Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Cost

The price of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment can vary, depending on the aspects of a property. The Phase II Environmental Site Assessment cost is typically between $5,800 and $12,000 (for a standard commercial lot). Sometimes, Phase 2 ESAs can cost as much as $25,000. Clients seeking the price of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment usually attract themselves towards the lowest cost Phase II ESA proposal. Although, when it comes to environmental due diligence, not all services are equal. In fact, cutting the cost of a Phase II Environmental Report may just create a swarm of agency fees, clean-up costs, and legal issues down the line. And the same theory applies to the cost of Phase I Environmental Reports. Reducing the cost equates to reducing the scope. And reducing the scope equates to less information about the property and a higher margin of error. Updated April 10, 2024.

Not All Phase II ESA Scopes are Equal

Often times, unaware consumers reject proposals for a proper Phase II ESA cost. And they turn to a lesser-expensive proposal with an inadequate scope. Low prices for Phase 2 ESAs generally lack the minimum aspects of a proper assessment. As a result, the data becomes useless to anyone. In essence, the entire effort becomes a waste of money. Moreover, blindly taking on the title to a property with contamination issues can be a bad idea. Typically, this results in future complications that are financially overwhelming and legally devastating. It is for this reason, most lenders require this work by authorized vendors that perform per the ASTM standards and local environmental regulatory agency guidelines.

Low-Cost Phase II Environmental

Some companies are just out there to make fast money, rather than help their clients. In general, these tend to be the presenters of suspiciously low Phase II Environmental costs and prices. In most cases, when a Client turns to the lower price Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, they are unaware that the difference in costs is due to a poor scope of work. And without a proper scope of work, the decision to save money on a Phase II ESA can backfire later down the line.

Simple Scam Example:

The following scenario is an example of how consumers regret purchasing faulty Phase 2 ESA cost:

  • The purchaser has an interest in buying a property with a gasoline station on-site. And groundwater is approximately 30 feet below the ground surface. The purchaser needs a Phase II ESA to address environmental risks and concerns.
  • Consultant A submits a proposal for a higher price. However, the scope includes drilling to 35 feet and collecting soil and groundwater samples.
  • Consultant B (Scammer) submits a low-price Phase II Environmental proposal. The scope only drills to 15 feet to collect shallow soil.
  • Both consultants claim their proposals are for a comprehensive Phase II Environmental Site Assessment. The Purchaser mistakenly believes that both scopes are equal, and chooses the low-cost Phase 2 Environmental option by Consultant B (Scammer) to save money.
  • Years later, the adjacent property owner performs a Phase 2 ESA for bank refinancing. In that investigation, data reveals that gasoline contamination exists in the groundwater flowing from The Purchaser’s property. Now The Purchaser is facing pollution fines and remediation costs. Moreover, the Purchaser is having a difficult time proving the groundwater contamination was not their fault, but rather the prior owner’s fault. These complications mainly occur, because the low-cost Phase II ESA did not include groundwater sampling.
Phase II Environmental Cost
Photo by AAK Geo Forward

Proper Scope for Proper Price Phase II Environmental Site Assessment

A reasonable scope of work is objective. The basis of a proper scope derives from the ASTM standard, as well as the experience of professional geologists or engineers. In essence, the scope must address all potential contamination concerns onsite. And because the geology of various properties differ, so do the Phase 2 ESA prices and scopes of work. Various site conditions, such as depth to groundwater, type of soil, regional land use, and more play a great role in the designing of a Phase II ESA cost and scope.

Phase I ESA & Phase II ESA

Environmental Due Diligence is a critical process that typically warrants a comprehensive investigation for reliable results and legal liability protection. In some cases, Clients (who are not seeking legal liability protection) specifically request a Limited Environmental Site Assessment as a tool for better decision-making.

Homework Before Hiring

Before blindly awarding a Phase II ESA to the lowest price bidder, it is important to review the scope of work. Be sure to compare apples to apples, and communicate with a professional geologist or engineer to accurately understand what is a reasonable expectation.

Consultation with a Professional Geologist

For a free consultation with a professional geologist or engineer about your Phase I ESA and/or Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, call Geo Forward at (888) 930-6604.

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