On November 6, 2013, ASTM International, Inc. (ASTM) approved the long-awaited ASTM E1527-13, the Standard Practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. As far as ASTM is concerned, the new E1527-13 officially replaces the 2005 version (E1527-05). However, if your environmental due diligence goal includes receiving Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability protection under the federal All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI), E1527-13 may not be your best choice.
ASTM considers E1527-13 to have immediately replaced E1527-05. But from the perspective of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the AAI Rule states that E1527-05 may be used to comply with CERCLA.
While the EPA will reportedly be formally revising the AAI Rule to recognize E1527-13, they have not done so at the time of this writing. So, until EPA updates AAI, it may be best to continue to use E1527-05 if the goal includes CERCLA liability protection.
Our advice is to formulate a path forward with input from your environmental advisors (environmental consultants and legal counsel) that will afford you the appropriate liability protection.
If you have questions about environmental due diligence, including Phase I or Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, contact Mark Resch (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jeff Bolin, M.S., CHMM (email@example.com) at 248-932-0228.
(Thanks to Mark Resch for providing the content of this blog entry)