Enviromental Due Diligence In The Cannabis Industry: Why A Phase I Is The Best Money You Can Spend

By Doug Brown, ASTI Environmental.

So you’re looking at buying property to build a grow facility or a dispensary, perhaps it’s your first foray into real estate, you hear the word Brownfield, and your attorney or colleague tells you to get a Phase I… Now what?

Engaging an Environmental Professional to conduct a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I) is the first step to obtain liability protection both federally and with the State should the property you intend to purchase have recognized environmental conditions (RECs).  An ASTM E1527-13 Phase I is the only environmental screening product that affords liability protection and includes:

  • A review of prior environmental reports (if available)

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests are submitted to the State and the Municipality where the property is located

  • The purchase of an environmental database

  • An Environmental questionnaire being sent to the buyer and seller

  • Aerial and Sanborn Map review

  • Site reconnaissance  

We publish a 600-700 page report and a key paragraph confirms whether or not there are RECs. If RECs are not identified in the Phase I, then the Phase I report would be finalized and the process would be complete. 

OK, so what’s a REC ??

The presence, or likely presence, of hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or the material threat of a release into …

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