ASTM E1527-21

Phase – I ESA Gets a New Standard

On December 15, 2022, just in time for the New Year, as part of compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency’s All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) component for potential liability protections under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued a final notice approving the ASTM E1527-21 as the updated standard practice for all the Phase-I Environmental Site Assessments.

ASTM 1527-21 retains much of the substance and form of the previous standard ASTM 1527-13 which has been in use by environmental for the past 8 years but clarifies and expands on certain details. The most significant modifications in the new Standard include the following:

  • Updated definitions of Recognized Environmental Condition (REC).
  • Use of the term “Subject Property” consistently throughout the report for the target property.
  • Shelf Life of the Phase-I ESA report
  • Review of Historical Sources for the Subject Property and the adjoining properties
  • Requirements on Additional Standard Historical Records
  • Updated definition of Historical REC (HREC)
  • Difference between REC, HREC, and CREC.
  • Inclusion of interviews in the ASTM Standard Historical Sources of Information
  • Discussion on Emergent Contaminants
  • Discussion on Data gaps
  • Inclusion of Maps/Photographs

Although, many of these findings are quite distinct, we agree that the updated standard clarifies existing language, strengthens the deliverables and reflects good commercial and customary practices, and thereby will improve the quality of Phase-I ESAs across the board.