As with all things, prices may vary based on many factors but here at A3E our Phase 1 Environmental cost vary around $1900. But read on because there’s a lot that goes into the pricing of a Phase 1 ESA.
How Environmentally Risky is the Target Property?
The first thing we evaluate when pricing a Phase 1 ESA is how environmentally involved is the target property. One of our many projects was an oil blending facility in Hammond Indiana. It had been the former factory for Pullman train cars going back to the 1880’s. It was an experimental coke facility (coke is a coal product that goes into making steel). The project was more than twice the cost of a regular Phase 1 Environmental Report because of the time it took to go through all the environmental records as part of the report. The lower the risk the lower the cost.
How far is the project from my closest resource?
A3 Environmental Consultants has a policy of bidding on every project. It’s very difficult to cover all of the United States with the 200 or so environmental professionals we have on our team. But we will offer a price for every project because sometimes there’s nobody other than A3E who will go do the project. We had one project in Casper Wyoming where we sent a site assessor from Fort Collins Colorado. The closer the project the lower the cost.
How extensive will the write-up be?
Some projects such as gas stations, industrial properties or metals plating facilities are known to be notorious for environmental impacts to soil or groundwater. They frequently have underground storage tanks which need to be investigated for leaks. During our site visit we sometimes do file reviews of government documents in person. All of these things will make the Phase 1 Environmental Report longer to write and will drive the cost up. The easier the project the lower the cost.
How long will my resource be on site?
Sometimes we know that a site is probably clean but we will be on site for a long time documenting it anyway. Recently we did a private high school in Manhattan, New York. It was clean as a whistle but had seven stories and two basements of building to walk through. Our site assessor was there for half a day. The faster the project the lower the cost.
How to Protect yourself against fly-by-night environmental companies.
When gathering competitive quotes on environmental site assessment costs, there are a few pitfalls you should know about. Your attitude toward the service you are buying drives a lot of the quality you should expect. In our business it is not unusual to find someone writing Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments out of their home office. Because of their low overhead, they can charge low prices. They also typically don’t have $5 Million dollars of insurance for errors and omissions in the event they make a mistake.
Their mistakes can cost you dearly too.
I have a colleague in the industry who had a client come to him after his first environmental company missed an unregulated landfill that was on the property 40 years ago. It was clearly visible from the historic aerials but the low budget vendor didn’t purchase or review them. As a result, they bought a plot of land for apartments for $4 Million dollars which once they owned, they couldn’t build on, and couldn’t sell again. It makes you wonder why they were looking for the least expensive consulting company when they were risking $4 Million on a transaction.
How unethical environmental consultants make you spend more money in the long run.
There are unfortunately unethical people in every industry. In the environmental consulting industry the way they operate is by offering a low price for a Phase 1 Environmental and then finding every small thing they can to call a recognized environmental concern (REC). At that point the client is stuck between a rock and a hard place. They can spend the money for another Phase 1 report or they can do the Phase 2 ESA to investigate often pointless concerns. I’ve seen it happen where a client saves themselves $200 on a Phase 1 only to cost themselves $3500 on an unnecessary phase 2.
How to protect yourself from unethical environmental consultants.
In most of the United States, A3 Environmental Consultants does not perform Phase 2 ESAs. This is a feature, not a bug, in our business model. When we do a Phase 1 Environmental for a client, he can be sure if we find a REC, it’s a real risk and not something we trumped up to make ourselves more money. Our clients are welcome and encouraged to get their own prices for the Phase 2. In the process they can ask the other consultants if they agree with our findings. We won’t leave you high-and-dry though. We have an extensive network of trusted consultants we can introduce you to to help get you through the process.
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.