Environmental Newsletter                                                                                                                         MAY 2015
For over 30 years, Sebago Technics has been providing Phase I, II, & III Environmental Site Assessments for lenders, brokers, developers, and the legal community for projects throughout New England. 
Single Phase I Standard 
Beginning October 6, 2015
The revised Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) standard, ASTM E 1527-13, was issued in November 2013, and  became effective in December of that year.   For months following its 2013 release, there had been debate over whether its predecessor (the 2005 ASTM standard) was applicable in representing "good and customary practice" for conducting Phase I's that are compliant with the EPA's All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) Rule.  
Compliance with ASTM Standard E1527-05 had been recognized by EPA as satisfying the AAI requirements, and was acceptable within the market during the transitional period, during which, the EPA updated their final AAI rule on December 30, 2013, to state both the 2005 and 2013 ASTM standards would be recognized as being "good and customary practice." Since late 2013, two ASTM Phase I standards, each accomplishing the same intended purpose for the user, were deemed acceptable.  While it has been best practice to follow the 2013 standard since its release, many consultants were still performing Phase I ESAs conducted under the previous 2005 standard. Per the EPA, effective October 6, 2015, the 2013 standard will be the only accepted standard for a prospective purchaser to obtain certain liability protections under CERCLA.
Various Levels of Environmental Due Diligence

Often prospective purchasers,   lenders, and developers are required to perform environmental due diligence on a property prior to transfer or redevelopment.  Depending
on the current or prior use of the property, liability protections, or personal comfort level, varying degrees of environmental due diligence is pondered.  One of themost often questions I'm asked, is; "Do I need an environmental site assessment", without  considering its use and applicability.  Ultimately, users should review your risk standards to make sure your risk tolerance aligns with your current standard?  While the 2013 ASTM Phase I Standard is considered the current industry standard, satisfying the All Appropriate Inquiry Rule, it is not the only environmental due diligence tool available.  There are a number of due diligence options Sebago Technics offers; including desktop reviews, Records Search with Risk Assessment (RSRA), Preliminary Environmental Site Screens (PESS), and modified Phase I options created by lenders.  We would be happy to discuss with you on an individual project basis, which level of due diligence is appropriate for you and your clients, while addressing your required risk tolerances. 
Alternatives to Traditional Site Remediation

 Traditional site remediation typically consists of three 

active remedies to control or eliminate unacceptable risks to human health and the environment. These 

remedies include; source contamination at the point of exposure, or a combination of these methods.  While these methods are effective in removing the identified contamination and/or risk to human health and the environment, they can be costly  removal or treatment, ongoing monitoring, treatments and time consuming, often impacting the potential redevelopment of a site over concerns of budget, timing, and feasibility.  Other less active means of site remediation in the form of Engineered or Institutional Controls can be used in conjunction with active remedies or as stand-alone procedures that also eliminate or control the unacceptable risk to human health or the environment.  Engineered Controls are defined as physical barriers to contain and/or prevent exposure to contamination, while Institutional controls are defined as administrative or legal instruments that impose restrictions on the use of contaminated property or resources.


Examples of Engineered Controls include impervious surfaces, such as pavement or concrete, restricting access to the contamination or exposure pathway or active and passive vapor barriers, commonly used under buildings to prohibit contaminants entering indoor confined spaces.  Examples of Institutional Controls include deed restrictions on property (sometimes referred to in Maine as "environmental covenants"), such as prohibiting residential site use on a property, and environmental ordinances implemented by a government agency, such as a groundwater restriction prohibiting groundwater usage for drinking water in a designated area.  Engineered and Institutional Controls are often integral to MDEP's Voluntary Response Action Program (VRAP) in completing site closure for liability protections afforded to the property.  The use of these Engineered/Institutional Controls for both small and large sites, provides an alternative to typical site remediation and has allowed for increased flexibility of site closures, thus facilitating redevelopment activities.  Sebago Technics has designed and implemented both Engineered and Institutional Controls on numerous sites, including many VRAP properties.  If you're considering buying/selling or redeveloping a property with potential contamination affecting your options, consider consulting with us on reviewing all potential remediation solutions, including alternatives to traditional site remediation methods.


Former Bulk Fuel Storage Facility

South Portland, Maine

Beginning in 2013, STI assisted a client with the redevelopment of a former bulk fuel storage facility within the former tank farm area of the historic Ligonia section of South Portland. Beginning with Phase I and II Environmental Site Assessments, STI was able to characterize the environmental conditions of the property, focusing on the historic use of the area as a fuel depot for the former Exxon bulk fuel above ground storage tanks and various underground storage tanks associated with the former fuel depot.  Due to the long term historical use of the site, petroleum contamination was encountered to varying degrees throughout the property.  Working with the client on redevelopment 
plans for the site, it was determined the best and most practical remediation of the site would incorporate the use of Engineered and Institutional Controls on the property.  Opportunities for the client to redevelop the site commercially, along with limited site disturbance, allowed the site to be repurposed with inherited environmental considerations with limited remediation costs and efforts.  This site also participated in  MDEP's Voluntary Response Action Program, and following site characterization and redevelopment, received the liability release regarding the known and identified contamination at the p roperty.  This project is another example of a successful redevelopment of a contaminated property using a proactive approach to pairing the site's reuse with appropriate remediation goals to revitalize and improve the value of this property. 
In this issue:

Single Phase I Standard

Various Levels of Environmental Due Diligence

Alternatives to Traditional Site Remediation

Project Highlights

Environmental services we offer

Environmental Assessments:
  • NEPA Studies
  • Phase I/II Site Assessments (ESAs, VRAPs)
  • Indoor Air Quality Assessments
  • Underground Storage Tank Removal Assessments
  • Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Hazardous Waste Close-Outs
  • Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans
  • Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP)
  • Maine Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) Stormwater Sampling
  • National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Permitting


Natural Resources Services:

  • Wetland Delineation & Mapping
  • Vernal Pool Surveys
  • Wetland Functional Assessments
  • Wetland Mitigation Planning
  • Wetland Alteration Permitting (DEP/USACE)
  • Global Positioning System (GPS) Services
  • Geographic Information System (GIS) Services
  • HHE-200 Septic System Applications
  • Site Evaluations
  • Septic System Inspections
  • High Intensity Soil Surveys
  • NEPA Studies
  • Site Assessments (ESAs, VRAPs)
For more info...
Please contact:

Grant Austin
Environmental Scientist

Gary Fullerton, CSS, LSE
Director, Natural Resources

Owens McCullough, PE, LEED-AP
Vice President, Engineering

About Grant Austin
Mr. Austin joined Sebago Technics in 1999. His main areas of focus include: Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs); Underground Storage Tank (UST) Removal Assessments; site remediation oversight (Phase III); Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA); Hazardous Waste Generator Closures; Spill Prevention Control & Countermeasure (SPCC) Plans; soil vapor investigations; state and local permitting; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance;  visual impact studies; and, Multi-Sector General Permit (MSGP) stormwater sampling programs.

View my profile on LinkedIn


Johnson State College, 
Johnson, VT

Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science with Natural Resource Conservation Concentration, 1997

  • Wetland Delineation Certification Program (A.C.O.E.)
  • Subsurface Wastewater Disposal System Inspection Certification
Other services we offer
  • Land Surveying
  • High Definition 3D Laser Scanning
  • Site and Civil Engineering
  • Transportation/Traffic Engineering
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Permitting (Local/State/Federal)
  • Construction Services
  • GIS and Mapping

Sebago Technics, Inc. | 100% Employee-Owned | South Portland & Lewiston,  ME | 207.200.2100 | sebagotechnics.com