The types of services provided by EAI include:

AUDITING – Property and/or Business Acquisition and Regulatory Compliance

Questions of responsibility and liability in the area of environmental compliance are taking on increasing significance as awareness of environmental contamination and the role of day-to-day operations in the creation of potential environmental problems becomes more widespread.  Many of the operating practices which were taken for granted in years past are coming under increasing scrutiny as firms attempt to reduce the potential for environmental problems at their facilities.  Awareness is increasing among property owners, buyers, investors, lending institutions, and others associated with industrial and real estate transactions with respect to the liabilities associated with site contamination.

Many firms recognize the need to assess their current operations in an effort to discover those practices or facilities which have the potential for creating current and future environmental problems, or which may have created as yet undiscovered environmental problems from the past.  These firms benefit greatly from an impartial environmental review or audit of their operating procedures and facilities.  By identifying those practices or facilities which pose a potential environmental problem, firms can act to modify or eliminate such practices or facilities, thereby significantly reducing the potential for future liabilities.  At the same time, many real estate buyers, investors, and lending institutions are requiring environmental assessments of sites in order to determine the presence or absence of contamination, prior to determining whether to proceed with the transaction.  Knowledge about the presence or absence of contamination is extremely important in making real estate transactions today.  The presence of undiscovered contamination may lead to enormous liabilities for all those associated with a site, even a new owner.

EAI has developed considerable experience and expertise in the performance of environmental compliance audits and property and/or business merger and acquisition assessments.  To conduct effective compliance audits, the auditor needs to possess sound working knowledge of the operations and processes to be reviewed, the relevant local, regional, state and/or federal regulations that apply to the facility (determining which agency has authority for implementing an environmental program is critical to ensure that the proper set of regulations is consulted) and acceptable auditing practices.     

EAI has a broad background in a variety of disciplines which enable it to thoroughly review and evaluate facility operating practices and equipment in order to assess the potential for current and future environmental problems.  EAI can provide a wide variety of audits and assessments from a simple walkthrough and historical record search, to extensive operations and site audits covering all activities and aspects of a particular site or facility.

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

EAI is on the approved/qualified environmental consultant’s list for many banks, savings and loans, financial institutions and insurance companies.  Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I ESAs) are typically conducted on real property, primarily commercial or industrial, involved in a real estate transaction to determine if there are any recognized environmental conditions (RECs) associated with the property.  The term RECs means the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances (including petroleum products) on the Site under conditions that indicate a past release, existing release, or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances into structures on the Site or into the ground, ground water, or surface waters of the Site.  The term is not intended to include de minimis conditions that generally do not present a material risk of harm to public health or the environment and that generally would not be the subject of an enforcement action if brought to the attention of appropriate governmental agencies.

It is EAI’s standard practice to complete Phase I ESAs in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard E1527-05: “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments – Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process,” and ASTM Standard E2600-10: “Standard Guide for Vapor Encroachment Screening on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions.” 

Regulatory Compliance Audits

Regulatory compliance audits can be associated with Phase I ESAs when a merger/acquisition of a firm also involves real property or may be conducted when a firm desires knowledge of potential non-regulatory compliant issues.  These audits also may include non-environmental issues, such as health and safety.  Auditing is typically conducted to assess the adequacy of operational conditions, compliance with applicable regulations and development of quality assurance and quality control procedures to ensure compliance.  The types of activities and operations being completed by the firm at a given site will determine the areas that will require auditing.

Most activities and operations at facilities can be grouped into multiple categories of environmental compliance.  These categories can include: air quality; wastewater; drinking water; solid waste; hazardous waste; hazardous materials; oil and petroleum; special pollutants, e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls and asbestos; toxic substances; pesticides/herbicides/fungicides; underground storage tanks; aboveground storage tanks; and facility management systems.

Representative Projects

EAI has completed hundreds of Phase I ESAs and regulatory compliance audits since its founding in 1979.  The following is a representative list of the sites and operations where EAI has conducted Phase I ESAs or compliance audits: