Phase I Esa

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is the first step in property transaction due diligence and is typically required by lenders prior to funding a commercial property transaction. The purpose of a Phase I ESA is to evaluate a property for environmental risk that could hinder development or offer future liability.

Headwater personnel have completed hundreds of Phase I ESAs and other due-diligence assessments in North Carolina and throughout the United States.

Environmental risks or recognized environmental conditions (RECs) can result from the current or past presence of a gasoline station, underground storage tanks, a dry cleaner, industrial operations, an automotive repair shop, commercial agriculture, or illegal or historical dumping or landfill.

If a Phase I ESA is completed in the United States, the environmental professional must ensure that the report meets the requirements of the EPA All Appropriate Inquiry rule and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. §9601). The American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) Standard 1527-13 serves as the guide to ensure the Phase I ESA is completed properly and is in compliance with the statutes.

Have questions or simply looking to get a Phase I ESA done? Contact Headwater for assistance.


When a Phase I ESA identifies a recognized environmental condition or the potential for site impacts, further evaluation of the potential impacts may be warranted. This additional assessment is achieved by performing a Phase II ESA. In general, a Phase II ESA involves subsurface investigation of soil, groundwater, soil gas, or indoor air to assess sources of environmental impact and risk.

Headwater’s experienced staff of environmental professionals, scientists, and geologists possess expertise in Phase II environmental project design and perform these assessments per the ASTM E1903-11 Standard Practice. We use our expertise to develop cost-effective assessment strategies that focus on identifying risks, which may include exposure to impacted soil, drinking water, or indoor air.

The completion of a Phase II ESA allows for a more comprehensive approach to risk evaluation and mitigation, and in many cases can protect against long-term environmental liability. When preparing a Phase II ESA scope, the environmental professional accounts for areas of concern, chemicals of concern, local geology, and local, state, and federal regulations.

Contact Headwater to discuss how our team can help you and your project.


Pre-demolition assessments, including surveys for asbestos, lead-based paint, hazardous materials (mercury switches, PCB-containing ballasts and construction materials, universal waste, etc.), are also offered by Headwater.

Once pre-assessment services are completed, Headwater can provide decommissioning and demolition services, including site demolition, construction management and observation, and documentation services.

Contact Headwater with your questions—we are here to guide and serve you!