Phase 1 Environmental Reports are not public information under most circumstances. If you were not party to the contract between the environmental consultant that did the work and the person (or company) that commissioned the project you will most likely not be able to see the results unless the person who paid for it shows it to you.
A few important exceptions…
If the Phase 1 Environmental Report was commissioned by a government or government funded organization, you should be able to use the Freedom of Information Act in your state to compel the government that did the scope of work to give you the results. There is no harm in asking a government agency for a copy of any document they create. Most states will allow you to do so with only an email request. You may need to find the right person to ask, but they are almost always known as the “FOIA Officer”. The request for documents is known as an “Open Records Request”.
What you should not do, is bother the environmental consultant that did the work. They are obligated to keep all the information they collect confidential, even if it was for a government.
If an Environmental Report shows contamination on a property are you obligated to report it to the government?
The answer is; it depends on which of these United States your project happens to be in. The regulatory agencies in each state have their own rules. The rules specifically are too detailed to go into here, but suffice it to say, if your project is in the following states, you may need to dig deeper into the state rules:
|Minnesota||Mississippi||New Jersey||New Mexico|
|New York||North Dakota||Rhode Island||South Dakota|
Even the requirement to report contamination becomes murky. Is it the responsibility of the consultant or the client that owns the property? What if the consultant is doing testing for a real estate transaction on a property that their client doesn’t own yet? This happens all the time that environmental consultants are doing “environmental due diligence” for a purchase of real property. We find environmental contamination, underground storage tanks, and hazardous materials all the time that the owner does not know about (or claims to not know about). Whose responsibility is it to report to the state? We’ll leave that to the lawyers to hash out.
If you need Phase 1 Environmental Reports, research or testing done on your property or one you are interested in purchasing, give A3 Environmental Consultants a call. We’ll get your project done with the utmost in confidentiality, we’ll meet or exceed ASTM Standard E1527-13 on any sort of commercial or industrial property. Our reports meet the requirements of all lenders and government agencies such as the Small Business Administration (SBA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). A3 Environmental Consultants can be reached at (888) 405-1742 or by email at Info@A3E.com.