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Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in New Jersey

Environmental site assessments (ESA) are important procedures in commercial property transactions. Factories, buildings, agricultural sites, and vacant lots should undergo such an assessment before finalizing the deal. 

An ESA can be conducted by licensed professionals like an environmental inspector or a structural engineer NJ. Professionals accomplish four main procedures in phase I environmental site assessment. These are records review, site inspection, interview, and reporting.

Records Review

All available documents on the property’s historical use and environmental state are collected and reviewed in this phase. Records review is essential to site assessment as it gives the parties an overview of the site’s history. Documents to be evaluated include city directories, fire insurance maps, images, land use maps, titles, government documents, and environmental records. 

Site Inspection

In this phase, the environmental or commercial building inspector NJ investigates the site’s current state. The assessment involves a location tour and observation of the site’s conditions. 

During this phase, the inspector identifies factors that might pose risks to future operations. The property’s foundation is also checked to see if it complies with safety and environmental standards. This evaluation can protect the owner and buyer from liability.  


An interview of the involved personnel is conducted to make the records review and site inspection more effective. The inspector will inquire with relevant individuals to confirm the accuracy of gathered data or further understand the site’s history. 

Key individuals include the past and current owner, operators, occupants, employees, local government officials, or personnel with site knowledge. Their responses will help the inspector develop a comprehensive report. 


After intensive research, the environmental inspector produces findings. This will include pertinent information that can aid the owner and buyer during the transaction. It will consist of images, historical data, statistics, and conclusions influencing the property’s overall value. If any environmental concerns are found, a Phase 2 ESA is recommended to verify if the risks have been addressed. 

The four stages of Phase 1 ESA safeguard landowners from the liabilities that might arise from operations causing environmental issues. It also prevents buyers from making ill-informed investments. 

Learn more about the significance of Phase 1 environmental site assessments in New Jersey by reading this infographic by Lockatong Engineering. 



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