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Why is a Phase I different in Phoenix, Arizona?

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) for commercial real estate in Phoenix, Arizona may differ in a few ways compared to other locations:

Climate: The climate in Phoenix is hot and dry, which can impact the potential for soil and water contamination. For example, there may be higher levels of dry-cleaning solvent or fuel contamination due to evaporation in the dry climate.

Local Industry: Phoenix has a diverse economy, with a large presence of manufacturing, healthcare, and aerospace industries. This can impact the potential for environmental contamination from certain types of chemicals or materials used in these industries.

Environmental Regulations: Arizona has its own state-level environmental regulations in addition to federal regulations. These regulations may impact the scope and requirements of a Phase I ESA in Phoenix.

Land Use History: Phoenix has a long history of development and land use change, which can impact the potential for environmental contamination. For example, a site may have been used for industrial purposes in the past, which could have resulted in soil or water contamination.

Overall, a Phase I ESA in Phoenix will consider these and other local factors to assess the potential for environmental contamination at a commercial real estate site.

Local experts also weigh in on what other factors make Phoenix unique:

  • Groundwater is usually very deep and local groundwater (GW) flow direction is inconsistent which can affect assessments.
  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) still requires in-person file review for most records requests, adding a layer to Phoenix’s complexity.
  • In Arizona, it is common for commercial properties to be equipped with drywalls for stormwater drainage, which are not connected to the municipal sewer system, but allow stormwater to percolate directly into the ground.

Given Phoenix’s unique factors, it makes sense to hire an experienced professional for your commercial real estate due diligence is important.