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Why is a Phase 1 different in Boston, Massachusetts?

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a preliminary investigation to assess a property’s potential environmental contamination. A Phase I ESA aims to identify potential environmental concerns that could impact a property’s value and determine the need for further investigation.

In Boston, Massachusetts, a Phase I ESA is conducted according to the guidelines established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The assessment typically includes reviewing historical records, an on-site property inspection, and interviews with relevant parties. The Phase I ESA report will summarize the investigation findings and recommend any further action that may be necessary.

In Boston, Massachusetts, a Phase I ESA is typically conducted by a qualified environmental professional familiar with local regulations and environmental conditions. The process typically involves a review of available records and documents, a site inspection, and interviews with relevant parties. The Phase I ESA aims to identify any potential environmental concerns associated with the property, such as hazardous materials or contamination from past activities. The environmental professional will report the assessment findings to the parties involved in the real estate transaction and may recommend further investigation or testing if necessary.

Local experts share the positives and negatives of how Boston’s Phase I ESAs are unique:

  1. “Wow, I’ve never seen that before!”: The age of the city makes for inspections that are never dull. Often, when doing inspections on buildings from the mid-1800s or earlier, it’s not uncommon to discover things assessors have never run into before.
  2. Accessibility of Information: Completing research for Phase I ESAs in Boston is among the easiest of the municipal offices encountered. All information is available on either online databases (Inspectional Services) or with a simple email to the Fire or Archive Departments. The completeness of the flammable license records at these offices is a credit to the staff managing these files.
  3. Benefits of a Compact Development: Due to the compact development of Boston, no matter where the site is, you’re never far from an historic site or neighborhood to make the day interesting before and after the inspections.

Hiring an experienced professional for your commercial real estate due diligence is important.