Environmental Site Assessment On An Industrial Warehouse Building

September 1, 2021

Acquisition-Equity Phase I ESA and Phase II Subsurface Investigation During Property Transaction

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Services Provided: Due Diligence Environmental Consulting

Rimkus Consultants: James Previte, Allan Coffee, Stephen Manelis

Project Timeline: July-September 2021

Project Description: Rimkus was retained by the purchasing entity (Client) to perform a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) on a 108,000 square-foot industrial/warehouse building in Providence, Rhode Island. The Client intended on conducting a full, substantial renovation as part of their business strategy for securing a long-term lease-up of the building with a major warehouse/distribution tenant.

The subject property building was originally constructed in 1969 and was used for jewelry manufacturing until operations ceased in the mid-2000s. Manufacturing operations included the heavy use of degreasing solvents, and the generation and disposal of wastewater treatment sludges from electroplating, spent solvents, spent cyanide plating bath solutions, and spent stripping and cleaning bath solutions. Rimkus identified the former property use as a Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) due to the potential for subsurface volatile organic compounds (VOCs) becoming an indoor-air vapor intrusion risk to future occupants of the building.

To address the environmental risks, Rimkus conducted Phase II Subsurface Investigation activities during August and September 2021. The investigation included collecting eight sub-slab soil gas samples from the southwestern portion of the property (in the vicinity of the former solvent/hazardous waste storage area), multiple soil and groundwater samples from the exterior of the southwestern corner of the building, and six indoor air samples from within the building.

The Phase II investigation identified that a past release of VOCs creating sub-slab vapors had occurred in the southwestern portion of the building. Soil and groundwater laboratory analysis indicated that no VOCs were present above the applicable regulatory standards in other areas of the property. The indoor air data and risk evaluation ultimately revealed that the existing building slab foundation prevented the intrusion of VOC vapors into the indoor air environment, and there was no complete vapor intrusion pathway that could result in a significant risk of harm to human health for building occupants.

Due to the results of the Rimkus Phase II investigation (no reportable conditions identified, groundwater and soil not detected above legal reporting conditions, and indoor air not affected), the condition associated with the former manufacturing use of the property was considered an acceptable risk to the Client and allowed them to proceed with the property acquisition.

Furthermore, the Client was able to move forward with tenant lease negotiations with the understanding and confidence that future occupants of the building were not at risk due to vapor intrusion.