Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments - Actual Onsite Testing

Phase II ESA (Environmental Site Assessments) may include the Phase I portion of the assessment and also include soil and ground water and surface water sampling in suspect areas. If an environmental hazard is identified or if a known hazard exists based on past usage, a Phase II ESA will evaluate suspect areas identified on the subject property. A Phase II assessment can also be implemented without the Phase I ESA if the interested parties are aware of existing contamination to the property.

A Phase II ESA may include one or more of the following:

- Superficial soil and water samples;
- Subsurface soil borings;
- Groundwater monitoring well installation, sampling, and analysis;
- Container (drum) sampling;
- Sampling of dry wells, floor drains, and catch basins;
- Precision testing of USTs;
- Transformer/capacitor sampling and wipe tests for PCBs;
- Geophysical surveys for buried tanks and drums;
- Asbestos surveys; and
- Lead paint surveys.

Subsurface Soil Samples are collected using hand augers, a Geoprobe , or a drilling rig. Soil borings are collected in suspect locations. Samples are collected, preserved, shipped to a laboratory according to standard industry methods. Ground water samples are collected from borings or permanent monitoring wells. 

The Phase II ESA report describes the soil borings completed, soil texture, analytical results, and presents the data in tabular form. The ground water samples collected are used to characterize the site in the areas of concern. Conclusions are drawn from the available data collected onsite, regional, and local information available. If conditions are identified that may require remediation the recommendations section of the report will discuss general options available.

Phase II ESAs further evaluate the recognized environmental conditions found as a result of a Phase I ESA. Phase II ESAs must be performed by an environmental professional, and generally include sampling of potentially contaminated areas to confirm the presence of contamination, determine its types, outline the amount of remedial actions required, and list any risks to current/future users.


1. "ASTM Standards on Environmental Site Assessments for Commercial Real Estate," Second Edition, E 1527-94 and E 1528-93, American Society for Testing and Materials.
2. Environmental Site Assessment, Phase I: A Basic Guide, Kathleen Hess, Lewis Publishers, 1993.
3. "Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I)," Occupational and Environmental Safety Training Division, Texas A& M University, January 1, 1992.
4. "Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Buyers Often Foot the Bill," Washington Business Journal, April 14, 1997.
5. "PBS NEPA Desk Guide," Final Draft, May 16, 1997.
6. "Scope of Work - Phase I Environmental Site Assessment," NEPA Call-In World Wide Web page.