A prospective Buyer is interested in a piece of commercial property and enters into a purchase agreement contingent on a phase 1 environmental site assessment, which is required by their lender. However, the seller is uncomfortable about have an environmental consultant inspecting the property and talking to employees.

This is a common problem. Sellers are often are very sensitive to unduly concerning employees to potential changes in ownership. In some cases, limited access, such as a walk-through, can be provided, but not access to knowledgeable on-site employees. The ASTM standard requires interviews with the owner, key site manager and current occupant.

This should not prevent you from conducting your own independent evaluation of the property. Many useful resources can be accessed without involving on-site staff. An ESA report can be prepared using the available information, and the missing data can be referenced as an “exception” to the ASTM standard.

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