In Feb. 2023, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) published a final rule to amend the EPA’s Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI). 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 EPA recently published several new resources that address the new ASTM standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (E1527-21):
- AAI comparison – compares the AAI final regulation with both the ASTM E 1527-13 and ASTM E1527-21.
- AAI: Reporting Requirements Checklist for Assessment Grant Recipients – includes an updated AAI checklist to be included with Phase I reports.
- Fact Sheet: AAI Final Rule – resources available in English and Spanish.
- Brownfields AAI Rule: Reporting Requirements and Suggestions on Report Content
- Brownfields Fact Sheet: Lender Liability and Applicability of AAI – resources available in Spanish and English.
- Fact Sheet: EPA Brownfields Grants, CERCLA Liability, and AAI – resources available in Spanish and English.
- Assessing Brownfield Sites – a collection of fact sheets to provide a simple and visual introduction to brownfields, resources available in Spanish and English.
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 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.