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Understanding Phase I Environmental Site Assessments: The All Appropriate Inquiry


Understand the origin and intent of the ASTM Phase I ESA standard practice.

Since the mid-1990s, the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment has been a critical component of the due diligence conducted for commercial real estate transactions and financings in the United States. However, the process remains a black box for many people who rely on the Phase I ESA for important business decisions. The objective of this topic is to shed some light into the black box. You will first be provided with an overview of the origin and goals of the Phase I ESA, followed by a brief overview of the Phase I ESA process and the contents of the Phase I ESA report. You will get practical advice of what to look for in a Phase I ESA report and what to look for in the environmental professional who will conduct it.



Benjamin Alter, BA

Benjamin Alter, BA

GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

Benjamin Alter, PG, LSRP

  • Senior Consultant with GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.
  • Practice emphasizes environmental due diligence and remediation
  • Adjunct Professor at City University of New York from 2000-2009 and in 2020
  • Author of Environmental Consulting Fundamentals, a textbook used at universities throughout the United States, now in its second edition
  • Member of the New Jersey Licensed Site Remediation Professionals Association, National Ground Water Association
  • M.B.A. degree, Columbia University; M.S. degree, Cornell University; B.S. degree, SUNY/Albany
  • Can be contacted at 973-865-9017 or [email protected]

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