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Real Estate and Facilities

Criteria for Environmental Site Assessments

Print friendly Modified February 24, 2014

Scope of Services/Consultant Criteria:

Note: A Board of Regents (BOR) Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is intended to identify any recognized environmental conditions which previously existed or currently exist at the subject property which may create liability for the institution or the BOR, significantly increase the costs of site development or use, and/or preclude development of the site.

Consultants are cautioned that this BOR criteria exceeds the minimum requirements of a “standard” industry phase I ESA. It may be necessary to visit the subject property or to discuss site-specific issues with knowledgeable personnel prior to submitting a proposal.

  1. The ESA shall, at a minimum, conform to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI rule) located in 40 CFR Part 312 and to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Standard E1527-13 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.” (Effective January 1, 2014 - All ESA Phase 1 reports conducted for USG Institutions, Foundations, or the Board of Regents shall follow the new standard.)

  2. The selected environmental consulting/engineering firm (consultant) shall have demonstrated experience in completing all appropriate inquiries investigations and environmental site assessments. The ESA records review, site reconnaissance, interviews, and report preparation shall be performed by or under the supervision or responsible charge of a person who qualifies as an ‘Environmental Professional’ under the AAI rule and ASTM E-1527-13. Resumes of each person proposed for the project shall be submitted with the firm’s lump-sum, not-to-exceed, cost proposal.

  3. (Revised 2013) In addition to the minimum requirements referenced in the US EPA’s AAI Rules and/or ASTM E1527-13, the ESA shall include a detailed assessment of other potential environmental/property conditions associated with on-site structures or improvements as outlined below:

    • Asbestos-Containing Materials in any on-site structure or improvement constructed before 1980
    • Lead-Based Paint (or other lead contamination) in any on-site structure or improvement before 1980
    • Other materials (eg. chemicals, hazardous waste, PCB caulk, & mercury)
    • Visible water leaks, mold, or mildew in and on any on-site structures that will not be demolished or replaced
  4. If based on the above assessment there is compelling or obvious evidence of asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint or other lead contamination, and/or mold or mildew contamination, the ESA shall include remediation recommendations and cost estimates for remediation of such contamination. Any such abatement/remediation recommendations and cost estimates shall be based on collection and analysis of a scientifically and legally defensible number of samples from the subject property. Broad consultant disclaimers regarding characterization of building materials, soil or groundwater contamination and remediation cost estimates shall not be acceptable for BOR ESAs.

    NOTE: All proposed sampling plans shall be approved by the BOR Office of Compliance and Operations and/or the institution’s designated representative prior to proposal acceptance. Building material and soil and groundwater samples shall not be collected if there is no compelling or obvious reason to believe such concerns exist at the site. If a sampling plan is approved for the project, the consultant’s lump-sum, not-to-exceed proposal must include costs for the collection and laboratory analysis of any planned samples.

  5. The ESA shall identify whether abandoned (or recently active) solid waste disposal sites exist on (or are buried beneath) the subject property. This information shall be obtained from personnel interviews, site inspection, site documents, aerial photos, or regulatory permits / applications. If test pits are necessary to determine the existence of buried solid waste at the site, the Consultant shall either arrange for the institution to provide suitable excavation equipment (track hoe, hand-auger, etc.) or shall include the cost for equipment rental in their lump-sum, not-to-exceed proposal.

  6. Archaeological Site information shall be obtained through review of the Georgia Archeological Site Files at the UGA library in Athens (706) 542-8737, through consultation with the State Department of Natural Resources Historic Preservation Office (404) 656-2840, and/or interviews with archaeologists involved in research in the general area. The consultant shall also be responsible for identifying and clearly delineating any human burial sites or historic resources which may be present on the subject property. In addition, where potential sites of archaeological or historical significance or human burial may be present, more detailed site investigation and/or testing may be necessary. In such cases, the Consultant shall include a cost proposal for such an investigation in the final ESA report.

  7. The Consultant shall include advice regarding whether a wetlands delineation should be sought based upon the site reconnaissance and other available resources (including, but not limited to, a national wetlands inventory (NWI) map.) If suspected wetlands exist, the Consultant shall provide a cost estimate for the completion of a full delineation study and shall be required to provide a site map clearly depicting the location of the suspected wetlands. The consultant shall recommend an appropriate strategy based on proposed plans for development of the site.

  8. The ESA shall consider the history and the current status of the subject property as it relates to any possible BOR plans for site development and/or construction. Therefore, it will be necessary to discuss any potential plans with the project design firm, the BOR Program Manager and/or the designated representative(s) of the institution.

  1. The Consultant shall prepare and submit 1 copies of a final written “ESA Report”. One report shall be submitted to the institution’s designated representative and an electronic copy will be submitted to the Board of Regents Office of Facilities & Real Estate (OREF). The report must specifically state that it has been prepared for the use and benefit of both the institution and the Board of Regents. An acceptable final report will meet the requirements of the AAI rule and ASTM 1527-13 and shall contain, at a minimum, the following information:
    1. Executive Summary
    2. Introduction
    3. Site Description (including site setting and hydrogeology)
    4. Records Review
    5. Discussion of Site Observations / Personnel Interviews and Other Sources of Information (including specific substances, equipment, or areas of concern)
    6. Identification of Data Gaps that affect the consultant’s ability to identify recognized environmental conditions at the subject property
    7. Findings/Conclusions/Recommendations
    8. Names, Signatures, and Qualifications of Consultant Personnel, including:
      1. Field assessor(s), report preparer(s), report reviewer(s) and firm principle(s) seal or stamp
      2. Qualifications of the Environmental Professional and the person(s) who conducted the site reconnaissance and interviews.
      3. Declaration language as specified in 40 CFR 312.21
    9. Appendix/Attachments:
      • figures and maps (including USGS quad maps and site diagrams)
      • sample analytical reports (where approved)
      • site photos (including date)
      • historical research documentation (aerial maps, fire insurance maps, historical topographical maps)
      • chain of title report
      • previous environmental reports (if available)
      • records of communications and interviews
      • other documents as appropriate
  2. An ESA report shall be valid if completed within 180 days prior to the date of acquisition of the property. If an ESA report has been completed more than 180 days but less than 1 year prior to the property acquisition date, the following five items must be completed at least 180 days prior to the acquisition date:
    1. Interviews
    2. Search for environmental cleanup liens
    3. Review of government records
    4. Site visit, and
    5. Declaration/signature by an Environmental Professional.
    An ESA report that is more than 1 year old is not valid and must be updated in its entirety.

(Additional Requirements from the new ASTM 1527-13 are not reflected in the above example format)