Despite recessionary conditions in 2001, the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) industry faired well for the year. According to EDR's annual state of the industry report, the ESA marketplace increased by 12 percent over 2000. In fact, with 248,000 ESA's conducted, 2001 proved to be the best year for the ESA industry in three years, coming closest to 1998's record high of 261,000 ESA's performed. Although the timing of economic recovery in 2002 is uncertain, EDR predicts that the marketplace will continue to grow, albeit moderately.
Among the factors that contributed to 2001's growth in the ESA marketplace were a declining interest rate environment and the associated increase in refinancing activity, coupled with tightening lending standards not seen since the early 1990s. Demand for ESA's increased as lenders more carefully scrutinized each loan. According to Dianne Crocker, managing director of EDR's market research group and principal author of the study, "These factors managed to offset the lower Phase I activity that typically characterizes an economic downturn and bucked the downward trend that has existed in ESA markets since 1998. Despite a record-low year for merger and acquisition activity and a sharp downturn in the telecommunications sector, the ESA industry was bolstered by healthy, but stable, demand in other sectors."
EDR's research is based on six years of comprehensive statistics on the ESA and transaction screen marketplace, as well as its strategic partnerships with professionals in the environmental consulting, banking, insurance, and corporate sectors. The complete annual state of the ESA industry report is available in February's edition of EDR's ESA Report newsletter. For more information, please contact Amy Sakso at [email protected] or (800) 352-0050, ext. 378.