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New Phase I ESA Standard Coming in 2021

Brush up on the top 6 potential changes to the ESA Standard (ASTM E1527)

When there’s a change that affects around 250,000 commercial real estate deals a year, it’s a big deal. This is about to happen in 2021. I’m talking about the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) – the nationally recognized standard for evaluating environmental risk at a commercial property during acquisition or financing.

Every so often, the ASTM E1527 standard for doing a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is renewed – the current version is ASTM E1527-13 and, once finalized, the new standard will be ASTM E1527-21. Generally, the ASTM community looks to this renewal process to make the standard better – either to safeguard quality or consistency in how Phase I ESAs are done, or to correct unintended consequences of prior revisions.

Given the potential impacts to so many transactions, clients have been asking me what they can expect in the new standard. I’ve been involved with the ASTM Committee throughout the revision process, so while none of the changes are final, I can offer a glimpse into how some of the bigger potential changes are shaping up.

To read more about these changes, click here.