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EPA Publishes Proposed Rule and Direct Final Rule to Incorporate ASTM E1527-21 Phase I Standard into the Code of Federal Regulations
On March 14, 2022, EPA simultaneously published a Proposed Rule and Direct Final Rule seeking to incorporate the recently revised ASTM E1527-21 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process into the Code of Federal Regulations. The revised Phase 1 standard was previously published by ASTM International in November 2021. See our firm’s earlier summary of the revised Phase 1 standard here.
In the Proposed Rule and Direct Final Rule, the EPA noted that there are no legally significant differences between the regulatory requirements for All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) and the ASTM E1527 standards. To facilitate an understanding of the slight differences in the revised Standard, the EPA published the “Comparison of All Appropriate Inquiries Regulation, the ASTM E1527–13 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process and ASTM E1527–21 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.”, which contains EPA’s perspectives on the comparison between the 2013 Standard and the revised 2021 Standard.
If EPA does not receive adverse comments in response to the Proposed Rule and Direct Final Rule prior to April 13, 2022, the rule will become effective on May 13, 2022. If EPA receives adverse comments, it will publish a timely withdrawal of the Direct Final Rule in the Federal Register, informing the public that the rule will not take effect. EPA would then address all public comments in a subsequent final rule that would also appear in the Federal Register.
UPDATE: On May 2, 2022, the USEPA has withdrawn the Direct Final Rule to incorporate ASTM E1527-21 into the Code of Federal Regulations (due to adverse comments received). EPA is now addressing all public comments and is expected to issue a subsequent final rule that will appear in the Federal Register.