Phase 1 or Phase 2 environmental assessments must be based on actual defensible data, documented instances of spillage or leakage and specific locations of risk of subsurface contamination. Faith based environmental assessment relies on the faith that there must be an environmental issue somewhere and that if it exists we will find it. Unfortunately, that often leads to the following situations after conducting Phase 2 subsurface investigation.
- a false sense of security to the owner that the Property is clean if nothing is found
- misleading data due to insufficient random investigations
- the opening of a regulatory agency leak case based on the required reporting of limited and insufficiently investigated contamination (think high concentrations of oil and grease in very shallow soil in a parking lot)
Per ASTM and AAI, recognized environmental conditions (RECs) are conditions at a property that requires regulatory agency action. In the absence of a “smoking gun”, specific tenants, previous commercial use and routine use of hazardous materials are NOT RECs.