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Tips for Working with Your Environmental Professional

August 27, 2018

The following is a list of tips for working with your Environmental Professional (EP) in preparing the environmental assessment to be submitted with applications for AHFA-related projects. 

Cost: Understand that Environmental Assessments for AHFA-funded projects require significantly more work than a standard Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and are more costly than a standard Phase I ESA.

Timing: Start discussions with your EP as early as possible (as soon as possible after a site is selected) to ensure they have sufficient time to prepare a complete environmental assessment before the application deadline. 

Scope of Assessment: Carefully review the scope of work with the EP to ensure it fully complies with all of AHFA’s Environmental Standards.

Site Boundaries: Provide accurate site boundaries to EP for the property seeking AHFA funding. 

Site History: Provide, as soon as possible to the EP, any relevant information regarding the Applicant’s knowledge of the site and its history.

Regulatory Approvals: Be prepared to allow enough time for applicable regulatory approvals (e.g., a jurisdictional determination or voluntary clean-up plan) so that any required approval is obtained prior to the environmental assessment submitted to AHFA.

Response to AHFA Comments: Upon receipt of AHFA comments to the environmental report, immediately forward those comments to the EP in order to insure response within required 5-day turnaround time.

Unrestricted Residential Use: Recognize that AHFA requires sites to be meet ADEM’s standard for unrestricted residential use and that the environmental report must demonstrate that all environmental conditions associated with the project meet that standard. AHFA cannot accept institutional or engineering controls on proposed sites other than a restriction of groundwater for potable or irrigation purposes in instances where public water is supplied.

Environmental Sampling: Any Recognized Environmental Conditions identified by the EP will likely require the submission of a Phase II ESA at the time of application. The scope of the Phase II should be carefully reviewed to be certain that it is in compliance with all AHFA requirements, including applicable ASTM Standard and ADEM requirements.

The tips are not meant to be exhaustive of all the items you should consider when working with your EP. Rather, the tips are meant to help applicants and their EPs avoid common mistakes. Although the tips are designed to be consistent with AHFA’s Environmental Policy Requirements and related policies and regulations, only the requirements set forth in AHFA’s current year allocation plans are controlling.