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News: CTCAR

What is the Difference? By Savvy Inspections

Wednesday, February 7, 2018  

What is the difference between an Environmental  Desktop Report, a Transaction Screen and a Phase I ESA?

An Environmental Desktop Report is a limited environmental assessment for lower risk properties that does not include a site visit to the property by the inspector.  The environmental risk of the subject site is evaluated through a limited review of government records and pertinent information to quickly assess whether the property shows a recognized environmental condition. A “Desktop Report” costs the least of the three and report turnaround is quickest.  Typical fee = $700   Turnaround = 3 days  

A Transaction Screen is also a limited assessment  for lower risk properties that does include a site visit to the property by the inspector.  The environmental risk of the subject site is evaluated through a limited review of government records and pertinent information to quickly assess whether the property shows a recognized environmental condition.  Historical use may be reviewed back to 1940 or first development using city directories, Sanborn maps, or aerial photographs. A Transaction Screen is sometimes used as an alternative to Phase I Environment Site Assessments (ESA), which are a more extensive, cost more, and have a longer report turnaround.
Typical Fee = $1000   Turnaround = 7-10 days

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is an extensive assessment that includes a site visit to the property by the inspector.  The purchaser or the bank that is financing the purchase usually require a Phase I Assessment of the property to establish and to qualify for the CERCLA "Innocent Land Owner Defense", which is designed to allow the owner of contaminated property to defend against liability for hazardous substances that were put on the property by an unrelated third party. As well as a site inspection, the subject site is evaluated through a review of several government records and pertinent information to assess whether the property or possibly surrounding  properties, have/has a recognized environmental condition, and whether a Phase II Assessment is recommended, or nothing was found at the property and no further review is needed. Phase I ESAs cost the most, are the most thorough of the three, and report turnaround is longest.  Typical Fee = $1750   Turnaround = 10 – 15 days

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