In 1993, the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) published what is considered to be the industry standard for the initial phase of environmental due diligence in commercial and industrial property transactions. The US EPA has included reference to the use of the ASTM Standard Phase 1 ESA in rules aimed at protecting innocent purchasers of property from certain environmental and legal liabilities.
The most recent version (E1527-13) of the ASTM standard (ASTM E1527-13) is currently being revised by ASTM committee. The new standard is expected to be finalized this year. Revisions to the standard are expected to include the “shelf life” of a Phase I ESA, clarifications to the definitions of Recognized Environmental Conditions, HRECs and CRECs, as well as expansion of the historical research being required for adjoining properties in addition to the subject property. The revisions are also anticipated to include guidance with regards to emerging contaminants, like PFAS, which could be designated as a hazardous substance under CERCLA.
The more rigorous data reviews and statements related to emerging contami9nants required by the Environmental Professionals writing Phase 1 reports have the potential to increase cost relative to the risk of conclusive opinions necessary for Phase 1 users to fully understand their potential liability exposure post-transaction. But it doesn’t have to be that way!
Find out how Spangler Environmental, Inc.’s Environmental Professionals can help you hold the line on your transaction due diligence costs in the midst of change by attending our upcoming FREE webinar on Thursday, April 22, 2021.