Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Draft Revision To ASTM Standard For Phase 1 ESA Completed

The E1527 task group has completed the draft revision to E 1527 and the draft has been submitted to the E50.02 subcommittee for review and input. After initial discussions and review of recent court interpretations involving Phase I ESAs, the overall objective that was established to guide the task group through this revision process was to clarify the process and strengthen the deliverable. The task group has coordinated these revision efforts with EPA, and anticipates completing the full ASTM balloting process no later than late 2012 to allow EPA time to complete its process necessary to reference the updated standard by the end of 2013.

Some of the key elements of the proposed modifications include the following:

  • Historical Recognized Environmental Conditions (HRECs): The task group recognized that Environmental Professionals (EPs_ are addressing HRECs with residual contamination differently, so the goal was to establish consistency in how these conditions are described and presented in the final report.
  • User Responsibilities: The Group believed that is broad industry confusion about the user responsibilities. The task group did not propose a change to the definition of the user, but the revised standard does explain that a user seeking an LLP or an EPA brownfield assessment grant has certain obligations, in accordance with the CERCLA statute and as specified in the EPA All Appropriate Inquiries rule.
  • Regulatory Agency File Reviews: The task group generally agreed that a review of agency file records should be conducted if the property is identified on one of the standard record source databases outlined in section 8.2.1. A new section 8.2.2 has been added to emphasize the need to conduct agency file reviews, recognizing that this effort is subject to reasonable time and cost constraints. This is particularly important with the connection to Continuing Obligation requirements that must be met after property acquisition to maintaining an LLP.
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