Phase II Environmental Site Assessment

An Introduction

In order to recommend a phase II environmental site assessment, an environmental consult will have uncovered information during a phase I assessment that leads her/him to believe that the property in question is, or could become, environmentally contaminated.

The purpose of the phase 2 is to actually determine if in fact the suspected contamination, or threat of contamination, is present. And depending on the nature of the findings contained in the phase I report, the phase II assessment process will include the appropriate physical testing to make that determination.

The physical testing is performed on samples of soils, groundwater and building materials that are collected during the phase II environmental. Some of the more typical contaminants that are tested for include the following:

  • asbestos
  • mold
  • lead-based paint and other heavy metals
  • radon
  • pesticides
  • and hydrocarbons from petroleum products

My only first hand experience with a phase II assessment occurred when a phase I site assessment that was undertaken on a property that I owned revealed the possibility of hydrocarbon contamination. ( Click here for more information on this. Opens a new window.) In that particular case the phase II required the boring of 3 monitoring wells to gather soil and groundwater samples for testing. Once the holes were bored, samples were collected on three separate site visits before the final testing was complete. The cost for this phase II environmental site assessment was just under $10,000, including the final reporting.

Unlike phase I reports, the costs of phase II's can vary depending on the scope of the work necessary and the amount of laboratory testing that is required. (In my report, Environmental Site Assessment Case Study , I walk through the entire environmental assessment process, and talk specifically about the phase II that was required in this case. I also include a breakdown of costs for the phase II along with photographs of the remediation process etc).

If, during the phase II environmental site assessment, any contamination is discovered on the subject property, a site remediation plan (or phase III assessment) will be laid out in the phase II report along with an estimation of the related costs. A further discussion of the remediation phase of the environmental site assessment process can be found here .

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