October 28

Out with the Old, In with the New: EPA Drops 2005 ASTM Standard from AAI Rule

EPA LogoThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has amended the standards and practices for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) for satisfying All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) under CERCLA. The final rule, published October 6, 2014, officially removed the reference to the previously accepted ASTM E1527-05, making ASTM E1527-13 the acceptable standard for completing Phase I ESAs. The new rule will become effective October 6, 2015.

Consultants, landowners, and prospective purchasers have been walking the confusing line of using both ASTM E1527-05 and ASTM E1527-13 to satisfy AAI since the EPA adopted a new rule in December 2013, which allowed for the use of either standard to satisfy AAI. The effective date of the recent amendment to no longer allow the use of the 2005 standard gives interested parties one (1) year to make the transition to exclusive use of the 2013 standard.

The primary differences between E1527-05 and E1527-13 are:

  1. The 2013 standard specifically identifies vapor migration as a type of release and potential source of impact to the subsurface, making vapor migration a potential recognized environmental condition.
  2. The 2013 standard clarifies definitions within the 2005 standards and adds new definitions, revising the potential scope of assessment. Notably, the term “Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition” was added to include past releases that have satisfied regulatory requirements, but left contaminants in place, such as the use of an Environmental Restrictive Covenant (ERC).
  3. The 2013 standard requires a more extensive regulatory file review for the site and surrounding properties.

The Final Rule is published in the Federal Register.

About the Author

Project Manager and Due Diligence Expert

Midwest, East Coast & South East
Darci Thomas, L.P.G.

Darci Thomas has over 16 years of experience in environmental management, geologic studies, and associated fields. Darci has focused her career on working closely with stakeholders in real estate transactions to manage environmental risk and liability during due diligence activities. She is proficient in field activity management from soil and groundwater sampling events to well installation, site investigation activities, indoor air quality monitoring, and building investigations for lead based paint, asbestos, and microbial contamination. Darci works hard to provide aggressive and innovative solutions. Contact Darci Thomas for more information on  Environmental Due Diligence.

EnviroForensics is an environmental engineering firm specializing in soil and groundwater investigation and remediation and vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation. EnviroForensics® is the leading environmental engineering company in the country addressing environmental liabilities and finding funding by locating and bringing to your defense old insurance policies. EnviroForensics® has pioneered and perfected the utilization of Comprehensive General Liability insurance policies as a resource to pay for the high costs associated with soil and groundwater investigations, remediations, and legal defense.