A Millennial Guide To Phase I’s

Since graduating with a degree in Biological Engineering from LSU, I have assisted Environmental Professionals (EP’s) with over 200 projects that required Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs).  Over the last two years these projects have ranged from vacant lots, multi-family residential apartment complexes, drycleaners, gasoline stations, to industrial manufacturing plants. The goal of a Phase I ESA is to determine if there are conditions that are indicative of releases of petroleum or hazardous materials or chemicals at the site, now or in the past. These conditions are known as recognized environmental conditions (RECs).  Basically, a Phase I is conducted to identify RECs, at the subject property that may require investigation or cleanup, and could impair a property’s value or create liability.  Phase I ESAs include the following: Site inspection (interior and exterior features) A review of historical records of the property (including historical aerial photographs and topographic maps, fire insurance
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Environmental Services for TCCD Downtown Fort Worth

W&M conducted Phase I ESAs and Phase II investigations of several properties owned by various industries, including TXU Energy Company in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. The properties are located in an area being redeveloped by the Tarrant County College District (TCCD) for their downtown campus. The area is heavily developed with a number of industries and potential sources of contamination including several landfills, two power plants, a lead smelter, former gasoline stations and a residential community. The TCCD campus is considered an anchor for the downtown redevelopment project known as the Trinity River Vision.

The Phase I and Phase II ESAs indicated that the Site had been impacted by VOCs and metals. As a result, W&M completed the Innocent Owner/Operator Programs (IOP) application, conducted soil and groundwater sampling, worked with the TCEQ case coordinator, and completed the IOP report documentation (namely the Site Investigation Report or SIR). The sampling and data evaluation by W&M clearly demonstrated to the TCEQ that the Site had not "caused or contributed" to the contamination and the Site was subsequently granted Innocent Owner Certificates (IOC) for several properties. Other contaminated properties were granted closure through the VCP after submitting the appropriate Affected Property Assessment Reports (APARs) and conducting additional investigation or remediation.

The Sites were issued the appropriate regulatory closure certificates and the properties are currently undergoing development. The downtown campus and the Trinity River Vision are considered very important developments for the future of downtown Fort Worth. The project was completed in a timely manner and within the proposed budget. W&M’s expertise with the TCEQ at similar IOP and VCP sites was very helpful in the successful completion of this project.


W&M has a long history of working with AT&T on a wide range of projects dating back to 1998. Our work with AT&T has included Phase I ESAs, Phase II Investigations, removal of PSTs, closure of LPSTs through the TCEQ PST program (reimbursable and non-reimbursable sites), site remediation, and use of soil vapor extraction (SVE) as a treatment method. W&M has successfully worked with AT&T to become one of their prime contractors in Texas and surrounding states.

Greenway Investment Co.

W&M has had a long-term relationship with Greenway (local real estate developer) to perform a wide range of environmental projects including Phase I ESAs, Phase II Investigations, asbestos inspections, remediation projects, and site closures through the TCEQ VCP and Innocent Owner Program (IOP). Our work has included several challenging sites such as the former Exide battery facility on Motor Street (part of City of Dallas Brownfields project), former Alcatel facility in Richardson, and Gaston Avenue property (former dry cleaners that was granted a Municipal Setting Designation [MSD] by the City of Dallas). The MSD was utilized to close the site without long-term and very expensive groundwater remediation. W&M designed the response actions at this site and assisted the client with bidding support and contractor selection. W&M has closed a number of Greenway sites.

Educational Institution

W&M conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs), Phase II Investigations, asbestos surveys, removal of Petroleum Storage Tanks (PSTs), remediation services, regulatory closure at a number of properties at a former electric power generation facility. W&M effectively worked with the TCEQ to obtain regulatory closure certificates for several properties in a heavily developed area of downtown Fort Worth. The downtown campus and Trinity River Vision are considered critical for the future of the area. W&M completed the projects on time and within the proposed budgets. W&M’s expertise with the TCEQ at similar sites was instrumental in the successful completion of this project.

EPA Brownfields Phase I

W&M conducted Phase I ESAs on four properties in 2007 and 2008 for Ann Grimes as part of the Brownfields Assessment Grants from the EPA for the investigation of Brownfields properties within the City. As part of the program, the City partners with local property owners to perform environmental assessments of their property as one of the tools to evaluate environmental issues and promote redevelopment. W&M conducted utility line replacement through a former landfill site.

Texas Pipeline Company

W&M conducted a wide range of environmental assessments for a large pipeline company at compressor stations located throughout Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Our work at these compressor stations ranged from Phase I ESAs, Phase II Investigations, and remediation of impacted soil associated with condensate and waste materials disposed into on-Site pits. Remediation tasks included remedial design, development of project work plans, contractor oversight, working with the state and local regulators, and confirmation sampling.

Fort Worth-Based Oil Company

W&M worked on several proposed urban gas drilling sites located in the Town of Flower Mound. Our work has included Phase I ESAs, EPPs, Emergency Response Plans (ERP), HMMPs, NMPs, and noise monitoring. W&M utilized the Bruel & Kjaer noise monitor to determine drill rig noise levels while operating at a location outside the town. These measurements were then used to model noise levels for the site within the town to determine compliance. Noise abatement measures were specified to obtain compliance at the drill pad and compressor site.

International Oil-Service Company

W&M performed a wide range of environmental services for the pre-acquisition of proposed urban drill sites located in north Texas in the Barnett Shale. W&M completed Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA), Environmental Protection Plans (EPP), Hazardous Materials Management Plans (HMMP), storm water pollution prevention plans (SWP3), Noise Monitoring Plans (NMP), and noise monitoring at the drill sites. Because of variances associated with some of the drill sites and stringent municipal requirements, W&M assisted the client with the review process and public meetings. As a result of our work, many of the drill sites were approved. Additionally, W&M conducted noise monitoring to optimize compressor locations and ensure that their operation met local noise ordinances.

Large Oil-Service Company

W&M conducted a Phase I ESA for numerous parcels in an approximately 30,000 acre area in South Texas (Eagle Ford Shale). This assessment was part of the evaluation process for a property acquisition. W&M reviewed underdeveloped parcels that had already been developed with oil wells, injection wells, water well and other oil & gas operations. In addition to the basic ASTM Phase I ESA components, W&M reviewed social and environmental aspects that could potential impact the acquisition.