As a petrol station operator, you do your due diligence to ensure that all permits and necessary actions pertaining to your business are carried out regularly. This includes regular inspections, cleanings, and maintenance. One such action that is sometimes overlooked by service station owners is an ESA, or Environmental Site Assessment.
This assessment is necessary to ensure that your business is meeting local environmental requirements and standards, and can help to catch and prevent any potential contamination of surrounding soil or water.
To help our members stay informed about the details of an ESA, and why regular assessments are beneficial for their petrol station, we reached out to Nick at NEO Consulting for answers to some commonly asked questions. A leader in the industry, Nick provided us with expert insights into the risks of neglecting site assessments, as well as what is commonly covered in ESA reports.
What is an ESA?
An ESA, or Environmental Site Assessment, is a report covering the condition of several site factors such as soil, ground water, and groundwater wells. The extent of the assessment needed for each service station typically depends on the consultant’s professional opinion, however there are a number of minimum requirements included in every report. These include items such as:
Strategic soil sampling from a variety of strategic depths. Samples are then assessed by a lab for contamination associated with the current and historical use of the site.
Water sampling from onsite water monitoring wells, also to be assessed by a laboratory.
Historical/current site investigations and conditions.
Integrity inspection of underground tanks and fuel lines.
A report conclusion based on the findings of the investigation suggesting any further action, and deeming the site suitable or unsuitable for continued use.
Who can perform an ESA?
An ESA must be performed by an appropriately qualified environmental consulting company or individual. It is always best to take the time to contact a professional company with plenty of experience within the petroleum industry such as NEO Consulting. Doing so will save petrol station owners both time and money throughout the investigation.
When and why are ESA’s done?
ESA reports are typically requested for three main reasons. These include:
Due diligence in the process of purchasing a service station site. Often, potential buyers will be proactive in determining if the site may have additional unknown liabilities of undisclosed contamination. This helps prevent costly issues after the site is purchased.
Reports executed before the sale of the property to confirm the suitability of the site.
Often, banks will request an EPA report to confirm the current environmental status of a site prior to allowing an owner to borrow against a site for finance. This ensures the bank is confident in the suitability and continued functionality of the petrol station.
What does NEO Consulting check for when carrying out an ESA?
When we undertake an ESA report, we are typically looking for contamination. There are a number of ways to gain a quick understanding of the status of any given site. If the site has tank pit wells or water monitoring wells, NEO will assess these first to determine if the site has visual contamination within the groundwater beneath the site.
Additionally, we will assess the ground cover to see if adequate cover exists to prevent surface spills from entering into natural geology. The age of the site will also be considered, as age plays a big factor in determining whether or not the site is historically contaminated.
How much does an ESA typically cost?
Costs for an ESA report start at $3,300.00+gst, and can range up to $15,000.00+gst depending on the extent of the assessment, whether underground tanks require testing, and if water monitoring wells must be installed at the site.
NEO Consulting Provides Fast, Reliable ESA Reporting
If your service station is in need of an ESA report, or you’re a prospective buyer looking to ensure the viability of a potential site, NEO Consulting can help. With quick turnaround times, NEO’s team can be onsite undertaking works and delivering completed reports in just days.
Offering full environmental works, underground tank and fuel line testing, and installation of water monitoring wells, you can get the report you need from professionals you can trust. We encourage our members to reach out with any questions, or to learn more about whether or not their service station may be in need of an updated ESA report.
To discuss ESA’s or to organise a quote, contact Dan Armes at ServoPro on 0490 415 063 or [email protected]