There are many myths about Phase 2 projects that buyers, brokers, lenders and owners should consider when they request or review this data.  

Some are as follows:

  1. Phase 2 projects tell you a property is clean – Sampling locations are often subjective and are based on professional opinions on what samples are representative. Well designed and appropriate investigations still only provide subjective data that lessen the risk that significant contamination is present, they do not tell you a property is “clean”.
  2. There is no problem if the concentrations are below the “actionable” or “cleanup” levels – Unless SPECIFIC defensible locations are sampled (such as below a known UST location), ANY detectable concentration of contamination constitutes a release and is required to be reported to the environmental regulatory agency.
  3. Due diligence Phase 2 investigations can be less stringent and comprehensive than active leak sites – While due diligence investigations are often the initial investigation at a site, ALL phase 2 investigations should be performed to regulatory agency standards of care and practice. It should be assumed that the investigation will be reviewed by a regulatory agency, especially if any contamination is detected.  ALL investigations should be justified by having stated specific targets and written objectives as required by the agencies.