Clients are frequently confused about the difference between a “21E” type of Phase I and a Phase I that’s required by the MassDEP.  Here’s the difference:

“21E” type Phase I

Typically performed as as part of due diligence during a property purchase or refinancing.

  • May be performed by a property owner, purchaser or lender.
  • Frequently performed in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials standard entitled Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process (E1527-05).
  • The purpose is to evaluate whether there is evidence that a property may be contaminated.
  • The evaluation does not include the collection of soil or water samples for laboratory analysis.

MassDEP Phase I

  •  Required by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP; 310 CMR 40.0000).
  • Is only performed after the MassDEP is notified of a release of oil or hazadous materials at a property.
  • May be performed by a property owner or the party who is responsible for the release (such as a tenant or transporter).
  • The purpose is to provide a preliminary assessment of the extent and magnitude of oil or hazardous materials in the subsurface at a property.
  • Generally requires the installation of 3 ground water monitoring wells and the collection and analysis of soil and ground water samples.

We’ll tell you more about what goes into each type of Phase I in a future post.