Revised ASTM Phase 1 Site Assessment Standard Issued

November 8, 2013
Jonathan H. Spergel
The Legal Intelligencer

The method by which prospective purchasers of real estate conduct environmental due diligence is about to change. The impetus for this change is the revised American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase 1, E 1527-13, that was just finalized and issued by ASTM on Wednesday after several years of development. As purchasers of real estate are well aware, the performance of a Phase 1 assessment has become a prerequisite for nearly all lenders prior to financing the acquisition of commercial properties. In addition, as described in this article, the performance of a Phase 1 prior to property purchase is one way for a prospective purchaser to satisfy some of the necessary elements to asserting a defense to certain federal and state environmental liability. Accordingly, prospective purchasers of real property should familiarize themselves with the changes to the ASTM standard, some of which may make securing acquisition loans for certain types of real estate more difficult.

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