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What Is a Phase 1 CSA Environmental Site Assessment?

workers are performing emvironment site assessment

Environmental site assessment helps ensure that the property is a safe investment for the lender.

There are several phases for the assessment. Phase I CSA (Canadian Standards Association) ESA’s are done for financing on most commercial and industrial properties.

This blog outlines everything you need to know about a phase 1 CSA environmental site assessments.

Purpose of Environmental Site Assessments

The success of a real estate transaction depends heavily on the land you're trying to sell or buy, but it's nearly impossible to know the safety of the land by a glance at the property.

A trained professional performs an environmental site assessment to figure out the history of the land. These professionals are looking for possible past sources of contamination from products used or manufactured on site, as wells as neighbouring properties. After the assessment, you will have a clear view of what you're purchasing and what the potential risks of contamination are.

Process for Site Assessment

During an environmental site assessment, a team will first do some historical research into the property. This includes figuring out what the historical use of the property was and what the environmental impact that previous use had on the land. It also involved looking at the neighbouring properties to see if anything was done on those sites that could potentially migrate onto the subject property.

Then a team will come to the property to do a visual inspection of the current conditions on site. Typically, this doesn't involve invasive procedures like digging holes or taking samples. It's a general discovery process to determine if more action is necessary.

After Phase 1 Assessment

For those properties that pose minimal risk, they can proceed with their funding and purchase/sell the property.

If there are some concerns about potential risk, a phase 2 assessment will be required. This is a more thorough inspection where soil and groundwater samples are taken, and further research is required. There may be a chance that some remediation actions have to be taken to prepare the land to be used again.

All About a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment

Purchasing a new property for either a commercial or residential building is an exciting time. But it can also be stressful to make sure you're making a good decision and investment.

A phase 1 environmental site assessment will help you know what to expect while you're building or buying, help you avoid problems, and preserve the surrounding environment.

Fisher Engineering Limited has over 30 years of experience in the industry, and our team can help with many issues that may come up as a result. Reach out to Fisher Engineering for a reliable environment site assessment.


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