Transaction Screen Assessment
The primary purpose of Transaction Screen Assessment (TSA) Reports are to assist Clients with identifying Potential Environmental Concerns (PECs) in connection with the Subject Property. It is based, in part, upon documents, writings, and information owned, possessed, or secured by the Client. Environmental Transaction Screen Assessments (TSA) are the most widely accepted limited product and are typically done to meet the requirements of ASTM 1528-06 Standard Practice for Limited Environmental Due Diligence:
The purpose of this practice is to define good commercial and customary practice in the United States of America for conducting a Transaction Screen Assessment for a parcel of commercial real estate where the user (Client) wishes to conduct limited environmental due diligence (less than a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment). If the driving force behind the environmental due diligence is a desire to qualify for one of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) Landowner Liability Protections (LLPs), this practice should not be applied. Instead, the ASTM Practice E 1527-05 for Environmental Site Assessments – Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process – shall be used.
The goal of the processes established by this practice is to identify potential environmental concerns. The term Potential Environmental Concerns means the possible presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate the possibility of an existing release, a past release, or a threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on the property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property. The term includes hazardous substances or petroleum products even under conditions in compliance with laws. The “threat of release” is generally understood to be present when hazardous substances or petroleum products are poorly managed but the release of the contaminants has not yet occurred, and there is an opportunity to take response action to prevent a release of the contaminants. The term is not intended to include de minimis conditions that generally do not present a material risk of harm to public health or the environment and that generally would not be the subject of an enforcement action if brought to the attention of appropriate governmental agencies. Conditions determined to be de minimis are not PECs.
No Transaction Screen Assessment can wholly eliminate uncertainty regarding the potential for environmental concern in connection with a property. TSAs can be performed by, but do not require, the judgment of an Environmental Professional (EP). If an Environmental Professional is contracted to prepare a Transaction Screen Assessment, nothing in this practice requires the professional to develop opinions and conclusions.
The Transaction Screen Assessment process consists of asking questions, contained within the transaction screen questionnaire, of owners and occupants of the property; observing site conditions at the property with direction provided by the transaction screen questionnaire; and, to the extent reasonably ascertainable, conducting limited research regarding certain government records and certain standard historical sources. The questions asked of owners are the same questions as those asked of occupants. This Report may not include all environmental conditions which can materially impact the subject property other than those defined as PECs in ASTM E1528-06.