EPA Adopts New ASTM Standard For Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

On Dec. 15, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final action to amend the EPA’s Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule. The new rule allows the use of ASTM International Designation E1527–21, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, to satisfy AAI requirements. The rule takes effect Monday, Feb. 13, 2023.

AAI is a process of evaluating the environmental conditions and assessing potential liability for contamination at a property and is completed prior to a property transaction. Satisfying AAI is one of the requirements for the innocent landowner, contiguous property owner, or bona fide prospective purchaser limitations on Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability.

The amended AAI rule allows parties acquiring properties to use the most up-to-date industry standard practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) to comply with the AAI Rule requirements. It also allows the previous standard practice, ASTM Designation E1527-13, to be used for one year after publication of the rule.

More information about AAI requirements are available on the EPA Brownfields AAI webpage.

Review the Standards and Practices for AAI final rule on the Federal Register.

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