The ASTM E1527-21 standard will be the fifth revision of the environmental professional industry standard governing the practice and process for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments as part of compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) requirement prior to a property transaction to qualify for exemption from Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) liability for cleanup costs, among other industry and client-specific uses. The current version of the standard, ASTM E1527-21, is set to sunset by December 31, 2021. Proposed changes and revisions are currently being reviewed by an ASTM volunteer committee composed of environmental professionals, lenders, and environmental attorneys for consideration and EPA approval some time in early 2021.
Standards for environmental site assessments are published by the ASTM. Standards should be carefully reviewed to fully understand the work to be completed as well as the limitations of reports. In addition, the National Engineering and Environmental Due Diligence Association (NEEDDA) has published a white paper that can provide a useful starting point. The National Engineering and Environmental Due Diligence Association or “NEEDDA” is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization formed to improve the practice of engineering and environmental due diligence for all stakeholders, members, clients, vendors, and non-member firms. Read the full White Paper here.