Hi @whuang ,
What book are you referring to?
It’s important to remember that the architect is seldom going to be the one on site who might uncover some sort of environmental contamination. It’s very likely the owner already knows if there is contamination on site. If the architect suspects there might be issues the owner does not have an understanding of, they should advise the owner of this in writing. The owner should procure an environmental site assessment (ESA). The ESA is performed by a professional - often times Civil Engineering/Surveying Firms will also have this service available. I’ve reviewed ESA’s from Terracon before - https://www.terracon.com/services/environmental/environmental-site-assessments-and-investigations/
General conditions will be identified in a phase 1 ESA. If areas of concern are found, a phase 2 ESA should be completed.
The professional performing the ESA will compile their report and send to the owner. The report will contain their findings as well as what further steps the owner might be required to make to mitigate any site issues. Often times, an owner might request an ESA on a site prior to purchasing it to limit their liability.
You can read more about ESA’s in the “Site Planning and Design Handbook” on pages 63 - 71 ! You can also get a general understanding of them on Wikipedia: Phase I environmental site assessment - Wikipedia
This was a very general overview of ESA’s. If you’re looking for more in depth information on site assessment beyond what’s in the Black Spectacles Lectures the “Site Planning and Design Handbook” is one of the major resources the ARE is pulling from in the P&A exam in particular.
Hope this helps!