The objective of a project assessment is to evaluate potential liabilities associated with a particular property. The driving forces behind an assessment are Federal, State, and local laws and regulations, potential financial exposure, insurance considerations, and property value impacts. NOVA has extensive experience performing large, multi-state and multi-site assessment projects for banking institutions, law firms, developers, and major corporations. The initial site screening and document review concentrate on several issues:
• Are or were hazardous substances/waste stored or used at the site?
• Have releases of hazardous substances/waste occurred in the past?
• Are asbestos-containing materials or polychlorinated biphenyls present?
NOVA typically conducts site and project assessments in two phases. Phase I consists of listening to our client’s needs and determining what actions to take. We review existing site information and conduct a visual site inspection to determine if further information concerning the site is needed to complete the evaluation. Phase II involves a more extensive investigation which includes implementation of on-site sampling programs and other related activities that will generate more detailed data and additional information. This new data and additional information is necessary to properly characterize the site and resolve questions resulting from the Phase I assessment. Once the Phase I and Phase II site assessments have been completed, the need for a Phase III (i.e., remedial action) can be evaluated.
Phase I environmental assessments concentrate on the investigation of the site’s history and an examination of its current status. Information obtained from the investigation helps identify potential sources of contamination, past regulatory violations, historic releases, and other pertinent data, which will define the present environmental status of the property. The following is a typical scope of work:
• Contact regulatory agencies and review public records for information pertinent to the site.
• Review published hazardous waste facilities lists to determine the existence of known environmental problems with the site or adjacent properties.
• Conduct a visual inspection of the site for the presence of hazardous waste/materials, underground storage tanks, and other related environmental liabilities.
• Review published geological/hydrogeological information.
• Conduct a title search for past owners and usage of subject site.
• Review aerial photographs for historical land use information.
• Develop and submit a written report.
Phase II environmental assessments concentrate on an extensive investigation of environmental concerns identified during the Phase I. The primary goal of the Phase II assessment is to further define the vertical and lateral extent of potential contamination in the soil, the potential impact to groundwater, illegal air releases, and other areas of concern revealed in the Phase I. The following are examples of Phase II activities:
• Soil investigation, sampling and analysis
• Testing for potential asbestos containing material
• Groundwater sampling and analysis
• Air quality sampling and analysis
• PCB sampling and disposal
Once all of the field work and analysis has been completed, a final report of the Phase II site investigation is prepared by NOVA including a summary of the assessment activities and findings. Recommendations for remedial action, if necessary, will be submitted with this report.