Targus was retained to perform a desktop peer review of a portfolio of environmental site assessments (Phase I ESA and additional non-ASTM services) of both vacant and developed industrial land encompassing approximately 20 acres. The subject property consisted of approximately five acres improved with a 15,000 square foot warehouse building, and two vacant tracts of land. The warehouse was described as vacant except for an office used by an environmental consultant for storage of non-hazardous materials. The other tracts were described as unused apart from a trail along the eastern portions that adjoined tidal marshes of San Francisco Bay. The subject property was planned for future construction of a life science office campus.
The northern five-acre parcel had been used for decades of pesticide and other chemical manufacturing. Releases from on-site operations affected soil and the first underlying groundwater bearing unit with arsenic, among lesser contaminants. Additionally, shallow water was also affected by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) attributed to releases both off-site and on the central portion of the property. Noteworthy contamination had affected off-site commercial property, a large sanitary sewer trunk line, and the adjoining wetland areas. The subject property was under the jurisdiction of the regional water quality control board with authority delegated by EPA and was subject to a number of orders and restrictive covenants. Prior corrective actions had included installation of a groundwater barrier wall, plant-based hydraulic controls, land use restrictions, interim removal actions for street and sewer repairs, and an erosion control plan to protect ecological wetland receptors. Planned additional controls intended to be incorporated into future development, and construction included surface cover to prevent exposure to underlying shallow soil.
Targus reviewed several Phase I ESAs as well as groundwater sampling reports, wetland assessments, and biological constraints analysis provided by the joint venture partner. Targus additionally secured and reviewed underlying regulatory records for verification of the reported conditions. As negotiations between the parties progressed, Targus participated in numerous lengthy conference calls to assist the client in understanding the restrictions on land use, potential unexpected outcomes, strengths and weaknesses of various liability mitigation measures, and apparent sufficiency of the redevelopment budget. Upon conclusion of interaction and receipt of a Prospective Purchaser Comfort Letter, Targus concurred with the opinion of the prior consultant that the recognized environmental condition met the definition of a controlled recognized environmental condition. The client entered into an equity position in the venture and the project is currently in the development permitting and approval process.