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Historical Recognized Environmental Condition- HREC

A Historical Recognized Environmental Condition (HREC) refers to a past release that has been remediated to below “residential” standards and given regulatory closure with no use restrictions. HREC is defined by ASTM in the E1527-13 standard as “a past release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products that has occurred in connection with the property and has been addressed to the satisfaction of the applicable regulatory authority or meeting unrestricted use criteria established by a regulatory authority, without subjecting the property to any required controls (for example, property use restrictions, activity and use limitations, institutional controls, or engineering controls).”

The HREC category is distinct from the Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition (CREC), which applies to sites that have received regulatory closure but are still subject to controls.

The determination of whether an environmental condition is a recognized environmental condition (REC), CREC or HREC lies with the environmental professional, and depends upon how the condition impacts the current or future use of the property.

The term Historical Recognized Environmental Condition is sometimes improperly used. "HREC" is not intended to refer to an environmental concern that was caused by a historic activity and still represents a current environmental concern. For example, take a site that was previously used as a dry cleaners from the 1950s to 1970s and is currently contaminated from the former dry cleaning operations. The former drycleaners would be considered a REC even though the dry cleaning was a historic activity, rather than an HREC, because the site is still currently contaminated. If the contamination had been remediated, given regulatory closure, and is not subject to controls, then the former drycleaners and contamination could be considered an HREC.

Environmental Due Diligence Terminology