I bought a former gas station with UST’s that were removed back in the 1990’s and had minor soil impacts as well, but the State procedures were very loosely applied back then and have since clamped down. The property was priced very low as the Seller knew it was a problem but did not want to deal with the headache, and I took the risk to pay for the Phase 1 and 2 ESA out of pocket with the possibility of walking away if remediation costs would be prohibitive. The results came back within State guidelines and we proceeded to close. I probably will never do this again.
Also, some states come back and double check properties that they said were previously clean decades ago and perform another test to make sure that’s the case with a closer lens as their procedures change significantly - the “good ole boy” procedures are being retired regularly as the EPA provides further scrutiny. It’s important to have the results of a Phase 1 and 2 to CYA, irrespective of what the State tells you.
I agree with @carl that your best option is for the Seller to cover the cost of the Phase 2 and the results being within guidelines (under the State limits for contamination levels) are the contingency to close. Option 2 is that the Seller provides significant concessions for you to pay for this out of pocket - and you run the risk that the contamination levels are elevated and require remediation by the State, but if they are in range then the risk may be worth it. If there is elevated contamination the price to remediate can be a revolving door and not sure that’s something you want to go through. Dealing with monitoring wells and state government types every quarter is not something you have to do and virtually nobody here would recommend that.
I think it’s appropriate to mention that Frank and Dave would have already walked away from this deal based on their due diligence materials. They also recommend Mike Renz at (614) 538-0451 for all their environmental diligence. You may want to give him a call and get his opinion.
Oh, and a reputable lender will not proceed without the Phase 2 confirming the status of this issue. My Phase 2 cost 12K for about 8 borings around the affected area plus a couple extra to detect any offsite impacts via the water table.