Environmental Site Assessments

  • Phase I ESA

  • Phase II ESA

  • Phase III ESA

Phase I ESA

A Phase I environmental site assessment (ESA) is typically required on commercial properties by lending institutions. The “due diligence” assessment is conducted to evaluate the property for current and historic practices, both on and off the site, that may have resulted in environmental impairment of soil or groundwater. Our research conforms to ASTM Standards for Environmental Site Assessments. Typical research involves a review of current environmental databases, locating and reviewing historical aerial photographs, topographic maps, and fire insurance maps and directories. We use this information as a basis for our understanding of the historic uses of the property and surrounding areas so that we can provide our opinion regarding the condition of the property and any potential environmental threats. To gain further insight about past uses of the property and possible environmental concerns, we interview owners and local officials, along with visiting the property. When visiting the site, Insight Geologic’s staff look for evidence of storage or improper handling and disposal of hazardous materials. Indications of improper disposal may include evidence of spills, stained concrete or pavement, or distressed vegetation. In some cases, the structure on the site may also be evaluated for the presence of asbestos-containing building materials, lead paint or PCBs. After these assessments are completed, the data is evaluated and summarized in a clear and concise, but comprehensive report which details the environmental and potential liability issues of the site and provides recommendations for further action, if needed.

Phase II ESA

If the Phase I site assessment indicates that additional investigation is required to evaluate the environmental conditions on a property, Insight Geologic carefully structures a scope of work to efficiently evaluate subsurface soil and groundwater conditions. We develop a sampling and analytical schedule that details the sampling locations and appropriate analytical methods to be employed. Our chemical analytical program is structured to develop the necessary information without unnecessary costs. Once the analytical data is received, we carefully evaluate the results with respect to current soil and groundwater cleanup levels. On sites with multiple, complex contaminants, we have the expertise to develop risk-based cleanup levels in accordance with Washington State Department of Ecology MTCA Method B guidelines. Our investigation reports present the data in an easy-to-understand format with summary tables, site maps and subsurface geologic and hydrogeologic conditions clearly depicted. Only when the data is presented in a concise and logical format can logical determinations be made.


If the results from the Phase II investigation indicate that contaminants are present on the site at concentrations exceeding Ecology’s MTCA maximum contamination levels, it may be necessary to remediate or “clean” the site to reduce the risk of ownership. Developing a remediation strategy that best suits the needs of our clients’ as well as site conditions requires years of experience in the environmental field. That experience is exactly what Insight Geologic, Inc. brings to our clients. With over 25 years of utilizing various remediation strategies, we bring a wealth of knowledge to quickly winnow suitable and cost effective technologies from costly ineffective options. We then develop a remediation design, prepare a comprehensive work plan for approval by the Washington State Department of Ecology, and implement the strategy. Monitoring of remediation systems is conducted to keep the system running at peak efficiency. Groundwater monitoring is conducted to evaluate contaminant concentration trends and determine when remediation is complete. Once the cleanup goals have been achieved, a report is prepared for submittal to Ecology demonstrating compliance with cleanup levels. Ecology then issues a letter stating that the site is clean.