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Often our clients pose these questions on the topic of Environmental Consulting. If your question is not answered below, feel free call us and we will do our best to answer them.
All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) is a process of evaluating the environmental condition of a property and assessing the likelihood of contamination. The EPA established Federal standards for the conduct of AAI in 2006. The final rule establishes specific regulatory requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries into the previous ownership, uses, and environmental conditions of a property for purposes of qualifying for landowner liability protections under CERCLA. Parties must comply with the requirements of the AAI Rule, or follow the standards set forth in the ASTM E1527 Standard Practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, to satisfy the statutory requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries. All Appropriate Inquiry services which entail:
- Interviews with past and present owners and operators
- Review of historical sources (i.e., chain of title, aerial photos, building permit records, etc.) to determine previous uses and occupancies since the property was first developed
- Search for recorded cleanup liens filed against a facility
- Review of regulatory records for waste disposal, hazardous waste handling, generation, treatment, disposal, and spills for the site and surrounding areas
- Visual inspection of facility and adjoining properties
- Specialized knowledge or experience of the person claiming the defense
- The relationship of purchase price to property value, if the property was not contaminated
- Commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the property
- The degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of contamination at the property, and the ability to detect contamination by appropriate investigation
- Results of an inquiry reported by an environmental professional
By completing these steps, and others, a prospective purchaser may be protected from potential liability under CERCLA as an innocent landowner, a contiguous property owner, or a bona fide prospective purchaser.
Limited Environmental Due Diligence or sometimes referred to Transaction Screening are a voluntary procedure to assess Potential Environmental Concerns (PECs) for CRE and often used as a screening tool to conduct limited environmental due diligence and recommended for low risk property types with available historical information. They are an alternative to Phase I ESA and less expensive.
Phase I ESA is a process used to satisfy the federal statutory requirement of conducting “All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI)” into previous ownership and uses of the property. The industry standard for conducting the AAI is the ASTM E1527 typically required by sophisticated buyers and lenders involved in a commercial real estate (CRE) transaction.
Phase II ESA generally involves collection of soil and groundwater samples when a Phase I ESA identifies Recognized Environmental Condition (REC). The industry standard for conducting Phase II ESA is ASTM 1903. However, it can also be conducted to address the REC or significant data gaps that would not require sampling for work that is reasonably ascertainable, publicly available, within a reasonable time and cost constraints. Typically, regulatory agencies are not involved at the initial stage until contamination is identified that is when subsequent investigative activities would be required in accordance to the applicable regulations. At this point, regulatory agencies will dictate the appropriate regulations, qualifications of the environmental professional, specific procedures necessary to achieve a desired outcome.
If a Phase I ESA concludes that an environmental problem may exist, GeoTech’s services are retained to implement a Phase II investigation (subsurface) to confirm the presence of an environmental contamination. GeoTech's highly trained environmental engineers and geologists are proficient in conducting subsurface investigations relating to various contaminant types and media, collecting samples, and performing speedy analysis. In a rare case, that a site requires a Phase III Investigation, GeoTech’s engineering group provides specialized environmental remediation services, including: designing, constructing, site remediation and monitoring programs to meet the applicable FDEP regulations.
Relevant investigations involve the preparation of detailed contamination assessment plans, preliminary assessment investigations, determining the extent of contamination in accordance with the applicable ASTM Standards or the FDEP Chapter 62 Regulations. An accurate assessment of the site contamination data has a profound effect upon defining the extent of the contamination, site assessment and eventual remediation cost-effectively. Various interrelated aspects to investigation execution are involved such as field logistics, drilling techniques, sampling protocols, and general concepts of contaminant movement and remediation. Additionally, we must take into consideration project budget, client interaction, regulatory requirements and legal implications.
On occasions, the contamination at a site does not satisfy the No Further Action (NFA) criteria or the Natural Attenuation Monitoring (NAM) criteria of the FDEP regulations. Therefore, a Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is prepared with the understanding that active remediation will achieve the applicable NFA criteria or the NAM criteria of the FDEP rule. The RAP provides a design that addresses cleanup of all contaminated soil, sediment, and groundwater. GeoTech evaluates several remedial technologies such as excavation, groundwater extraction, air sparging/soil vapor extraction, and bio-remediation. GeoTech has successfully remediated sites from a variety of contaminants types including, but not limited to petroleum and gasoline contamination, chlorinated compounds, and metals such as lead, arsenic, and chromium in soil and groundwater.
Groundwater monitoring is performed following the completion of active groundwater remediation or soil remediation.
GeoTech provides free initial consultation to clients. In addition, clients receive a written proposal for billable services before costs accrue to ensure clear communication. Call us anytime at 954 597 9100 or our Manager at 954 347 8684. With one call, you will get answers from our experts. If we don’t provide the service you need, we can help you find a reputable company that does.
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We share our project cost and schedules on our proposals. Once the proposal is signed, we get on it right away and adhere to the strict schedule.