Initially a Phase 1 is conducted. This consists of a historical background check of the commercial property whereby an Environmental Company checks city records in order to determine if any of the former uses on or adjacent to the subject property included any type of hazardous material in the operation of their business which might have contaminated the soil or groundwater.
If the Environmental Company determines there is reasonable cause to believe there might be the presence of hazardous material affecting the subject property, they will recommend performing a Phase 2. This involves taking samples of the soil and possibly the ground water, then lab test them in order to determine their presence and levels.
If the lab testing determines the level of pollutants are above the acceptable levels set by the Governing Agencies such as South Coast Air Quality Management in Los Angeles, they will recommend a Phase 3 which outlines a plan to clean-up the affected area. This can consist of the removal of Contaminated Soil, Remediation of the Groundwater, or a combination of both. This type of work tends to be extremely costly and in severe cases can last years.