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Environmental Site Assessments

The purpose of an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) is to evaluate the contamination status of the target site including the distribution of contamination, both vertically and laterally, and to identify any potential onsite or offsite contamination sources.


An ESA may be required to:

  • Meet the requirements of an Environmental Audit.

  • Meet the requirements of an EPA Victoria enforced Remedial Notice.

  • Facilitate the construction of a childcare centre.

  • Assist in meeting council requirements.

  • Prepare a site for residential / commercial redevelopment.

  • Evaluate the environmental condition of a site prior to acquisition (pre-purchase and due diligence assessment).


An ESA may include:

  • A desktop environmental site assessment including site history and site setting information with respect to contamination potential.

  • Soil sample collection and analysis for the presence of chemical and asbestos contamination.

  • The installation and sampling of groundwater monitoring wells to evaluate groundwater quality.

  • Soil vapour assessment works where the potential exists for vapour intrusion to a current or proposed occupied areas.

  • Landfill gas assessment works for properties located in the vicinity of current or historical landfill sites.


Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) reports may also be referred to as:

  • Preliminary Environmental Site Assessments (PESA) or Preliminary Site Investigations (PSI) where a reduced scope of works is employed as either an initial evaluation of the contamination status of a site or where the site is considered a low contamination risk based on the known site history; or

  • Detailed Environmental Site Assessments (DESA) or Detailed Site Investigations (DSI) where a more comprehensive evaluation is required based on a medium to high contamination risk due to past site use.

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