ASTM Issues Revised Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard

November 11, 2013
MGKF Special Alert

On November 6, 2013, ASTM International finalized and issued its revised Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments, E1527-13. Prior iterations of ASTM's Phase I Standard have been in existence for over twenty years, and have been utilized by purchasers of property seeking to conduct "all appropriate inquiries" and satisfy some of the criteria required for certain defenses to federal CERCLA liability. The revised ASTM standard, which updates the 2005 standard, includes certain key changes that will affect how purchasers conduct environmental due diligence, and in certain instances may complicate a party's ability to secure acquisition financing for certain transactions.

Earlier this year EPA also proposed to amend its All Appropriate Inquiries Rule ("AAI Rule") by specifying that a purchaser could satisfy the AAI Rule's requirements by complying with either the 2005 ASTM Standard or the new 2013 Standard. In response to adverse public comment, EPA withdrew the direct final rule on October 29, 2013. EPA is expected to publish revised amendments to the AAI Rule before the end of 2013.

For additional information regarding the new ASTM Standard as well as background on EPA's AAI Rule, please feel free to contact Jonathan Spergel, Esquire, Michael Gross, Esquire, or Michael Nines, P.E., LEED AP or call 484-430-5700.