Updated Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Standard

Posted on November 7th, 2013

An updated Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Standard has been released by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The new ASTM E1527-13describes the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment process, which is used during due diligence to identify the potential for releases of hazardous substances or petroleum products that could lead to liability to new property owners if not identified, evaluated, addressed, and properly managed.

Overall the changes are not ground breaking but rather are intended to improve and clarifiy some area that are vague in the current Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment Process.

ASTM indicated that the changes include the following:

  1. Updated Recognized Environmental Condition definition, which is more aligned with All Appropriate Inquiry, but retains some of the additional guidance from prior E1527 versions
  2. Updated Historic Recognized Environmental Condition definition, which was redefined to limit application of Historic Recognized Environmental Condition to past releases that have been addressed to unrestricted residential use
  3. Addition of a Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition, to be used for risk-based closures, where contaminants are allowed to remain under certain conditions
  4. Clarification that “de minimis condition” is not to be used to describe a Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition
  5. New definition for migrate/migration, to specifically include vapor
  6. New definition for “release” and “environment,” to align with CERCLA definitions
  7. New discussion about specific LLP and Brownfield Grantee “User” requirements
  8. New standardized framework for gathering agency information related to key database listings
  9. Added language to allow non-significant changes to conclusion statement

Updated non-binding appendices: Revised Legal Appendix; Revised Report Table of Contents and Format; and Added “Business Environmental Risk” Appendix to provide references and resource guidance for common Business Environmental Risk issues

Pete Sorge

Senior Manager, VP

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