Environmental Services

AGEC has successfully completed more than 1,400 environmental site assessments and sampling investigations throughout Utah and Nevada in the past 25 years. AGEC's Environmental Professionals (EP) meet the EPA All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) requirements with the appropriate education and work experience. AGEC's EPs include State of Utah Certified Groundwater and Soil Samplers and UST Certified Consultants, State of Nevada Environmental Managers and NREP Registered Environmental Property Assessors.

Transformers AGEC has performed numerous environmental investigations and reports including Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments, Environmental Transaction Screen Assessments, Phase II Environmental Site Assessments with soil and groundwater sampling for heavy metals, petroleum compounds, chlorinated solvents, pesticides and other potential contaminants of concern.

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments

The purpose of a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is to address the potential environmental liabilities on a specific parcel of commercial real estate, taking into account commonly known and reasonably ascertainable information with respect to the range of contaminants within the scope of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. §9601) and petroleum products. The Phase 1 ESA is intended to permit a user to satisfy one of the requirements to qualify for the innocent landowner, contiguous property owner, or bona fide prospective purchaser limitations on CERCLA liability (“landowner liability protections,” or “LLPs”): that is, the practice that constitutes All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with good commercial and customary practice as defined at 42 U.S.C. §9601(35)(B).

Inquiries must be performed in a manner consistent with the final rule, published at 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 312 (effective November 1, 2006). AAI requirements may be met using the ASTM E 1527-13 or ASTM E2247-08 standards. This Phase 1 ESA, as performed by AGEC, is in general conformance with the 2013 American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard for environmental assessments (E 1527-13) and the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) rule found at 40 CFR 312.

To meet the AAI requirements, a ten step process must be performed not just by the EP, but also by the person seeking to qualify for CERCLA liability protection (i.e., the “user).

The 10 steps are as follows:

  1. The results of an inquiry by an environmental professional.
  2. Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants of the facility for the purpose of gathering information regarding the potential for contamination at the facility.
  3. Reviews of historical sources, such as chain of title documents, aerial photographs, building department records and land use records, to determine previous uses and occupancies of the real property since the property was first developed.
  4. Searches for recorded environmental cleanup liens against the facility that are filed under federal, state or local law.
  5. Reviews of federal, state and local government records, waste disposal records, underground storage tank records, and hazardous waste handling, generation, treatment, disposal and spill records concerning contamination at or near the facility.
  6. Visual inspections of the facility and of adjoining properties.
  7. Specialized knowledge or experience on the part of the defendant.
  8. The relationship of the purchase price to the value of the property, if the property was not contaminated.
  9. Commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the property.
  10. The degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of contamination at the property, and the ability to detect the contamination by appropriate investigation.

The assessments do not typically address other issues (not all-inclusive) including the presence of endangered species, biological agents, asbestos containing materials, lead-based paint, "toxic" mold, radon and lead in the drinking water. Liability/risk evaluations, indoor air quality, regulatory compliance, health and safety, industrial hygiene, cultural and historic resources, wetland studies or remediation techniques are not within the scope of these reports. Soil, water or air sampling and testing are not typically performed during a Phase 1 ESA. An estimated cost for environmental sampling and testing can be provided on request.

Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

If the Phase I ESA or Transaction Screen has identified recognized environmental conditions on or in the vicinity of the subject property, a Phase II investigation is typically performed to help determine if the potential contamination is present in significant concentrations. The findings of the Phase II investigation may provide the level of knowledge necessary to satisfy the innocent purchaser defense under CERCLA. The objectives of the Phase II investigation are to provide sufficient information to be able to reasonably accertain if there is a significant presence of hazardous substances or petroleum products associated with the previously recognized environmental conditions on the subject property. Depending on the scope of work, additional guidance on the extent of the contamination and possible remedial courses of action may be provided. A general guide for Phase II Environmental Site Assessments is ASTM E 1903-11.

Once the remediation of the contamination begins, additional environmental sampling may be necessary to help document the clean up through the use of confirmation samples.