What is a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment?

In Alberta and throughout Canada Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments are undertaken in accordance with Canadian Standards Association (CSA) document “Z768-01 (2012) Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment. In Alberta Phase 1 ESA’s must be undertaken in accordance with the “Alberta Environmental Site Assessment Standard” as listed below.

These types of assessments are undertaken to determine the risk of contamination being present on a property or the risk of a property being impacted by nearby contamination from properties within a 300 metre radius from the boundary of the subject property as required by the standard. No matter the reason for undertaking such a report including bank financing, oil and gas baseline assessments and remediation, or risk assessment for a potential purchaser the overriding reason for undertaking a Phase 1 ESA is for the assessment of risk and to determine if a property or site is likely to have been impacted by contamination. When these reports are undertaken they determine:

  • Area(s)of Potential Environmental Concern (APEC). These are any areas on, in or under the site and surrounding area where one or more contaminants of potential concern may be present, as identified through an initial Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (Phase 1 ESA)
  • Contaminant(s)of Potential Concern(CoPC): any substance that is identified as potentially present on, in or under the site and surrounding area that, if released has the potential for adverse effect.

A Phase 1 ESA generally entails the following:

  • Record Reviews: A thorough records review is undertaken which includes: county or city records, fire department records of spills, underground storage tank registrars, ERIS Report, aerial photographic interpretation, topographic and geological/soils mapping, well records, and evaluation and searches of other records where appropriate to reveal any former uses of the property could have caused environmental damage or site contamination.
  • Interviews: Abundant information regarding the actual uses and on-site activities can be gained by interviewing past and current tenants of the property. Interviews are undertaken where possible of current property owners, neighbours and other parties such as county officers, city officers, or fire department officers to gain further background information.
  • Site Inspection: A detailed site inspection is undertaken to determine any signs of potential or actual contamination.
  • Reporting: A detailed report is provided which outlines in detail the potential for contamination on the site and identifies potential risks.

Clients must recognise the importance of Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments as an extremely important tool in identifying the potential for contamination on a property. We have undertaken Phase 1 ESA’s right across Alberta in locations such as Calgary, Edmonton, Medicine Hat, south to the US border, to the north and everywhere in between. Each site is different with slightly different potential risks of contamination and as such a detailed background evaluation through record reviews and a detailed site inspection is required.

We are Certified Environmental Site Assessors (Phase 1 and Phase 2) – Associated Environmental Site Assessors of Canada (AESAC National Certification Programme). This certification comes with a responsibility to provide our clients with the best possible service and we are fully insured and experienced to undertake this work.

As a small company you can be assured you will be dealing with an experienced professional with all work done in house and quick response times for our clients as we realise that often these assessments are time sensitive for purchases.