© 2016-2018 by Assessment Associates, Inc.

Call us today (503) 233-8565

Scope of Services
Phase I
Environmental Site Assessments

Simply put, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) is a study of a property to identify potential or existing environmental liabilities. Although the ESA typically addresses both the underlying land as well as physical improvements to the property, the scope of work does not include actual collection of soil or groundwater samples or chemical analysis of any kind.


What's Included in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment?


  • Site Walk: The outdoor and indoor areas of the property are inspected for evidence of spills of hazardous substances or petroleum products, such as soil staining and petroleum odors, leaking containers, pipes or other evidence of underground storage tanks. The surrounding properties are also visually inspected from the property boundary or intervening streets.


  • Regulatory Research: Federal, state, local and tribal environmental records are reviewed out to distances ranging from 1/8 to 1 mile, depending on the database.


  • Historical Research: Interviews of past and present owners, occupants, and neighbors are conducted. In addition, a historical review is conducted via air photos, reverse phone books, fire insurance maps, and topographic maps.


  • Records Review: Local building plans and permits, health department and fire department records, and tax and title information, including environmental liens are reviewed.


  • Report: The findings of the research, including any recommendations for further investigation, are summarized in an environmental site assessment report report along with site photographs and other relevant documentation, in accordance with a standard set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Practice E 1527-13, Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.


The experience of the Environmental Professional is the most important factor in insuring that your Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is conducted in accordance with the performance standards of ASTM E 1527-13.


Our staff at Assessment Associates, Inc. has a combined experience of over twenty years and 1,000 Phase I Environmental Site Assessments along with Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessments.

Phase II
Environmental Assessments

A Phase II Environnmental Site Assessment (Phase II ESA) is an “intrusive” investigation, which includes the collection of soil, vapor, or groundwater samples in order to determine whether a site is contaminated. Those contaminants can include petroleum, such as gasoline or diesel fuel; solvents, such as perchlorethylene; heavy metals, such as lead or arsenic, or myriad other environmental contaminants. 

What's Included in a Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment?


  • A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment is usually triggered when evidence of such contamination is observed or collected during a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment. In order to determine whether a property is safe for an intended use, soil, groundwater, or soil vapor samples are collected, analyzed by an accredited laboratory, and compared to published government screening levels or risk-based concentrations for the contaminants of concern.


  • The final cleanup level for various contaminants at a site are often based upon the current or intended future use of the site. For example, the level of contaminants considered to be protective of human health and the environment at a commercial or industrial property are usually higher than the cleanup standards established for a school, residence, or playground.


  • A conceptual site model (CSM) is often developed for a site in order to to integrate all site features and to determine whether data gaps exist, requiring additional sampling. The CSM also informs the selection of the best remedial actions for a given location, suite of contaminants, and exposure pathways.


  • Once enough data is collected and analyzed to provide a statistically defensible course of action, the third phase, known as a remedial action, can proceed. The remediation may include removing contaminated soil; pumping and treating contaminated groundwater or soil vapor; or the establishment of institutional or engineering controls to prevent human exposure, such as a soil cap or a sub-slab depressurization system.


At AAI, we strive to provide the most scientifically sound, economical, and time-tested remedial strategies to quickly get your property or development project back on track for whatever your final intended use may be.

Underground Tanks

Our Phase I Environmental Site Assessments often reveal evidence of current or historical underground fuel tanks at a property. Just because a tank has been removed, the site may not be free of contamination. If the removal was done prior to the early 1990s, chances are the soil was never tested as is currently required for tank removal.

  • The first step to determining whether that old pipe sticking out of the ground is attached to a buried tank is to have a geophysical survey done at the property, which employs magnetic or radar imaging technology to look for buried tanks or tank pits. Once located, the soil beneath the tank or within the filled-in pit can be sampled with a truck-mounted drill rig or hand-operated auger to obtain soil samples for analysis.

  • Laboratory results and other criteria will determine what needs to be done to restore the site to environmental compliance. AAI uses a combination of onsite staff and trusted contractors to help you navigate the underground tank discovery, investigation and decommissioning process quickly, safely, and economically. 

Asbestos & Lead

Asbestos is an EPA-regulated toxic substance and a human carcinogen. The EPA defines ACMs as any materials that contain more than 1% asbestos. ACMs were historically used in insulation materials, acoustical ceiling tiles and resilient flooring manufactured prior to the mid-1970s. However, certain ACMs, including brake shoes, roofing materials, and other items, may continue to be used legally in equipment and structures.

  • The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality requires that an ACM survey be performed prior to any demolition (including intentional burning) or renovation activities of structures other than single-family homes and residential buildings with four or fewer dwelling units. If ACMs are identified, they must be removed prior to demolition or renovation to prevent the release of asbestos fibers to the air [(OAR) 340-248-0270] regardless of whether the material is friable (able to be hand-crumbled, pulverized or reduced to powder when dry).

  • Regarding commercial and industrial buildings, Oregon-OSHA requires that building owners conduct ACM surveys of their buildings, notify any occupants of the presence of ACMs, and provide ACM operations and maintenance training and guidance for maintenance personnel.

  • For lead-based paint, OSHA defines any surface containing detectable lead as lead-containing paint. Any lead-containing paint debris generated during renovation or construction activities must be carefully disposed according to federal, state, and local regulations and landfill requirements.

  • Our staff have extensive experience inspecting and sampling buildings for asbestos and lead-based paint. We can include these services as part of the Phase I ESA or Transaction Screen process. We have relationships with several accredited analytical labs that can provide results in as little as 24 hours.


Third-Party Document Review
  • AAI Staff are often called upon to conduct third-party review of all types of environmental reports, including Phase I ESAs, Phase II investigations, cleanup reports, underground storage tank closure reports, and asbestos surveys. We also perform Phase I ESA inspections for out-of-town consultants who need a local seasoned environmental inspector to walk a property, interview relevant individuals, conduct permit searches, and review non-electronic resources. 

Storm Water Management

In the Pacific Northwest, with average annual rainfall amounts routinely totaling 50 to 60 inches per year, typically occurring between the months of October and May, the implementation of stormwater best management practices is a key aspect for any development project.  Stormwater runoff is one of the largest sources of pollutants to waterways across the country.  Stormwater flows over impervious surfaces, as well as lawns and bare soils, and picks up and transports fertilizers, oil and grease, animal waste, and other pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency has identified improperly managed stormwater runoff as one of the principle causes of water quality impairments and habitat degradation in developed and developing areas.  There is a growing public awareness of this issue nationally and in the Pacific Northwest.

  • To address post construction stormwater pollution, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s 401 Water Quality Certification Program requires a post-construction stormwater management plan (SWMP) be submitted for review and approval by the agency. The plan must be submitted for all projects that require a federal permit or license and that results in an increase or redevelopment of impervious surfaces.  The SWMP applies to post construction permanent stormwater facilities such as constructed wetlands, bioswales, retention ponds, infiltration galleries and drywells.

  • Stormwater facilities that discharge stormwater runoff below the ground surface such as sumps, drywells, and soakage trenches are required to be registered as an Underground Injection Control (UIC) system with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.  UIC systems are regulated under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (administered by DEQ) and the State Plumbing Code. DEQ regulates UICs under the Oregon Administrative Rules 340-40 and 340-44. UICs can pollute soil and groundwater if not properly designed, sited, and operated. In many cases, as site assessment is required to certify that the stormwater UIC system will not be exposed to contaminants.

  • The experience of the Environmental Professional is the most important factor in insuring that your redevelopment project is conducted in accordance with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s 401 Water Quality Certification Program. Our staff have extensive experience in stormwater management.