ESA Phase I, II, & III Audits

Environment site assessment, or ESA, is a study of a certain land area and the activities that have taken place there. The purpose of the study is to determine if there is any environmental contamination and how to mitigate that contamination. ESAs have three phases. Depending on the results from the previous phase, professionals may or may not need to perform the next one. Clean Management Group has compiled a breakdown of the ESA process and Phase I, II, and III audits below.

How are ESAs performed?

Trained environmental professionals are necessary at every phase of an ESA to ensure that the assessment is compliant with all relevant federal, state, and local regulations. State and local laws may differ from those at the federal level, which makes having local knowledge of the legal landscape critical. CME Group is proud to provide knowledgeable experts to ensure appropriate compliance.

phase ii audit paperwork

Phase I

Companies conduct Phase I audits when there is the potential for site contamination. In addition to the physical site inspection, auditors review site records. They also interview property owners, residents, and any other party that has a direct connection to the site.

Thorough inspections take time, as government records can be detailed and the sources of contamination are not always straightforward. Trained auditors will be able to assess the origin of the contamination–if it exists–by completing a comprehensive review process at the end of a Phase I environmental audit.

Phase II

The Phase II audit builds upon the first stage. It includes a mandatory sampling of items that were mentioned in Phase I. Once samples are acquired, they will go to a laboratory for analysis. Their results will direct the course of action for the Phase III audit, if the results warrant another phase.

Phase II actions include, but are not limited to, testing the following areas of interest:

  • Surface water and soil
  • Groundwater
  • Underground storage facilities
  • Trenches, drains, and basins
  • Transformers (for PCBs)
  • Waste drums
  • Mold around or within the site
  • Air around the site

Phase III

The final stage in the ESA is the Phase III audit. Using the information from Phase II, auditors will determine the extent of the contamination and make a plan to remove or neutralize all of those hazardous substances. This should make the contaminated area safe again.

While the plan is in progress, other auditors will complete more paperwork relating to the contamination and submit it to the proper authorities. Neglect of this step can result in hefty penalties.

To learn more about how Clean Management’s hazardous waste professionals can assist your business through the environment site assessment (ESA) process, reach out to one of our trained staff members today.

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