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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Phase I ESA – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Phase I ESA?
A Phase I ESA is the gold standard for identifying any current or potential environmental concerns or contamination associated with a real property, which may impact the property value or effect claim to an “innocent land owner” exemption following acquisition.
Is completing a Phase I ESA mandatory?
A Phase I ESA may only be mandatory in certain instances such as the property designated with an E-Designation by the NYC Office of Environmental Remediation (ORE). The main reason someone participating in a real estate transaction should ask for a Phase I of the property is to qualify for the “innocent landowner defense”. Phase Is can be useful during real estate transactions as a bargaining tool to get a fair price on property without any future surprises of environmental issues with the site. Only when a change of land use or a new construction on a piece of real estate is planned. You are free to use your land for its currently designated usage with no penalties.

only when a change of land use or a new construction on a piece of real estate is planned. You are free to use your land for its currently designated usage with no penalties.
What does a Phase I ESA Include?
Phase I ESAs include a review of historical and current environmental records, a regulatory records review, performance of a Site inspection, evaluation of risks of neighboring properties upon the site, interviews of persons knowledgeable about the Site, and a professional Phase I ESA report.