Environmental Due Diligence Boot Camp
Lesson 10:  It's All About Quality, Not Quantity 

There's a very broad range of what can be represented as a Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment.  At one end of the spectrum is the high-quality, comprehensive, full disclosure work-product.  At the other extreme is the superficial, rushed-to-completion, follow-the-checklist, cookie-cutter product.
It's kind of like the difference between a Yugo* and a Mercedes Benz.  Both can legitimately be represented as an automobile.  But while the Mercedes can be trusted to consistently get you to your destination, there's a relatively high probability that the Yugo is going to eventually leave you stranded by the side of the road.  Quality does count.
*   For the younger folks, the Yugo was a subcompact automobile built by Zastava Corporation, in the former
    country of Yugoslavia, beginning in 1978.   YugoAmerica began selling cars in the United States, at a starting
    price of $3,990 (about 1/3 the price of most other subcompact economy cars available at the time), in 1986. 
    The car utilized obsolete technology, used poorly manufactured components, and was often very poorly
    assembled.  These cars quickly acquired a reputation for being highly unreliable, as they seemed to not run
    more often than they did run.  The Yugo was voted Car Talk's worst car of the millennium.   For more: Wikipedia



The margin of profit associated with the business of conducting Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments is pretty slim.  About the only way an assessment provider can increase profits is to try to maximize the number of assessments that are completed and delivered each month. 


But maximizing quantity often takes its toll on quality.  Complete and accurate environmental assessments require a very labor-intensive and time-consuming process.  For an assessment provider to increase output, without increasing overhead costs, usually requires that they take short-cuts in the assessment process, resulting in significant reduction in the quality of the assessment work-product that is delivered.


It’s your money, your risk, and therefore your choice: 

  • You can retain a competent, experienced professional who will generate an assessment report that is the product of careful research and data analysis, and provides well-conceived and accurate opinions and recommendations,


  • (if you're a gambler and are feeling lucky) you can try to save a few dollars and go with a firm that uses low-paid technicians to mass-produce fill-in-the-blank reports that more often than not are inaccurate, or contain serious errors and deficiencies.  
You might get away with using the "fast and cheap" assessment provider six, seven, maybe even eight times out of ten. But sooner or later, "fast and cheap" is going to screw-up big-time, and cause you a whole lot of anguish.  And the cost of that "due diligence" screw-up is going to more than outweigh any of the savings you got from "fast and cheap" up to that point in time. 
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POSTED:  14 January 2011