August Mack was retained by a law firm in Indiana on behalf of an oil company to perform a series of Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) pending the sale of the company. The job included a total of 56 sites, consisting of active gas stations with attached convenience stores and a few vacant lots spread out over a wide area in Indiana. Most of the gas stations were relatively new structures, with many of them being fewer than 20 years old. A number of the locations had previously hosted gas stations/convenience stores belonging to other companies. In these cases, the client inherited the previously-existing structures.
The scope of the Phase I ESA involved conducting a site inspection and reviewing the regulatory history of the site. The assessments also consisted of evaluating the potential for off-site and historical sources of contamination; and conducting interviews and questionnaires with the site owners and occupants. Given the past and current operations of the locations, a thorough review of the condition of the underground storage tanks (USTs) was completed during each assessment. Historical aerial photographs and other historical records were reviewed to help document past usage of the sites. Additionally, the owner and operators had prior Phase I ESA reports and other related documents for the various sites on file, which August Mack was able to review.
The volume of sites necessitated a high level of expertise and coordination in order to complete the inspections within an approximately six-week timeframe. August Mack communicated with owners and operators to verify sites’ availability and developed an efficient route from location to location to successfully meet the deadline.
The result of the Phase I ESAs indicated that a few of the sites had active leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs), however the majority of the sites were issued No Further Action (NFA) letters. These results were communicated to the client through an in-depth spreadsheet which kept track of each location, prior information about location, August Mack’s findings, and August Mack’s recommendations for follow-up action, if necessary.