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Real Estate and Facilities

Due Diligence Guidelines Contents

Environmental Procedures for Construction, Renovation and Real Estate Transfers

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REQUIREMENTS FOR ELECTRONIC ESA & GEPA SUBMITTALS

The University System of Georgia Board of Regents Office of Facilities & Real Estate (OREF) strongly encourages the submittal of environmental site assessments (ESA Phase I and II reports) and/or Georgia Environmental Policy Act (GEPA) evaluations in electronic format.

Effective July 1, 2010, OREF will only accept these reports in electronic format (portable document format - PDF). Hard copy submittals will not be accepted.

All electronic submittals must be accompanied by a letter attesting to the accuracy of the electronic copy provided. Please refer to the links below for the electronic submittal procedure and example attestation letter.

Example Letter and ESA Electronic Submittal Procedure

Introduction:

The Board of Regents’ Building Project Procedures call for environmental evaluations of construction and renovation projects and real estate transfers prior to initiating work. There are two types of environmental evaluations that are required at different times during the project sequence.

Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)

An environmental site assessment (ESA) is required to be completed during the programming/site selection or pre-planning phase of the project or real estate transfer. The ESA is intended to identify any recognized environmental conditions which previously existed or currently exist on or around the subject property which may cause liability or cost concerns and/or which may preclude development of the site. The ESA needs to be completed early in the planning phase of the project to determine whether the site is acceptable, whether an alternative location should be chosen, and/or whether further site investigation, sampling, or hazardous material abatement will be necessary.

Georgia Environmental Policy Act (GEPA) Evaluation

A Georgia Environmental Policy Act (GEPA) evaluation must be completed to assess potential adverse environmental impacts of a planned project. The GEPA evaluation should generally be completed during the schematic design phase and/or during the initial stages of the preliminary design phase of a project. The GEPA evaluation is completed at this stage of the project because this is when the project typically begins to “take shape” and it is when the exact location and footprint of the facility is identified. The GEPA evaluation must assess potential adverse environmental impacts that could be created during construction and operation of the planned facility. If any adverse impacts are identified, an environmental effects report may have to be prepared or the design and/or location of the planned project may have to be altered to mitigate any such concerns.

Note: Preliminary design documents for Board of Regents projects shall not be approved without an approved GEPA evaluation.

Combined ESA/GEPA Evaluations

Due to individual project circumstances, it may be necessary to complete the ESA and GEPA evaluation at the same time. In this case, the Consultant may prepare and submit a written “Combined ESA/GEPA Evaluation Report” to the Office of Compliance and Operations and to the institution’s designated representative. The combined written report must include the contents specified in the BOR’s ESA procedure as well as the Project Initial Evaluation form, GEPA Checklist, and narrative description of the potential adverse environmental impacts of the proposed project on the areas/categories identified on the GEPA Checklist.

Procedures: