When it comes to assessing the environmental condition of a property, a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is often the go-to method. However, in some cases, a full Phase I ESA may not be necessary, and that’s where a Transaction Screen Assessment (TSA) comes in. We’ll take a closer look at TSA, its purpose, and how it differs from a Phase I ESA.
What is a Transaction Screen Assessment (TSA)?
A Transaction Screen Assessment is a preliminary assessment that’s used to determine if a full Phase I ESA is required. It’s typically contracted voluntarily when a client wishes to assess the property’s environmental condition, but a Phase I ESA is deemed unnecessary, and the client doesn’t wish to seek CERCLA’s landowner liability protections. The TSA is commonly used for undeveloped land, offices, and residential properties because these properties are generally considered to be low risk as compared to properties that have a history of on-site chemical storage or usage.
What does a Transaction Screen Assessment (TSA) entail?
A TSA is a scaled-down version of a Phase I ESA and includes the following steps:
- Site reconnaissance based on ASTM Standard E1528-14 (Limited environmental due diligence: transaction screen process)
- Regulatory records review
- Limited historical and environmental research
- Key personnel interviews/questionnaire
The purpose of these steps is to identify any potential environmental concerns that may exist on the property. The site reconnaissance involves a visual inspection of the property to identify any potential sources of contamination, such as underground storage tanks or hazardous waste storage areas. The regulatory records review involves researching federal, state, and local databases to identify any environmental permits, violations, or other issues that may exist on the property. The limited historical and environmental research involves researching the property’s history to identify any past uses that may have resulted in contamination. Finally, key personnel interviews/questionnaires are conducted to gather information about the property’s current and past uses.
How does a Transaction Screen Assessment (TSA) differ from a Phase I ESA?
The main difference between a TSA and a Phase I ESA is the level of detail involved. A TSA is a less comprehensive assessment than a Phase I ESA and is typically used for properties that are considered to be low risk. A Phase I ESA, on the other hand, is a more detailed assessment that involves a more comprehensive site investigation and historical research. A Phase I ESA is typically required for properties that are considered to be high risk, such as properties with a history of on-site chemical storage or usage.
A Transaction Screen Assessment (TSA) is a useful tool for assessing the environmental condition of a property when a full Phase I ESA is deemed unnecessary. It’s a scaled-down version of a Phase I ESA and is typically used for properties that are considered to be low risk. If you’re considering a TSA for your property, it’s important to work with a qualified environmental consultant who can guide you through the process and ensure that all necessary steps are taken to identify any potential environmental concerns.