Most pre-transactional evaluations of properties begin with an environmental consultant performing a Phase I ESA or Transaction Screen. The methodology ALWI typically uses in performing a normal Phase I ESA follows ASTM Standard No. E 1527-13, and our customary Transaction Screen follows ASTM Standard No. E 1528-06. The advantage of following published standards is in ensuring greater objectivity and defensibility of the work. ESAs generally include personal interviews, a site reconnaissance, a site history review and a review of available and applicable state and local government records. Transaction Screens are similar to Phase I ESAs but are more streamlined in the degree of historical research required. ESAs and Transaction Screens supplement, but do not replace, engineering and other technical evaluations, which are intrinsic to pre-acquisition evaluations of commercial properties.
ESAs and Transaction Screens are preliminary in nature, carry no intrinsic or expressly stated warranty of environmental integrity, and are not comprehensive environmental assessments or audits of properties. Due to the non-invasive nature of this preliminary assessment, environmental consultants who perform ESAs and Transaction Screens cannot confer an absolute assurance of the absence of RECs remaining from prior uses and activities or otherwise associated with a given site.