Both the Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and the Environmental Transaction Screen (ETS) permit the user to satisfy one of the requirements for the innocent landowner defense with respect to CERCLA (Superfund) liability.

The choice of levels of due diligence includes consideration of: 1) the cost of the due diligence, 2) the risk requirements of the lending institution, and 3) the environmental conditions on and near the property.

The ETS is appropriate:

For newly constructed buildings on previously undeveloped land

For sites with a known history of non polluting uses such as a dentist office in a converted retail or residential building

When the lending institution is agreeable based on their loan amount and risk tolerance

The ETS is significantly less expensive and time consuming than the ESA.

ERAS has cleared hundreds of properties of environmental impairment and has also identified several former gasoline stations based only on the ETS process. If conditions require, the ETS can be expanded into an ESA project.

The ESA is appropriate when:

  • Sites in commercial areas have histories of industrial operations or current/previous complete available information regarding
  • The borrower may not have chosen the lender or will quickly resell the site
  • Sites in commercial areas have histories of industrial operations or current/previous complete available information regarding
  • The borrower may not have chosen the lender or will quickly resell the site
  • The current or future lending institution requires the more standardized ESA petroleum related businesses
  • Historical uses for baseline knowledge.
  • The owner or lending institution desires