$650
Record Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA)

Let A3 Environmental Consultants get you your next Small Business Administration (SBA) approved RSRA. Fill out the form and we'll call you immediately. Credit cards accepted!

Questions?

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What is the process of a Record Search With Risk Assessment (RSRA)?

Database Search

01

The Records Search & Risk Assessment (RSRA) is a desktop review of available information, similar to a Phase 1 ESA typically completed in accordance with the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) guidance. No site visit, interviews or other information outside basic historical and database information is gathered.

City Directories

02

City Directories are crisscross phone books listed by street name. We search for environmentally sensitive businesses, such as dry-cleaners, plating facilities, and gas stations that at one time may have occupied your property or your neighbor’s property.

Historic Aerials

03

Aerial photographs are available for almost every year dating back to 1938 for most areas. Historic aerials will show the change of use of a property over time. For example, when a property changed from agricultural to residential or commercial/industrial use. A3E reviews the photographs closely to create a timeline of use for the property.

Report

04

A report is generated summarizing the findings of the RSRA. The RSRA is either classified as “Low Risk” indicating no further investigation is warranted, or ‘High Risk’ indicating additional investigation is warranted. The additional investigation is typically a Phase 1 ESA.

Record Search With Risk Assessment
(RSRA) Flowchart

NAICS Codes for Environmentally Sensitive Industries

  • 211 OIL & GAS EXTRACTION
  • 212 MINING (EXCEPT OIL & GAS)
  • 213 SUPPORT ACTIVITIES FOR MINING
  • 237 HEAVY & CIVIL ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION
  • 311 FOOD MANUFACTURING (if underground fuel tanks present)
  • 312 BEVERAGE & TOBACCO PRODUCT MANUFACTURING (except breweries, 31212)
  • 313 TEXTILE MILLS (not required if sewing, weaving, or hemming only)
  • 314 TEXTILE PRODUCT MILLS (not required if sewing, weaving, or hemming only)
  • 316 LEATHER & ALLIED PRODUCT MANUFACTURING (not required if assembly only)
  • 321 WOOD PRODUCT MANUFACTURING (if finishing occurs on site)
  • 322 PAPER MANUFACTURING
  • 323 PRINTING & RELATED SUPPORT ACTIVITIES
  • 324 PETROLEUM & COAL PRODUCTS MANUFACTURING
  • 325 CHEMICAL MANUFACTURING
  • 326 PLASTICS & RUBBER PRODUCTS MANUFACTURING (not required if assembly only)
  • 327 NONMETALLIC MINERAL PRODUCTS MANUFACTURING
  • 331 PRIMARY METAL MANUFACTURING
  • 332 FABRICATED METAL PRODUCT MANUFACTURING (not required if assembly only)
  • 333 MACHINERY MANUFACTURING (not required if assembly only)
  • 334 COMPUTER & ELECTRONIC PRODUCT MANUFACTURING (not required if assembly only)
  • 335 ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT, APPLIANCE & COMPONENT MANUFACTURING (not required if assembly only)
  • 336 TRANSPORTATION EQUIPMENT MANUFACTURING
  • 337 FURNITURE & RELATED MANUFACTURING (if finishing occurs on site)
  • 339 MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURING (only required if hazardous materials are involved)
  • 42311 AUTOMOBILE & OTHER MOTOR VEHICLE MERCHANT WHOLESALERS (if service bays present)
  • 42314 MOTOR VEHICLE PARTS (USED) MERCHANT WHOLESALERS
  • 4235 METAL & MINERAL MERCHANT WHOLESALER
  • 42393 RECYCLABLE MATERIAL MERCHANT WHOLESALER
  • 4246 CHEMICAL & ALLIED PRODUCTS MERCHANT WHOLESALERS
  • 4247 PETROLEUM & PETROLEUM PRODUCTS MERCHANT WHOLESALERS
  • 441 MOTOR VEHICLE AND PARTS DEALERS (if service bays present)
  • 447 GASOLINE STATIONS
  • 45431 FUEL DEALERS (not required for propane or firewood dealers)
  • 481 AIR TRANSPORTATION
  • 482 RAIL TRANSPORTATION
  • 484 TRUCKING (if service bays, truck washing, or fuel tanks present)
  • 486 PIPELINE TRANSPORTATION
  • 488 Support Activities for Transportation (if fuel tanks are present or if repairs or maintenance is performed on site)
  • 53212 TRUCK, UTILITY TRAILER, AND RV (RECREATIONAL VEHICLE) RENTAL & LEASING (if repairs, maintenance or vehicle washing are performed onsite)
  • 53241 CONSTRUCTION, TRANSPORTATION, MINING & FORESTRY MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT RENTAL & LEASING (if repairs, maintenance or vehicle washing are performed onsite)
  • 53249 OTHER COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT RENTAL & LEASING (if repairs, maintenance or vehicle washing are performed onsite)
  • 54138 TESTING LABORATORIES
  • 56171 EXTERMINATING & PEST CONTROL SERVICES
  • 562 WASTE MANAGEMENT & REMEDIATION SERVICES
  • 6221 GENERAL MEDICAL & SURGICAL HOSPITALS (if fuel tanks are present)
  • 713990 OTHER RECREATIONAL INDUSTRIES (indoor and outdoor shooting ranges only)
  • 71391 GOLF COURSES & COUNTRY CLUBS
  • 71392 SKIING FACILITIES
  • 71393 MARINAS
  • 7212 RV (RECREATIONAL VEHICLES) PARKS & RECREATIONAL CAMPS (if fuel tanks are present or if vehicle repairs or maintenance is performed onsite)
  • 8111 AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR & MAINTENANCE (except for “car wash only” facilities, for which a Transaction Screen is an acceptable starting point)
  • 8112 ELECTRONIC & PRECISION EQUIPMENT REPAIR & MAINTENANCE (not required if assembly only)
  • 8113 COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY & EQUIPMENT REPAIR & MAINTENANCE
  • 8122 DEATH CARE SERVICES (unless no embalming or cremation at the Property)
  • 8123 LAUNDRY & DRY CLEANING SERVICES (if dry cleaning operations have ever existed on site)
  • 812921 PHOTOFINISHING LABORATORIES (except one hour)

Frequently Asked Questions About Record Search With Risk Assessment (RSRA)

The Logic:

A Record Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA) report is a faster, less expensive form of environmental due diligence which was developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) for lending money on commercial properties. In conjunction with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) they developed ASTM E1528-14 defining the scope of a RSRA. Lenders wanted to lower the substantial transaction costs they felt were a barrier to lending. The SBA recognized that there are different levels of risk regarding commercial properties depending on the historic use. For example; a building that was used for retail, built in the last ten years on a plot of land that was formerly a cornfield. In this case, it doesn’t seem to make sense to spend several thousand dollars to have a full Phase 1 ESA when something far less expensive like a RSRA will do.

The Risks:

Banks are in the risk business. They want to lend money and they know that their money is “at risk” until the last payment is made on the loan. Their fundamental concern is; “What are the risks that I’m taking and are they worth the interest I’ll make by closing a loan.” Thinking about the environmental due diligence process that banks go through, it's clear that they aren’t trying to protect the borrower. They are trying to protect the value of the collateral. In the case of commercial real estate lending, the collateral is the property they are lending on. They need to make sure the property is;

  1. worth more than the loan (Appraisal)
  2. the mechanicals all work and there aren't hidden deferred maintenance issues (Property Condition Assessment (PCA)
  3. there isn’t an environmental problem in the soil or water (RSRA or Phase 1)

Banks are sophisticated and are prepared, at times, to take on more risk in different ways. They may feel comfortable enough with the size of the loan, the value of the collateral or the historic uses of the property that they don’t need a full Phase 1 ESA. Under the right circumstances, having a smaller, faster and less expensive form of environmental due diligence is the right call.

The Advantages:

  • Low Cost - $650
  • Fast – Five days or less.

The Limitations:

A RSRA has the benefits of price and speed over the Phase 1 ESA. However, with those benefits come limitations. A Phase 1 ESA offers a limitation of liability from previous owners contamination. A RSRA does not. This distinction is important because the RSRA is also less thorough than a Phase 1 ESA. The lender or buyer is taking more risk based on a lower level of scrutiny. Even the environmental professional’s responsibility is diminished to only what is knowable based on the information in the databases.

The Eligibility Requirements:

Which properties are good candidates for RSRAs depends on the historic use. The Small Business Administration (SBA) maintains a list of North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes in what are called “Environmentally Sensitive Industries”. The list can be downloaded by clicking here. Generally speaking, the NAICS codes reference business types that use chemicals, petroleum or heavy metals. Most automotive uses are on the list. Your bank will know if a property is RSRA eligible before commissioning a RSRA because the borrower will have completed an environmental questionnaire.

RSRA Questionnaire:

The environmental questionnaire helps the bank to determine if they are eligible to use the less expensive RSRA. Typically, the questionnaire is delivered by the bank but if they don't have one of their own they can use one created by the environmental professional. Ours is attached here for your review.

RSRA Flowchart:

The process flow for a RSRA is a bit complicated. We created a graphic to explain visually how the process works. You can find that graphic by scrolling down.

In-Scope Items:

  • Federal, State, County and Municipal environmental database review by a trained environmental professional.
  • City Directory (Yellow Pages) search of the historical uses of the property.
  • Historic Aerials review.
  • Fire Insurance Maps. * (at the discretion of environmental scientist)
  • A written report identifying the property as “Low” or “High” risk.

Out-of-Scope Items:

  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) of fire department and city building department / code enforcement.
  • Interviews with Owners / Occupants / Government Officials.
  • Onsite survey by an environmental professional.

Turnaround Time:

You can expect to have a RSRA done inside 5 days. If you are a volume customer or if you need a “Rush” RSRA, they can be done in forty-eight hours.

RSRA Competition:

Some of our clients use non-industry standard naming for RSRAs such as RiskCheck, RiskCheck Basic, RiskCheck Plus.

RSRA Cost:

A RSRA typically costs $650. Volume clients can receive discounts.

RSRA Report Example:

We understand that we’ve talked a lot about the RSRA program. The question you probably have now is; “Can I please see what they look like?” Yes, you can download a sample report further down in this website. Notice that the document, not including the database reports, is only a few pages. The most important part is the sentence that describes the property as “Low” or “High” risk. If it comes back as low risk, you are good to borrow or lend. Should it comes back as high risk, you’ll need a Phase 1 ESA to put any lingering concerns to rest. However, if the scientist determines your property is high risk, we deduct $300 from the cost of a Phase 1 ESA because we will already have the database records needed for the next step.

RSRA Report Template:

We are super nice here at A3 Environmental Consulting and we’d like to provide a template of our RSRA report for other consultants to download and use as a productivity tool. However, we’d like to know who you are and see if we might be able to work together on projects in the future. To get our template, all you need to do is call us and we’ll send it to you as a word document. Call us at (888) 405.1742. Ask for Tim.

RSRA: Less Expensive Alternatives:

Sometimes you want just a 30,000 foot view of the environmental risk for a property. We have options. For $59 you can get an environmental screen. For an extra $40 you can have a professional review it and give you their opinion. You'll receive an email telling you if there’s anything to worry about. Sometimes that’s all you need.

Are there other options to a Record Search With Risk Assessment (RSRA)?
How are they different?

A3E Services Flow

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Would you like to learn more about alternatives to the Record Search With Risk Assessment (RSRA)?

Environmental Screen (ES)
With Professional Interpretation
Only - $127

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)



Testimonials

Kind   words   from   our   clients.

Kay Pentzien

Real Estate Developer

The A3 Environmental Team completed both a Phase 1 and a Phase 2 for our property and Patrick and I couldn't be more pleased with the work they did!

Ross DePaul

Mergers & Acqusitions

I thoroughly enjoyed working with A3E on our Phase 1 studies. We were running up against some deadlines, and they jumped through hoops to get everything completed on time.

Daniela Fitzgerald

Architect

The A3E team did a great job on our Phase 1 report. They were quick , thorough and professional. They were able to give me all of the information that I needed.

Download Samples of Our Reports.

2020 Environmental Screen (ES)

Environmental Screen With Interpretation

Download Sample Report.

Environmental Screen (ES) $99

Advantages of the Environmental Screen (ES):

  • Inexpensive ($99)
  • Fast (Typically Same Day Service)

Disadvantages of Environmental Screen (ES):

  • High level overview of risks and concerns
  • No limitation of liability for environmental risk like the Phase 1 ESA has.
2020 Record Search Risk Assessment (RSRA)

Record Search with Risk Assessment

Download Sample Report.

Record Search w/ Risk Assessment $450

Advantages: Record Search w/ Risk Assessment (RSRA):

  • Less expensive ($450) than a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment.
  • Fast (Guaranteed in 5 Days or Less)
  • Accepted, even encouraged, by the Small Business Administration (SBA)

Disadvantages: Record Search w/ Risk Assessment (RSRA):

  • Relatively high-level overview of risks and concerns.
  • No limitation of liability for environmental risk like Phase 1 ESA.
2020 Phase 1 ESA

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment

Download Sample Report.

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)

Advantages: Phase 1 ESA:

  • Limits environmental liability from previous owner.
  • Most thorough review of environmental risk.
  • Accepted by all banks when borrowing against a property.

Disadvantages: Phase 1 ESA:

  • More expensive than other options.
  • Slower to complete (10 Days)

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