An environmental site assessment is a study conducted by an environmental consultant, usually someone that specializes in contaminated land management. It will include a study of past and present activities that have taken place on the land/site. Using this information, the possibility of contamination on the site can be assessed, in addition to the possible human and environmental health impact of any contamination that is found.
A number of steps are involved in an environmental site assessment including an historical study, site inspection and collection and testing of soil samples (and possibly groundwater samples) and all of this data will be presented in a final site contamination report.
A Phase 1 environmental site assessment is typically a preliminary assessment and includes a desktop review of pertinent site information whereas a Phase 2 environmental site assessment uses the Phase 1 information for a more detailed assessment that includes testing to appraise the contamination status of soils and/or groundwater.
Sstate and federal standards regarding ESA’s can vary, for example, in Australia an environmental site assessment is performed in accordance with state legislation and policies, which refer to Australian Standards and State EPA guidelines.