The Commercial Real Estate Informational Portal

Welcome to

Welcome to the Commercial Real Estate Expert Blog! A host of industry leading real estate professionals, lawyers, and consultants providing the latest in real estate relevant news and advice.

Why Phase I ESAs Are Different in Baltimore, Maryland

A Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is a study conducted to assess the potential for environmental contamination at a property. The purpose of the Phase 1 ESA is to identify any recognized environmental conditions (RECs) that may be present at the site and assess the potential risks these RECs could pose to human health or the environment.

The specific requirements for a Phase 1 ESA may vary depending on the property’s location and the site’s intended use. In Baltimore, Maryland, the requirements for a Phase 1 ESA may be different from those in other locations due to specific environmental regulations or policies that are in place in the state of Maryland or the city of Baltimore. It is important to consult with a qualified environmental professional or consulting firm to determine the specific requirements for a Phase 1 ESA in Baltimore or any other location.

  1. It is a little harder to get information from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), which is often needed to rule out RECs, compared to other states (Virginia takes about a week, and Delaware has a lot online, but the MDE usually takes about a month to over a month to get documentation).
  2. Groundwater contamination is usually a complex issue in the areas around the inner harbor because there was so much heavy industry focused around there. Most of the northern part of the inner harbor has or is being redeveloped into mixed-use shopping/residential, and there have been a lot of remediation/institutional controls put in place around those areas (It is sometimes a little harder to write those issues off).
  3. Extensive history of the area and the volume of historic records associated with most of the Baltimore properties.

Hiring an experienced professional for your commercial real estate due diligence is important when conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report.