What is a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment?

Since its founding in 1986, Advance Cleanup Technologies (ACT) has developed a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (Phase II ESA) that thoroughly investigates the specific areas of environmental concern, while minimizing the time, cost and uncertainties to the parties involved. Our in-house staff and field crews are capable of collecting and analyzing environmental samples from every media without subcontractor costs and delays. We have performed thousands of Phase II ESAs for every type of land use and are experienced at identifying conditions that could impact upon a property’s environmental quality.

Phase II site assessments

Portable Drilling

Phase II site assessments

Truck Mounted Drilling

The Phase II ESA is a subsurface investigation designed to determine whether conditions identified during a Phase I ESA have physical impacted the environmental quality of a property. ASTM adopted a Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Process in 2011 (ASTM E1903-11). New York State Department of Environmental Conserviation’s technical regulations (NYSDEC DER-10, 6 NYCRR 375, NYSDOH VI Guidelines) provide formal procedures for conducting Phase II ESAs for regulatory approval. New York City Office of Environmental Remediation (NYCOER) has specific protocols for performing Phase II ESAs that consider the location, size, and historical and planned uses of a property.

Whether there is a need to know the integrity of an underground storage tank or the quality of soil, soil vapor or groundwater, ACT has the personnel and equipment to “get the job done” as fast and inexpensively as possible. This professional quality allows ACT to efficiently identify indications of potentially harmful and expensive environmental impacts. That’s why our Phase II ESAs are utilized by property owners, developers, financial institutions and regulatory agencies as valid proof of a property’s environmental condition and value.

Types of Phase II ESAs

The standard Phase II ESA is intended to address issues raised in the Phase I ESA and usually includes the collection of soil, soil vapor and groundwater samples. Geophysical investigations using Ground-Penetrating Radar and utility locating equipment are performed if underground structures such as buried gasoline or fuel oil tanks or drainage systems are suspected of being present at a property. All samples are analyzed by certified laboratories and the results summarized in a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Report.

Many properties in New York City are E-designated for hazardous materials testing. The NYCOER has specific protocols for performing Phase II ESAs that take into account the location, size, and historical and planned uses of a property identified during the Phase I ESA. The NYCOER requires much more testing at higher cost than a standard Phase II ESA. But a Phase II ESA accepted by the NYCOER gives you the basis for a Notice To Proceed, building permit and high level of assurance that the property has been thoroughly investigated.

To obtain a “No Further Action” letter, the NYSDEC requires an investigation known as a Site Characterization that meets technical requirements of NYSDEC’s technical regulations, DER-10.

The scope and cost of a Site Characterization depends upon the type of contamination and geology that may present, historical uses of the property and surrounding neighborhood. If contamination is confirmed, a more comprehensive Remedial Investigation may be required to determine the need for remedial activities and their cost.

The ASTM defines a Vapor Encroachment Condition as “the presence or likely presence of vapors in the subsurface of the subject property caused by the release of vapors from contaminated soil or groundwater either on or near the subject property” (ASTM E2600-10). A Tier I Vapor Encroachment Screen is usually included within the Phase I ESA and evaluates Phase I ESA information to determine the potential for a potential vapor encroachment condition.

A Tier II Vapor Encroachment Screen tests soil vapor beneath a property to confirm the presence or absence of a Vapor Encroachment Condition. Soil vapor sampling is very non-intrusive and collected through ½ inch holes drilled through a building’s foundation floor. The certified laboratory results can be available within 24 hours. ACT has been performing soil vapor surveys for decades and is an ASTM-certified Tier II Vapor Encroachment Screening consultant.

soil-vapor-intrusion-studies-cprA Soil Vapor Intrusion Study determines whether indoor air quality has been impacted by the presence of soil vapor beneath a building. SVI Studies include the simultaneous sampling of sub-slab soil vapor and indoor air in accordance with NYSDOH “Guidance for Evaluating Soil Vapor Intrusion in the State of New York.” This sampling is also extremely non-intrusive and usually takes 4 hours for commercial and industrial buildings and 24 hours for residential buildings. The certified laboratory results can also be available within 24 hours.