civil/structural/forensic engineering, code consulting, building inspections
Owners and investors understand the impact that environmental conditions have on the cost of owning, buying, or selling commercial real estate. Environmental conditions can be extremely expensive to remediate.
Our Phase I Environmental Site Assessment studies follow the format of ASTM Standard 1527 and includes a physical inspection of the site, cataloguing the presence of hazardous materials or petroleum products, review of historical documents (including historical aerial photographs, reverse street directories, building permits, planning records, topographic maps, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps), review of the site hydrology and geology, research of fire department records and records of state and federal environmental agencies, interviews with tenants and owners, and interviews with state and local regulators.
Our assessment protocol also includes All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI), which went into effect in 2006. The new All Appropriate Inquiry Final Rule requires new protocols not previously required by the ASTM standard, including interviewing previous owners of the property; conducting a visual inspection of adjoining properties; and reviewing local government records, institutional and engineering controls, and environmental cleanup liens.
In addition to providing the Innocent Landowner Defense the Final Rule provides for two new protections; the Contiguous Property Owner Defense and the Bona Fide Prospective Purchaser defense. ASTM International has revised its standard to conform to the EPA Final Rule.
The United States Census Bureau has developed and maintains the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This system classifies property by use according to the level of environmental sensitivity. NAICS is a critical tool that we use to customize your Environmental Assessment.
Odin Engineering’s Environmental Assessments meet or exceed all EPA requirements and ASTM standards and will qualify you for 42 U.S.C. § 9607(q) contiguous property owner liability protection and the innocent landowner defense under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).
The EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries Rule governing the scope of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments went into effect on November 1, 2006. The real estate industry’s response was mixed, with some lenders adopting the new standard and other lenders holding on to the ASTM 1527-2000.
AAI requires new protocols not previously required by the ASTM standard, including
•Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants of the facility for the purpose of gathering information regarding the potential for contamination at the facility;
•Reviews of historical sources, such as chain of title documents, aerial photographs, building department records, and land-use records, to determine previous uses and occupancies of the real property since the property was first developed;
•Searches for recorded environmental clean-up liens against the facility that are filed under federal, state, or local law;
•Reviews of federal, state, and local government records, waste disposal records, underground storage tank records, and hazardous waste handling, generation, treatment, disposal, and spill records concerning contamination at or near the facility;
•Visual inspections of the facility and adjoining properties;
•The relationship of the purchase price to the value of the property if the property was not contaminated;
•Commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the property; and
•The degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of contamination at the property and the ability to detect the contamination by appropriate investigation.
ASTM International writes all the standards for environmental assessment. These standards are generally accepted industry standards and are recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The relevant standards are:
1.ASTM E-1527 Standard for Environmental Assessment (Phase 1) for form and content
2.ASTM E-1527 Standard for Environmental Assessment for assessor qualifications
3.ASTM E-1528 Standard for Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)
4.ASTM E-2600 Standard for Vapor Intrusion Assessment (VIA)
In some cases, Vapor Intrusion Assessment (VIA) also may be required to qualify the Buyer for any of the CERCLA protections and in conjunction with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),
NORTH AMERICAN INDUSTRY CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
The United States Census Bureau has developed and maintains the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). This system classifies property by use according to the level of environmental sensitivity and is used by OSHA and other regulatory agencies, and is a critical tool that we use to customize your Environmental Assessment.
Based on the NAICS code presently and formerly associated with your property and adjoining and nearby properties we can focus our investigation on the unique circumstances, conditions and risks inherent in each property type. By identifying the current and former NAICS code of your property and adjoining and nearby properties prior to our site reconnaissance we can develop an efficient strategy for acquiring specialized information unique to the site and addressing any data gap with the required intensity based on present and former property type and use.
By this methodology we are able to plan effectively and maximize our efforts where needed. By working efficiently we produce the highest quality product at the lowest possible cost to us and pass on those savings to you. Providers that use a "one size fits all" approach to environmental assessment or uniformly apply additional steps to every property of a given type sacrifice quality results for cost. We thoroughly understand and use NAICS code and related information to add investigative steps when necessary but also to know if, when and what steps are required to achieve the best results in the least amount of time. We don't rush environmental Assessment; we spend every bit of time necessary and pass time savings on to you.
Environmental Site Assessments