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Environmental Bankers Association – Summer 2013 Meeting

Entry by JoeDerhake


The 2013 summer Environmental Bankers Association (EBA) meeting was held in San Francisco earlier this week.  As always, Jeff and Tacy Telego put on a well organized conference.  

A few key take away:

Phase II Environmental Site Assessments

My colleague Kathryn Peacock was on a panel that examined the results of Phase II Environmental Site Assessments.   Partner Engineering & Science, Tetra Tech, PM Environmental, and ATK provided data from a combined 452 Phase II ESAs from 33 states.   They offered a lot of data and this should be the subject of its own blog.  

Here are two quick data points:  1) 76% of Phase IIs returned contaminants above detection levels; 2) 40% of Phase IIs returned levels above regulatory detection levels.  Good numbers to know.

Take away:  environmental consultants are careful when recommending Phase IIs and they only recommend Phase IIs when there is significant risk.

Environmental Law Update

Environmental lawyers, Richard Opper, Earl Hagstrom, Jeff Kirschenbaum, and Larry Kirsch, shared their perspective on environmental risk.  One shared a story of a borrower from Los Angeles who removed a bunch of asbestos from a condo conversion project with untrained laborers.   The borrower was fined over $1 million and was sentenced to jail for willful ignorance.  The borrower was provided a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and an Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Plan; however, completely disregarded these documents.  

Take away:  asbestos is serious business especially in construction. 

New ASTM Guideline

Bill Tryon advocated for creating a new ASTM standard or guidance document of ordering custom environmental site assessments.  This guidance document might serve as a menu that allowed a client to order a report that is between a Phase I ESA and an Environmental Transaction Screen or perhaps a deluxe environmental site assessment that goes beyond a Phase I ESA. 

Seismic Risk Assessment

My colleague Josh marrow provided an update on the ASTM Standard for Seismic Risk Assessments (a.k.a. Probable Maximum Loss).  

Of course, there was lots of other good panels as wells a healthy tour of the San Francisco bars…..always fun.   Thank you Jeff and Tacy for another great Environmental Bankers Association meeting.



Environmental Bankers Association, EBA, Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, ASTM