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
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