Environmental site assessments, or All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI), are conducted to evaluate existing environmental problems from past operations and potential environmental problems from current or proposed operations at a site. The practice of conducting site assessments is intended to satisfy one requirement for obtaining protection from CERCLA liability for potential property owners. Most environmental site assessments are called Phase I assessments because they are conducted in conformance with ASTM E1527-00 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Process. Phase I site assessments include: an inspection of the property; a review of pertinent records for evidence of current and past use of the property and adjacent properties; interviews with current owners and occupants as well as local government officials; evaluation of information gathered and development of a report; and, in some cases, samples are collected of building materials to determine if PCBs, asbestos, or lead are present. The need for additional sampling to confirm contamination or to determine the nature and extent of contamination leads into a "Phase II" assessment.
See: Brownfields and Land Revitalization Technology Support Center Glossary: Phase I Assessment
- EPA's Brownfields website
- Reporting Requirements for the Brownfields All Appropriate Inquiries Rule.
You may wish to contact the staff experts in EPA's Office of Brownfields Cleanup and Redevelopment with any further questions: