Phase I Environmental Surveys
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in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx,
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A Phase I environmental survey is a visual survey designed to disclose to a prospective purchaser some of the environmental risks associated with a building purchase. Phase I environmental surveys are often required by banks before they will grant a mortgage on commercial properties. The banks are concerned that past environmental problems have contaminated the property, and want to be sure there are no environmental liabilities associated with the property before they grant a mortgage.
Phase I environmental surveys are generally not required on residential properties, nor are they commonly performed on residential properties of fewer than four families. If a house was never used for commercial purposes, there is probably little reason to have a Phase I environmental survey.
Most Phase I environmental surveys are conducted according to standards set forth by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Requirements include a visual survey of the site, a visual survey of the surrounding sites, and searches of federal, state, and local databases. Because a Phase I environmental survey is a visual survey, Underground problems will usually not be detected unless they have been recorded in some environmental database.
If you buy a building, you also buy the environmental problems associated with the building. You are responsible for the site's environmental cleanup even if you did not contaminate the site. This is why many banks require Phase I environmental surveys. Phase I surveys may reveal problems such as:
- Asbestos-containing materials
- Lead-based paint
- Radon gas
- Buried fuel storage tanks
- Waste disposal facilities
- Proximity to sensitive areas
- PCB-containing materials
- Fuel or solvent contamination
- Contamination from prior use
A Phase I environmental survey is different from and supplemental to a pre-purchase engineering inspection. First, have an Engineer inspect the building. If the pre-purchase engineering inspection does not reveal any serious defects, then you should arrange for a Phase I environmental survey.
Even if you are buying the property without getting a bank mortgage, you should have a Phase I environmental survey completed for the site. You will probably sell the property some day. When you sell the property, the buyer will probably have a Phase I survey, which may find problems. If you are not diligent prior to your purchase of the site, you may be held responsible for the site cleanup, even if the contamination had been caused by a previous owner or tenant. Extensive environmental problems may reduce property values and jeopardize any future sales of the site.
Pre-purchase inspection standards specifically state that a pre-purchase inspection is not a phase I environmental inspection. Pre-purchase inspections, including those performed by Heimer Engineering's Professional Engineers, do not include performing phase I environmental inspections.
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We are happy to help you. To set up an appointment for a pre-purchase inspection, or to find out about Engineering services or expert court testimony, click below for a contact form, send us an email, text us at 6602 0091 55, or call 800.605.1500. If no staff member is in the office, leave a message. Remember to ask about a web discount.
Heimer Engineering serves the Metro New York area, including New York City (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island), Long Island (Nassau County, Suffolk County), and Upstate New York (Rockland County, Putnam County, and Westchester County).
Heimer Engineering respects your privacy. Some inspection firms share information with insurance, landscaping, home maintenance, moving, cable, mortgage, and other companies. Some inspection firms sell their client lists. These practices are unethical. You will not receive phone calls or solicitation emails from third parties as a result of providing personal information.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency (fire, building in danger of collapse, facade with loose bricks, debris falling from a building, gas leak, etc.) do not call Heimer Engineering. If there is a life-threatening emergency or other hazardous condition, call 911. Emergency situations need to be handled immediately by first-responders who can evacuate buildings, have utilities shut off, and take other steps necessary to preserve life.
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Heimer Engineering performs home inspections, building inspections, condominium inspections, and co-op inspections in the State of New York. We do not perform inspections or recommend Inspectors or Engineers in the areas outside of the State of New York. We also provide Licensed Professional Engineer consultation services including hurricane and storm damage and damage from adjoining construction. Expert witness services are provided regarding playground injuries, parking lot, walkway, and stairway slip, trip, and fall.
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2171 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 230
Commack, New York, USA 11725-2947
New York Metro Area: 800.605.1500
Bronx, New York: 718.547.2000
Brooklyn, New York: 718.237.7777
Manhattan, New York: 212.563.4777
Nassau County, New York: 516.487.2100
Putnam County, New York: 845.638.4900
Queens, New York: 718.544.3000
Staten Island, New York: 718.227.5000
Suffolk County, New York: 631.858.5500, 631.549.2500, 631.288.3900
Westchester County, New York: 914.576.6100
Fax: 631.858.5599, 646.795.4571
Coordinates: 40.8439215, -73.2871259
International Standard of Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) Revision 4 Classification: 71
North American Industry Classification System (SAISC) Classification: 541330, 541350