Construction site overview with workers in foreground.

A phase 2 environmental site assessment takes a deeper look at identified environmental conditions uncovered during the phase 1 assessment. A phase 2 environmental site assessment provides more detail for risk analysis like data from soil tests or groundwater sources. Buyers and lenders look at this data to evaluate their long-term costs or risks in the presence or absence of petroleum products at an environmental site.

These risk assessments are only as good as the data provided. While ASTM E1903-11 outlines the basic requirements for conducting a phase 2 environmental site assessment, applying those requirements to specific sites can be subjective. Which samples–and how many are some of the decisions that factor into the quality of a site assessment.

Local geology, regulations, and specific concerns identified for the site often direct these decisions. But at the end of the day, it’s still up to the expertise of scientists and engineers conducting the assessment. 

Designing a Phase 2 Site Assessment

Taking the basic requirements outlined in ASTM E1903-11 and turning them into assessment activities to produce a quality report is the most significant variation in assessment quality.

For example, different drilling methods can be appropriate in different situations. Push probes, hollow stem augers, and mud rotary drills are common options depending on rock layers and other geology factors. These differences can impact the quality of data in the final report.

Here’s what to look at when designing an assessment:

  • Area(s) of Concern
  • Geology
  • Site Access
  • Chemical(s) of Concern
  • Type of Lab Analysis Needed
  • Soil Sample Collection Methods
  • Drilling Methods Required
  • Size and Scope

Before you get too far into the process of hiring a consultant to conduct your phase 2 site assessment, you should understand what you’re looking for and why. A little bit of preliminary research, like collecting documentation on the property’s history and previous environmental assessments, can provide some valuable insight.

The final product will be a report that details the methodology and results of sampling to provide a complete picture of the risk level of a specific property.

Related: Drone Land Surveying & Mapping

Natural resources power plant at night.
Natural resources power plant at night.

Significance of the Phase 2 Assessment

When an environmental hazard or potentially volatile organic compound (VOC) is identified on a property, the current and future property owners need a complete understanding of the current impact and future potential impact of its presence. It’s not safe to make assumptions about cleanup activities because the final cleanup of a prior leak is usually based on the property’s intended use.

If a contaminant leaked into the ground soil over many years and the land was intended to remain vacant, minimal cleanup might be required. However, if the property changes hands in the future and the new owners want to build a community playground on that site, there is suddenly a significant risk to human health and safety.

The liability for problems that arise from that contamination can be linked to current and former landowners. Therefore, a phase 2 site assessment is a fundamental risk management tool that helps buyers and investors know what they’re getting into.

Related: Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments

Who Needs a Phase 2 Assessment?

In most cases, buyers and investors request a phase 2 assessment as a good measure of risk assessment. Similarly, lenders can also request these assessments before financing a real estate transaction. Aside from real estate transactions, developers and other stakeholders that are considering using land for a new purpose should be interested in the safety of their intended site before pursuing their project.

HANA Resources uses science and technology to design and conduct effective site assessments that provide the data you need. Learn more today.

Choosing a Knowledgeable Consultant

With the importance of your phase 2 site assessment hinging on quality data, you want to find a firm with the expertise and technology needed to produce a thorough, high-quality assessment. The data collected should be complete and digitized for easy access and record-keeping.

You need a consultant that can provide:

  • Scientifically Accurate Methodology
  • Comprehensive Assessment and Reporting
  • Technology for Statistical Modeling
  • Experience with Permitting & Regulatory Compliance

HANA Resources Bridges the Gap Between Technology and Environment

Since 1995, HANA Resources has been providing innovative solutions that blend the world of environmental science and technology. With over 20 years of experience conducting site assessments, we’re well-versed in regulatory compliance and science-based collection methods.

We employ a carefully curated team of leading scientists and engineers working together to provide responsive and results-oriented environmental services that you can rely on. Our expert geologists work closely with California’s regulatory agencies to design and conduct effective site assessments for your risk analysis needs.

What Makes HANA Resources Different?

Our expertise shines through a wide variety of biological resource services. From pre-construction surveys to restoration oversight, we’re committed to providing high-quality data to improve the human impact on our environment.

We’ve been recognized by the Climate Change Business Journal and Environmental Business Journal as a leader in innovative technology shaping the future of the world we live in. Our research on water management and petroleum plant redevelopment has been widely recognized. We’re proud to provide high-quality data that makes a difference in our world every day

Related: NEPA Environmental Assessments

The Bottom Line on Phase 2 Environmental Assessments

When your phase one site assessment turns up the suspicion of hazardous elements on a site, more information is needed to determine the risk level. Phase 2 environmental assessments are designed to collect data and evaluate the results based on contamination found in soil and other environmental samples. While there are some basic guidelines of what to include, the methodology and accuracy of the final report tend to vary based on the credentials and expertise of the assessor. 

HANA Resources is a reputable environmental consultancy firm that uses sound scientific principles and innovative technology to collect accurate data for comprehensive, high-quality reports. Learn more today.

Recommended Posts