At SME, our comprehensive due diligence services are designed to uncover environmental and health risks and identify environmental liability management strategies before you acquire a new commercial or industrial property. We can help you limit the environmental risks associated with your site development or redevelopment and make the most informed investment decisions to put every project on solid ground – and even start evaluating brownfield redevelopment incentives that can add real $$$ to your project.  

Whether you are acquiring a farm field, commercial or industrial property, or a brownfield site, due diligence is a critical first step in protecting your investment, our environment and the people who will work on your site during the course of development and occupy it afterward. 

Phase I ESA

SME offers comprehensive due diligence services beginning with a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA). A Phase I ESA is your first step in identifying and mitigating liability associated with existing contamination on a site. Often referred to as “All Appropriate Inquires” or AAI, this process relies on evaluations of available historical information about the property to assess the likelihood of contamination. Our environmental experts adhere to ASTM E1527-13 standards to conduct this important assessment, identify Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs), and provide you with a clear picture of the site’s potential environmental issues and risks. 

Phase II ESA

To further evaluate any concerns identified in a Phase I ESA, the SME Environmental Team will conduct a Phase II ESA. Our experts will tailor the Phase II ESA based on the unique objectives of your project and the liability mitigation options in your state. We customize each assessment to fit our client’s needs and provide the site information that will identify environmental impact and begin the process of determining the most cost-effective methods for mitigating risks and developing the site in a safe and compliant manner.

Safe Use Assessment

A Safe Use Assessment is an in-depth investigation designed to further evaluate and quantify environmental impact so we can design approaches to mitigate risks to human health and the environment during construction or future use of the site. When a Safe Use Assessment is required, SME can often combine it with a Phase II ESA to provide a more timely and cost-effective solution. Safe Use Assessments of properties with buildings often also include assessments of hazardous materials, such as asbestos, PCBs, lead-based paint and residual chemicals. Learn more about site contamination and site investigations. 

Liability Management

Based on findings generated during Phase I and Phase II ESAs and Safe Use Assessments, the SME team of environmental experts will work closely with your state’s regulatory agencies to complete necessary reports, paperwork and processes to mitigate your liability for pre-existing contamination on the site. Our experts are well-versed in each state’s specific laws and obligations. We work to help you fully understand your potential liabilities and responsibilities, while developing mitigation strategies that protect your investment.

Related Services

Service Experts

James M. Harless, PhD, CHMM

Vice President
Environmental Services

View Bio & Contact

Keith B. Egan, CP#259

Senior Consultant
Environmental Services

View Bio & Contact

Christopher G. Shaw, CHMM

Senior Project Consultant
Environmental Services

View Bio & Contact

Jason A. Cheney, CHMM

Project Consultant
Environmental Services

View Bio & Contact

Stephen P. Zins, LPG

Senior Project Consultant
Environmental Services

View Bio & Contact

Joel W. Hecker, LPG

Project Geologist
Environmental Services

View Bio & Contact