Environmental Site Assessment Services (ESA)

Environmental Site Assessment Services (ESA)

MET’s Environmental Site Assessment services are designed to establish a defense from environmental liability, as defined by state and federal law. They are utilized by prospective purchasers of commercial and industrial properties to avoid liability for pre-existing contamination, avoid purchasing an unusable property and ensure the value of the property that’s being considered for purchase. Our ESA services include:


  • Environmental Transaction Screen (ASTM Designation E 1528)
  • Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment (ASTM Designation E 1527)
  • Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment
  • Baseline Environmental Assessment

Environmental Transaction Screen (ASTM)

MET’s Environmental Transaction Screens meet the standard standard practices of the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM. We meet the Transaction Screen Process, ASTM Designation E 1528, protocol. The Transaction Screen process is a screening device to identify environmental conditions contained in a low risk property. It also helps a client in weed out higher risk properties from a potential purchase. Our Transaction Screen services include:


  • A visual survey of the site to identify evidence of potential contamination or other environmental concerns
  • A review of regulatory databases, per Phase 1 ASTM ESA protocol
  • A historical review of available information, meaning a tax assessor card, historical aerial photographs and/or historical Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
  • Completion of an ASTM transaction screen questionnaire

Environmental Transaction Screen (ASTM)

MET’s Environmental Transaction Screens meet the standard standard practices of the American Society for Testing and Materials, or ASTM. We meet the Transaction Screen Process, ASTM Designation E 1528, protocol. The Transaction Screen process is a screening device to identify environmental conditions contained in a low risk property. It also helps a client in weed out higher risk properties from a potential purchase. Our Transaction Screen services include: 


  • A visual survey of the site to identify evidence of potential contamination or other environmental concerns
  • A review of regulatory databases, per Phase 1 ASTM ESA protocol
  • A historical review of available information, meaning a tax assessor card, historical aerial photographs and/or historical Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
  • Completion of an ASTM transaction screen questionnaire

Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment

The objective of a Phase 1 ESA is to identify environmental conditions in connection with a property, as defined by the American Society for Testing and Materials and their standard ESA practices. The Phase 1 ESA is used as a standardized screening device, focusing on research into current and historical site activities. It is a review of governmental environmental records, interviews with people aware of former and current site activities and a physical evaluation of the land surface.


It is a standardized and recognized procedure for establishing due diligence and identifying potential environmental concerns. Our standard ASTM E 1527 Phase 1 ESA includes: 


  • A visual survey of the site to identify evidence from potential contamination or other environmental concerns. Digital photographs are utilized to document conditions.
  • A review of regulatory databases. MET uses First Search, Inc., and Environmental Data Resources for the primary research. The MDEQ’s online database is also reviewed.
  • A comprehensive historical review that includes, but may not be limited to, tax assessor's card, historical aerial photographs, historical Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, library research and interviews.
  • Where applicable, review of appropriate MDEQ files via the Freedom of Information Act.

Phase 2 Environmental Site Assessment

MET has completed hundreds of Phase 2 ESAs throughout the past 25 years. Phase 2 ESAs address the potential environmental concerns that are identified during the Phase 1 ESA. The work includes quantitative analysis of representative material samples such as soil, groundwater and building materials. MET maintains a comprehensive in-house inventory of groundwater, soil and air sampling equipment. We also house site safety equipment and field analytical instruments. This inventory enables quick and thorough responses to our clients environmental and regulatory compliance needs. 

Baseline Environmental Assessment

BASELINE ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT (BEA)

Changes adopted in June, 1995, to Michigan’s Environmental Law (part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended) provide means for purchasing a contaminated property without assuming liability for the contamination. The process is known as a Baseline Environmental Assessment, or BEA.


We provide qualified personnel and experience to provide our clients with comprehensive services:


  • Baseline Environmental Assessments
  • Comprehensive Due Care Compliance Analysis
  • Follow-Up Compliance Evaluation and Assistance


The BEA is intended to provide and organize information concerning the property's existing contamination. This enables the contamination to be readily distinguishable from any new releases that might occur after the new owner or operator takes over the property.


  • The BEA report must be conducted prior to or within 45 days after an owner or operator acquires the property.
  • The BEA must be submitted to the MDEQ within six months of becoming the new owner or operator.

Due Care Compliance Analysis

In an effort to ensure that contaminated properties are safely redeveloped, Part 201 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended, specifically requires owners and operators take "Due Care" measures to ensure existing contamination does not cause unacceptable risk and is not exacerbated.


Due Care compliance analyses are a common component of a BEA. They provide information and direction to a new owner or operator regarding their obligations in dealing with the contamination. Due Care requirements are not related to the owner’s liability for the contaminants.