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December 14, 2018

Preliminary Assessments Simplified

By Jerry Ostrander

Understand the Differences from a Phase I ESA

If you’ve ever done even a single commercial real estate deal, you are familiar with a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and the importance of conducting it before buying or selling a property.  Before you sign on the dotted line, you’ll need to get a comprehensive picture of the property, by conducting a typical ASTM Phase I which will include a site visit, research historical records, maps, and directories, and a review of local permitting and zoning regulations for the property.

In the State of New Jersey specifically, a Preliminary Assessment (PA) is a regulatory document, which can and should, be done in conjunction with (or in lieu of) an ASTM Phase I.  If you want to obtain protection from potential liability as an innocent land owner (under the NJ Spill Compensation and Control Act N.J.S.A. 58:10-23.11) a Preliminary Assessment is required. Additionally, industrial properties (in most cases) will require a PA to be conducted by the seller prior to closing a real estate transaction pursuant to the Industrial Site Recovery Act (N.J.A.C. 7:26B).

To read the full blog on GlobeSt covering the differences and nuances between a PA and a Phase I ESA, click here.

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