Phase II ESA in Real Estate Due Diligence


Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, or Phase II ESA

A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (also known as a Phase II ESA report) is a field investigation comprised of sampling, analyzing and reporting soil gas, soil and/or groundwater for a comprehensive assessment of contamination risk.  These subsurface investigations are conducted by licensed professional geologists and engineers, and generally include soil and groundwater testing for the presence of petroleum based byproducts, industrial solvents, carcinogenic metals, and other types of hazardous organic compounds resulting from human related contamination.  Phase II ESA reports generally include site maps of existing or significant historical land features, as well as information from geophysical surveys.


A Phase II ESA Includes Drilling for Soil Samples

Photo by Azad K.

The Phase II ESA Objective

Environmental Due Diligence is a critical process that typically warrants a comprehensive investigation for reliable results and legal liability protection.  The primary objective of a Phase II ESA is to determine whether contamination exists in the soil gas, soil and/or groundwater underlying a property, as a result of the recognized environmental concerns listed in a Phase I Site Assessment Report.


The Phase II ESA Seekers

A property will generally undergo the testing of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment based on the conclusions and recommendations of a recent Phase I Site Assessment Report.  However often times at high risk properties, parties directly request a Phase II ESA along with a Phase I ESA, for a comprehensive understanding of contamination risk.


A Phase II ESA is an Important Step in Environmental Due Diligence for Commercial/Industrial Real Estate TransactionsRequirements of the Investigation 

Geo Forward Phase II ESA Reports are solely based on the specific job site information.  Geo Forward prepares a customized scope of work for each proposal.  All recommended scopes of work are prepared by a State licensed geologist or engineer, and are designed to be in accordance with the ASTM E1903-11 Standard Guide for Environmental Site Assessments.

A reasonable scope of work is objectively created by experienced geologists or engineers to address all potential contamination concerns onsite.  Various site conditions, such as depth to groundwater, type of soil, regional land use, and more play a great role in the designing of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment scope.


The Phase II ESA Process
A Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment can Additionally Include the Analysis of Soil-Gas and Groundwater

Photo by Azad K.

The general scopes of work vary from site to site, and depend on local geology, chemicals of concern, job-site history, and areas of concern.  The scopes of work designed by Geo Forward are intended to meet all the legal requirements and standards.  The Geo Forward team is highly experienced with modern drilling methodologies and discrete sampling technology.

Depending on the site-specific characteristics and land-use history, a Phase II ESA can include testing of one (or a combination of) of the following medias: Soil Gas (Shallow and/or Deep); Soil; and/or Groundwater. Most (but not all) Phase II projects will also require a limited geophysical survey, to identify the precise location of underground features, such as tanks, utility lines, pipelines, etc.

If agreed by all involved parties, Clients can also request to customize scopes for a Phase II ESA.


For more information about environmental due diligence for real estate transactions, or to learn more about the Phase II Subsurface Investigation process, please call (888) 930-6604 and speak with a licensed professional geologist, engineer or environmental scientist. 


Geo Forward, Inc.

Forward-Thinking Geologists, Engineers & Contractors

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