Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)

If a Phase I ESA determines that there is an indication of hazardous substances existing on the site then a Phase II ESA will need to be completed. The purpose of a Phase II ESA is to understand what contaminants are present on the site, where they are located and at what levels. This is achieved by using field analytical technologies, and sampling.  Analytical technologies involve testing for chemicals on site and sampling consists of taking the sample back to an environmental laboratory and analyzing the sample there. Samples are obtained by backhoe sampling, direct push sampling using a Geoprobe to obtain soil samples, groundwater monitoring and well installation for periodic monitoring, shallow hand auger samples, soil gas sampling,  and subsurface grab sampling.

The type of sampling during a Phase II ESA is dependent on the following:

  • Suspected type and source of contamination
  • Depth of contamination
  • Soil/geological conditions
  • Groundwater depth

The type of testing in the laboratory is also dependent on the information obtained in the Phase I ESA. In Phase II, the levels of contamination are then compared to acceptable cleanup standards. If the levels are below these standards remediation might not be necessary; otherwise, a remidiation program would need to be developed.

Through a Phase II (ASTM 1903-97), our staff will further investigate recognized environmental conditions (RECs) identified in a Phase I ESA through in-depth assessment and sampling. This is done by: development of a sampling and analysis plan (SAP); drilling of borings and/or excavation of test pits; performing field testing; laboratory sampling for key pollutants to address the possibility of contamination raised; determination for the potential of contaminant migration; and the completion of a written report of findings, conclusions and recommendations.