Phase 2 Environmental Investigations


Phase II investigations

LWS staff plan Phase II investigations to answer specific questions of concern to our clients. Often, the goal is to determine the presence or absence of contaminants (in soil, ground water, or soil vapor) above State or Federal regulatory standards at the release source(s) and/or at the downgradient property boundaries.  However, sometimes the investigation may be limited to a screening level evaluation to identify potential “deal-killer” conditions, such as gasoline floating on the ground water.  LWS staff have conducted approximately 100 transaction-related Phase II investigations of gas stations, drycleaners, oil/gas fields, manufacturing plants, power plants, railyards, farms/ranches, and other properties.

Former Battery Manufacturer in Colorado: 

A 20-acre property located in a prime urban redevelopment corridor was investigated by LWS personnel. During the Phase I assessment, LWS personnel reviewed historical aerial photos from decades earlier (pre-1970) which appeared to reveal a circular stained soil area (approximately 50 feet in diameter) surrounded by hundreds of 55-gallon drums.  Sometime later, the area had been paved over, so that the apparent stained area was no longer visible during the Phase I site visit.  Subsequently, the Phase II investigation recommended by LWS personnel included a soil boring via a geo-probe rig near the center of the historically-stained area.  Field observations and laboratory results from soil and ground water samples confirmed disposal of solvents at the stained area.  This finding of pre-existing contamination, pre-RCRA regulations, allowed the property transaction to proceed and be mitigated under a Voluntary Cleanup Plan.  The property has been redeveloped for commercial uses in areas having residual contamination and for residential uses in uncontaminated areas of the property.  

Communications Broadcasting Facility in Florida: 

LWS personnel represented the seller of the property and oversaw the prospective purchaser’s Phase II investigation in an area where a former underground storage tank had leaked, been investigated, remediated to the satisfaction of the regulatory agency, and the case closed.  Residual contamination in ground water, just slightly above the regulated standard, was discovered at one sampling location where the former tanks had been removed.  Cost estimates and risk opinions by LWS personnel allowed the client to negotiate a slight reduction in the purchase price which allowed the property transaction to proceed.

Ammonia Terminal near Joliet, Illinois: 

LWS personnel conducted an environmental audit at an ammonia terminal that had been recently purchased by our client. The ammonia terminal was in an industrial area adjacent to the Des Plaines River, therefore, an environmental audit was conducted to assess potential environmental liabilities associated with the purchase. LWS personnel installed monitoring wells to evaluate both existing on-site contamination as well as contamination that could be migrating on-site from adjacent industrial facilities. The results of the study were used in the evaluation of the purchase of the property.

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