The objective of a Phase I Environmental Assessment is to determine the likelihood that any past use of the property, current site conditions, or off-site factors may have adversely impacted the environmental integrity of the subject property. To do so, Centec Engineering personnel will systematically consider the following elements in preparation of a thorough report:

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Site Description & History

Both current site conditions and past use can have a significant impact on the property's environmental integrity. In order to assess the consequences of any past use of the site, Centec personnel will prepare an historical account of the property from sources such as:

  • Historical Aerial Photographs
  • USGS Topographical Maps
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
  • Historical Telephone Directories
  • Chain-of-Title Documents
  • Interviews with Past Owners or Occupants
  • Building Department Records

In describing the current property status, Centec will review:

  • County Assessor's Office
  • City Zoning Department - to determine allowable uses
  • Interviews with Current Owners and/or Occupants
  • Adjacent and Nearby Property Users - to assess the likelihood of a neighbor impacting the property or determine if nearby chemical or other manufacturers may be a concern

Geology and Hydrogeology

Site-specific geologic conditions are crucial in determining the potential impact of possible contamination from on-site as well as off-site sources. Centec will prepare a geologic description of the property detailing:

  • Subsurface geologic and lithologic conditions
  • Local surface water conditions and their impact
  • Depth to groundwater
  • Directional flow of groundwater

Review of Government Agencies and Public Records

To gather additional information on the property, Centec will review inspection records, permits, violations, and other pertinent records from regulatory agencies such as:

  • Local Fire Department
  • Local Building Department
  • County Health Care/Environmental Management Agency
  • Regional Air Quality Management Board
  • Regional and State Water Quality Control Boards
  • State Department of Toxic Substances Control
  • State Department of Conservation-Division of Oil and Gas
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency

On-Site Inspection

Centec professionals will conduct a systematic and thorough inspection of the property, to look for any visible signs of improper hazardous material use or storage, hazardous waste spills, leaks, or odors and any other conditions that may indicate a potential contamination problem. Tenants and employees will be interviewed as necessary and possible. Suspected areas of contamination will be identified and recommendations made for any further testing or other procedures that may be advisable.

Asbestos Inspection

Asbestos, a known carcinogen, was commonly used in many building materials until the early 1980's and it is important to have suspected materials analyzed in a laboratory procedure. During the course of our site assessment, Centec will inspect the premises for potential asbestos-containing building materials, with comments and recommendations regarding the need for a full asbestos survey provided in the final written report.

Review of Off-Site Sources of Contamination

Because soil and groundwater contamination can migrate away from its source, Centec will obtain a computerized database of known cases of underground tank leaks, chemical spills, toxic waste dumping, Superfund sites, landfills, and other sources of known or suspected contamination within a one-mile radius of the property. An impact assessment will be made for the case listings, especially those located within ¼ mile of the subject property, with the results of this in-depth study presented in narrative and tabular form and site locations shown on a color map.

Final Assessment Report

The final written report will include narrative descriptions and other findings of our investigations and research as well as conclusions and recommendations about the site. The report will include pertinent regulatory agency materials, maps, site plans, photographs, laboratory data, and other information obtained during the course of our investigations, as well as a complete listing of individuals and agencies contacted. Due to the thorough nature of our Phase I process, a total completion time of approximately three weeks is normally required to complete the Final Assessment Report.  

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