Sunday, December 15, 2013

Phase 1 Environmental Assessments, Transaction Screening, Records Review With Risk Assessment, and Phase 2 Limited Site Investigations for MN, WI & IA bank

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Phase 1 Environmental Assessments, Transaction Screening, Records Review With Risk Assessment, and Phase 2 Limited Site Investigations
Client: Regional Bank
Location(s): Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa

Key Elements: Phase I Environmental Review, Transaction Screening, RSRA, Phase II Studies

Overview: Caltha is a preferred provider of environmental due diligence services to this regional bank. Caltha preforms numerous Phase 1 ESA (ASTM E 1527), Transaction Screens (ASTM E1528) and Records Review With Risk Assessment (RSRA) for the multiple branches of the bank each year. Many of these assessments are conducted to meet environmental review requirements of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) which also require a SBA Reliance Letter. Depending on the results of the preliminary screening assessments, Caltha also performs Phase 2 Environmental Site Investigations and advises the bank on potential lender liability protections available through State agencies.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page

Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements. To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Phase II Environmental Investigation of Gas Station in Minneapolis - St Paul Metro Area

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Phase II Limited Site Investigation at Gas Station
Client: Regional Bank
Location(s): Minnesota

Key Elements: Soil and Groundwater Investigation

Overview: Caltha LLP was retained by a prospective lender to conduct a soil and groundwater investigation for this gas station located in Minnetonka, Minnesota. The investigation was required under internal bank policies which prescribed a site investigation be conducted prior to issuing loans on any current or former gas station properties. The gas station had been in business for many years and had previously reported leaking tanks; the LUST site had been cleaned up and closed, but it was anticipated that the Phase 2 may encounter residual contamination which had been allowed to remain on-site at the time the LUST was closed. As expected, some petroleum impacted soil was found at the site, but it could be determined that additional no releases had occurred since the previous LUST was closed. The bank was able to use the results of the investigation to determine that risks associated with the gas station had been addressed and the bank was able to enter into a loan agreement with a new buyer.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page

Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements. To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Phase 1 Environmental Assessment and Compliance Review For Racine, WI Facilities

Caltha LLP Project Summary

Project: Environmental Due Diligence, Phase 1 ESA and Compliance Assessment For Operations Near Racine, Wisconsin
Client: Real Estate Holding Company
Location(s): Wisconsin

Key Elements: Pre-acquisition Due Diligence, Phase I Environmental Assessment, Permit Review

Overview: Caltha was retained by this Real Estate Holding Company to conduct environmental due diligence of three properties located near Racine, Wisconsin they intended to acquire and continue to operate. Caltha staff conducted a Phase 1 ESA in accordance with ASTM standard practice E 1527-05. The ESA was augmented with a review of business risks associated with the acquisition and operation of these three existing businesses. Although no Recognized Environmental Conditions were identified, several business risks were revealed, including lack of spill prevention and control measures required under Federal rules, and lack of a State air emission permit for certain VOC emitting sources. Caltha recommended that both deficiencies be addressed prior to closing.

For more information on Caltha LLP services, go to the Caltha Contact Page

Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements. To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Final Standard For Conducting Phase 1 ESA, Phase I Environmental Assessment

The revised ASTM "Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process" has been published in final form in November 2013. Caltha LLP is now conducting all Phase 1 ESAs using the revised standard. Two of the key requirements that are significantly different compared to previous versions of this standard are:
  1. Requirement for physical review of agency file. If relevant information which may be useful in the assessment is only accessible in agency files, then a file review needs to be conducted.
  2. The standard now specifies three different categories for Recognized Environmental Conditions:
    • ASTM E 1527-13 defines recognized environmental conditions the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property: (1) due to release to the environment; (2) under conditions indicative of a release to the environment; or (3) under conditions that pose a material threat of a future release to the environment.
    • A historical recognized environmental condition is a past release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products that has occurred in connection with the property and has been addressed to the satisfaction of the applicable regulatory authority or meeting unrestricted use criteria established by a regulatory authority, without subjecting the property to any required controls.
    • A controlled recognized environmental condition is a recognized environmental condition resulting from a past release of hazardous substances or petroleum products that has been addressed to the satisfaction of the applicable regulatory authority with hazardous substances or petroleum products allowed to remain in place subject to the implementation of required controls.
Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements. To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.
For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Monday, April 22, 2013

Chemical and Petroleum Vapor Intrusion Guidance Documents

US EPA has released two draft final vapor intrusion guidance documents for public review and comments through May 24, 2013. The agency says it is working to issue final subsurface vapor intrusion guidelines so that they can be applied in forthcoming decisions.

EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER) released its draft Final Guidance for Assessing and Mitigating the Vapor Intrusion Pathway from Subsurface Sources to Indoor Air for external review. The document describes a recommended framework for assessing vapor intrusion that relies on collecting and evaluating multiple lines of evidence to support risk management decisions. It also provides guidance on monitoring and terminating building mitigation systems.

The second draft guidance document is from EPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks. The Guidance for Addressing Petroleum Vapor Intrusion at Leaking Underground Storage Tank Sites focuses on underground storage tanks (USTs) typically located at gas stations and non-marketing facilities regulated under Subtitle I of the Solid Waste Disposal Act. The guidance states that assessing the potential for petroleum vapor intrusion is an integral part of the response to a suspected or confirmed released from a regulated UST system. At any leaking UST site, it is important to have a thorough understanding of the release and other factors that may influence how contaminants disperse and impact human health and safety.


Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements. To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.
For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

SuperFund Liability Protections Extended To Qualified Property Tenants

EPA is extending liability relief for tenants leasing property on brownfields or other contaminated properties, in response to liability concerns raised by developers who wish to participate in an EPA effort to place renewable energy projects on potentially contaminated land. EPA has issued new guidance that broadens a measure passed in a 2002 brownfields statute designed to protect bona fide prospective purchasers (BFPPs) from cleanup liability at contaminated sites, permitting tenants to qualify for BFPP safeguards even if the property owner is not a BFPP.

The protections extended by the guidance are found in section 107(r) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA). The new guidance directs EPA to provide the liability protections via the application of enforcement discretion aimed at treating certain tenants as BFPPs under CERCLA. EPA may refuse to exercise enforcement discretion where the lease is designed to allow a landlord or tenant to avoid CERCLA liability or the tenant is liable for reasons beyond its tenant status, such as for arranging for hazardous substance disposal at the site. The amended guidance places greater onus on tenants to satisfy BFPP criteria, especially demonstrating that all disposal of hazardous substances occurred before execution of the lease.

What are BFPP Criteria?

Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements.
To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Changes To ASTM E1527 Phase I ESA Standard

According to ASTM bylaws, standards must be reviewed, updated and voted upon every 8 years or else are left to “sunset,” becoming invalid. The current E1527 Standard (Standard Practice for Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessment) was finalized last in 2005, and therefore is due for renewal in 2013.

While the E1527 task group did have the option to make no changes to the standard and simply put it out for committee vote, the group believes that clarifying language in various sections of the standard would be helpful. It is important to note that none of the changes are intended to change the spirit of the standard that was written in 2005.

A ballot version of the ASTM E1527 Phase I ESA Standard including potential changes was opened up to vote by the E50 committee in September 2012. In October 2012, the ASTM E1527 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard task force met to discuss negative votes and comments on a ballot issued in September. The E1527 task group reviewed 17 negative ballots and about 30 affirmative ballots with comments. Most comments outlined in the negative votes submitted were resolved through editorial changes and consensus-making.

The group's leadership was then tasked to work with those who submitted the remaining negative votes in an attempt to resolve their comments. As of mid-November 2012, the task group had made progress towards reaching a final version of the standard, but several negative votes remained. As of the end of November, the group was preparing to pursue the “non-persuasive” process. This allows the standard writing committee to keep the consensus-based ASTM process moving when outliers disagree with the majority of members. In order to find a negative non-persuasive, two-thirds of the committee members must vote in favor of the non-persuasive motion. Task group leadership expects the new ASTM E1527-13 standard should be finalized for spring 2013 publication.

Some likely changes to ASTM E1527-13 standard compared to the current ASTM E1527-05 standard include:

  • REC and; HREC definitions revised and new term, "CREC" or Controlled REC,
  • added Vapor Migration clarified as included in Phase I ESA investigations and ASTM E2600-10 referenced
  • Regulatory File Review specifically detailed in a new subsection
  • Revisions to User Responsibilities section, particularly surrounding environmental lien search requirements
  • Changes to appendices, especially the Table of Contents/Report Format Appendix and Legal Appendix

Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements.
To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Brownfields ARC Grant Deadline Extended

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the due date for submission of the Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund and Cleanup (ARC) Grant Request for Proposal by two weeks, from Nov. 19, 2012 to Dec. 3, 2012, due to significant disruption caused by Hurricane Sandy.

The Brownfields ARC grant funds can be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants, including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum. Available grants from EPA’s Brownfields program include assessment grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years); cleanup grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years); and revolving loan funds (each funded up to $1 million over five years).

Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements.

To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Voting Begins On Revised ASTM E1527 Phase I ESA Standard

A ballot version of the ASTM E1527 Phase I ESA Standard including potential changes was opened up to vote by the E50 committee on September 17, 2012. Voting is open through mid-October.

 According to ASTM bylaws, standards must be reviewed, updated and voted upon every 8 years or else are left to “sunset,” becoming invalid. While the E1527 task group did have the option to make no changes to the standard and simply put it out for committee vote, the group believes that clarifying language in various sections of the standard would be helpful. It is important to note that none of the changes are intended to change the spirit of the standard that was written in 2005.

Some of the changes being proposed include:

  • The term Migration has been added to the definitions sections. Within the definition, there is note of the ASTM E2600-10 vapor encroachment standard
  • Clarifications to the Recognized Environmental Conditions (REC) definition along with the Historical REC definition. A new type of REC has also been added, the Controlled REC
  • Enhanced descriptions of what is required of the User of the report, and why it is important
  • Further explanation the requirements to review agency files when they might help to make REC determinations

There are also numerous of other editorial changes being proposed for the 2013 version. Following the balloting period, the task group will meet in Atlanta on October 23 during the semi-annual ASTM Committee Week meetings.

FAQ: How Often Does A Phase 1 Report Need To Be Updated?

Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements.
To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.
For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website

Monday, October 8, 2012

Certain LUST Clean Up Allowed Under Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program VAP

Ohio EPA will now allow some Underground Storage Tank Cleanups to be included in the Voluntary Action Program (VAP). The cleanups are for Class C or “orphan” tanks. Since enactment of Senate Bill 294, which became effective on September 3, 2012, additional Bureau of Underground Storage Tank Regulation (BUSTR) release sites are now also eligible for the VAP. These include sites with BUSTR UST releases where the volunteer is not a responsible party, as defined by BUSTR, or the subject of a BUSTR administrative order or referral to the Attorney General’s Office.

In addition, the property on which the UST release exists must include other non-BUSTR hazardous substances that are being addressed under the VAP.


Caltha LLP assists Sellers, prospective Buyers and their Lenders in meeting Due Diligence, Environmental Site Assessment and Environmental Review requirements.
To request a quote on-line, go to Caltha Environmental Assessment Quote Web Page.

For further information contact Caltha LLP at info@calthacompany.com or Caltha LLP Website