Records Search with Risk Assessment

The records search with risk assessment is a due diligence tool available to a lender or the purchaser of a property involved in a real estate transaction. The screen focuses on identifying the environmental risk level of the property to fulfill the requirements of the most recent Small Business Administration standard operating procedures. An opinion on environmental risk is provided by an environmental professional, based on the results of the records search as to whether the property is elevated or high risk for contamination or low risk for contamination. If the risk assessment concludes that the subject property is of elevated risk or high risk, then a Phase I ESA is required to be completed. 

The records search with risk assessment for the property and adjoining properties includes:

  • A search of government databases (those databases identified in 40 C.F.R. § 312.26 for an AAI-compliant Phase I Environmental Site Assessment).
  • A search of the historical records (per AAI).

Note: The choice of historical records to be reviewed is at the discretion of the environmental professional.

Historical records may include, but are not limited to aerial photographs, city and reverse directories, fire insurance maps, building department records and land records.

The risk assessment is designed as a primary screen of commercial sites which may need further investigation via a Phase I ESA or may not be at risk for contamination. Please note this assessment does not fulfill the transaction screen process per ASTM E 1528, nor does it meet the requirements of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment per ASTM E 1527 or the minimum requirements set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  “Standards for Conducting All Appropriate Inquiries” per 40 CFR 312. Note this risk assessment does not comply with all appropriate inquiries (AAI) or the Innocent Landowner Defense for property transfers.

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