The following are NOT RECs, although some consultants identify these as RECs to recommend Phase 2 investigations.
The current or historical presence of hazardous materials at a Property. This is NOT a REC in the absence of evidence of a leak or spill.
The existence of a spill is NOT a REC unless it is documented that it could impact subsurface soil or groundwater. Minor spills are NOT RECs.
Bad housekeeping issues alone are NOT RECs in the absence of proper justification that the leak would (SIGNIFICANTLY) threaten human health or the environment.
Problems with non-compliance regarding hazardous materials that require correction are NOT RECs that require Phase 2 investigation.
The bottom line is the Environmental Professional must take responsibility to properly evaluate the findings from an ESA to properly document what is and what is not a REC. The users of Phase 1 reports should DEMAND proper justification for Phase 2 recommendations.
*Harm from poorly justified Phase 2 project. It may:
- not provide scientifically defensible data that properly clears the Property of contamination
- find minor or even de minimis conditions that are improperly interpreted as significant contamination
- put the owner on the regulatory agency hook for contamination
since the owner must report ANY release of chemicals within 30 days.