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Partner Engineering and Science, Inc.
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Desktop Environmental Reports

A Desktop Environmental Report is a cost-effective due diligence tool for evaluating environmental risk. Desktop reports are often used by lenders, brokers and investors as part of a tiered approach to environmental risk management – along with other reports such as the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. Partner offers several options of Environmental Desktop Reports that will help our clients achieve their goals and understand environmental risk.

What is an Environmental Desktop Report?

An Environmental Desktop Report is a limited-scope assessment that does not include a visit by the environmental consultant to the subject property – hence the term “desktop.” Due to its limited scope, the desktop report is often used as a cost-effective initial screen of a property to determine the potential for environmental liability at the site, such as contamination from a nearby gas station. If such a concern is identified, then often the evaluation is elevated to a more comprehensive report such as the Phase I ESA, with the cost of the initial report being rolled into the Phase I ESA.

The environmental risk of the subject site is evaluated through a review of records and pertinent information that may include:

  • Government records (a database search and/or other regulatory records)
  • Historical records such as Sanborn fire insurance maps, city directories, aerial photos, and topographic maps
  • Environmental questionnaires

What's Involved

Types of Environmental Desktop Reports

The scope of the Environmental Desktop Report is often customized to the client’s requirements. These limited products are often used for low risk assets or low dollar transactions. Several common types of desktop reports that Partner provides include:

Historical Records and Database Review – This report includes a review of historical records and a government database report with an opinion regarding environmental risk at the site.

Records Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA) – Similar to the Historical Records and Database Review, the RSRA is one of the reports required by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) environmental policy for SBA lenders. For more information on the SBA RSRA report, visit our RSRA webpage.

Environmental Historical Report – This very economical report provides great value for low risk asset types. The Environmental Historical Report assesses many of the same historical resources as in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment to assure the lender or investor that the site has always been low risk.

Environmental Database Review – Partner orders a government database report, reviews the report for the client and provides an opinion regarding the potential environmental risk at the site. Our clients can take advantage of our purchasing power on the database product and save time by having an environmental professional review the database.

Custom Products – Partner is capable of designing any scope that a client needs to address their specific concerns.

Partner offers Environmental Desktop Reports anywhere in the country from one point of contact.

Related Insights

Frequently Asked Questions

Desktop Environmental Reports are typically considered preliminary assessments and are not legally binding. They are intended to provide initial insights into potential environmental risks and help guide further assessment and decision-making processes.

While Desktop Environmental Reports can provide valuable preliminary information, they are not intended to replace traditional site assessments, which typically involve physical site inspections and more comprehensive data collection and analysis.

A DER typically involves collecting and reviewing information from various sources, including:

Public Records Review: Searches for past violations, environmental permits, registered storage tanks, or hazardous waste sites on the property or nearby.
Database Review: Checks environmental databases for listings of contaminated sites, leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs), or other environmental concerns in the vicinity.
Historical Aerial Photographs: Analyzes historical aerial photographs to identify past land uses that might suggest potential contamination sources (e.g., industrial facilities, landfills).
Regulatory Review: Considers relevant environmental regulations that might apply to the property’s location and intended use.

The report will typically include:

A description of the research methodology and limitations of the DER.
Summary of findings from public records, database review, and historical research.
An opinion on the potential for Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) based on the available information.
Recommendations for further investigation (e.g., Phase I ESA) if significant concerns are identified.

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