What is Phase II ESA?
A Phase II ESA (Environmental Site Assessment) follows a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and investigates the Recognized Environmental Conditions, or REC, identified in the Phase I report. A Phase II investigation (sometimes referred to as a Limited Site Investigation or LSI) is intended to confirm the presence or absence of actual chemical or petroleum releases from each of the REC listed in the Phase I report. If no RECs were found during the Phase II ESA, then a Phase II investigation would not be needed.
In most cases, the Phase II Environmental Site Investigation will collect soil, groundwater or soil vapor samples near the locations of the RECs. Samples are then sent to a laboratory for chemical analysis. The Phase II is considered a “limited” site investigation because the scope to limited to investigating the presence or absence of actual chemical or petroleum releases from each of the REC listed in the Phase I report.
If no indications of chemical or petroleum releases are found, then the site investigation ends. If the results show that some releases have occurred, State and Federal laws may require reporting to the appropriate agencies. In this case further investigation may be required to determine the magnitude and extent of the contamination and to determine if site remediation is needed. The subsequent investigations are sometimes referred to as Phase III Environmental Site Assessments and are not typically included during Phase II investigations.
In Summary, if a Phase I ESA identifies potential contamination of the site by hazardous materials, a Phase II ESA may be conducted. The Phase II ESA includes sampling and laboratory analysis to confirm the presence of hazardous materials. Some of the tests that may be performed include:
- Surﬁcial soil and water samples
- Subsurface soil borings
- Groundwater monitoring well installation
- Analysis (may be appropriate on neighboring properties as well to determine the presence of contamination)
- Drum sampling (if any were left on the property)
- Sampling of dry wells
- Floor drains and catch basins
- Transformer/capacitor sampling for Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
- Geophysical testing for buried tanks and drums
- Testing of underground storage tanks.