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Environmental Investigations

Land use projects continue to face increasing levels of review and require greater awareness of and compliance with environmental regulations. Environmental issues are likely to have an increasing influence on your project and need to be identified and addressed.  Penn’s Trail Environmental, LLC offers a wide variety of services to address your environmental needs.  These needs are met by our qualified professional staff of soil scientists, biologists, geologists, wetland scientists and environmental scientists.

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) are investigations designed to identify environmental issues (recognized environmental conditions or "RECs") on a property that may result in health risks and/or financial liabilities. Phase I ESAs conform to ASTM Practice E-1527-13 “Standard Practice for Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.”  This practice establishes standards for conducting all appropriate inquiries involving regulatory records searches and methods to be employed in completion of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment..  ESAs are intended to reduce, not eliminate, uncertainty regarding the potential for recognized environmental conditions associated with a property.  Analyses of soil, water, air or buildng materials are not typically conducted during a Phase I ESA unless requested by the user.

A Phase I study includes: 

  • Site inspection

  • Review of local, state and federal regulatory records

  • Review of historic aerial photographs

  • Interviews with municipal representatives and others familiar with the project site


A Phase I ESA could be the best "insurance" for a prospective buyer. A properly performed Phase I ESA identifies environmental concerns on site prior to a property transaction and protects buyers from unforeseen environmental issues.

Our experienced staff moves rapidly to complete necessary investigations and reach reliable conclusions so that our clients may proceed with confidence.  All of our studies are conducted in accordance with applicable standards so that our work is acceptable to lenders, purchasers, developers and regulators. 

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Hazardous Substances

Recognized environmental conditions (RECs) are defined as “the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property: (1) due to any release to the environment; (2) under conditions indicative of a release to the environment; or (3) under conditions that pose a material threat of a future release to the environment.  De minimis conditions are not recognized environmental conditions.” 


Penn's Trail staff is equipped to identify potential RECs on a site through a Phase I ESA, or review of prior environmental reports and regulatory documents.

Tank Closure

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Phase II Environmental Site Assessment

A Phase II ESA is designed to address specific recognized environmental conditions that were identified by the Phase I process.  We will assess the degree and extent of the impact to develop a:

  • Phase II task plan

  • Cost estimate

  • Timetable 

  • Appropriate detailed report as needed


The task plan will include development of sampling protocol involving the number and locations of samples to be collected and analytical parameters. 

Whether you want to remove your currently utilized underground storage tank or remove an abandoned underground tank, Penn's Trail can develop a task plan and help you through the regulatory requirements.  Staff have the experience to:

  • develop a detailed tank closure plan for both regulated and unregulated tanks, including residential heating oil storage tanks.

  • oversee tank removal activities and collect samples for laboratory analysis. 

  • generate a report to satisfy municipal permit and/or state requirements for tank closure if necessary.

  • be the intermediary between you and the regulatory agencies.

  • when necessary, develop a Phase II assessment plan for further investigation and remediation for regulatory compliance.


Phase III Environmental Site Assessment

Phase III efforts involve the cleanup or remediation of the contaminants identified by the Phase I and Phase II studies.  

  • Documentation of the cleanup effort 

  • Application to  statewide or site-specific health standards

  • Findings reported to the appropriate agencies as warranted

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