some of the common environmental hazards that may be identified in a Phase I ESA in Seattle, Washington:

If you are considering purchasing or developing property in Seattle, Washington, it is important to have a Phase I ESA performed to identify any potential environmental hazards. This information can help you to make informed decisions about the property and to protect yourself from financial and legal liability.

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