The advantage of conducting an ESA most often cited is that it can establish you as an “innocent landowner”, allowing some protection against CERCLA liability.
The more tangible benefit of conducting an ESA is the knowledge gained in conducting a formal assessment of a property. This benefit is greatly augmented by adding issues to the ESA that are often outside the scope of a standard ASTM Phase 1. This could include:
- Describing the manufacturing process
- Evaluating environmental compliance
- Identifying potential “bottlenecks” created by permit limits or regulations
- Considering environmental compliance implications of your future plans for the facility
- Assessing impacts of upcoming regulations on a facility
- Understanding the current environmental management system.
- Evaluating the status of asbestos, lead-based paint and other issues typically excluded from a Phase 1 ESA; this issues are especially important if you intent to demolish and/or renovate existing structures.