Changes to Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard Expected in 2021

First written by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1993, ASTM e1527, better known as the Standard Practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, is due for an update in 2021. The standard was last updated in 2013 and is updated every 8 years. For a quick refresher on why it’s important as a buyer to conduct an Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) before purchasing a commercial or industrial parcel, click on our blog here.

Some of the major changes expected to be featured within the new standard include:

  • Expanded research on Historical Recognized Environmental Conditions (HRECs) from the previous version, including more emphasis on HRECs in the vicinity of the Subject Property and their potential impacts.
  • Direction and guidance on addressing emerging contaminants in Phase I’s. These include PFAS, a family of chemicals that have been found in stain and water repellent fabrics, nonstick products, cleaning products and fire-fighting foam.
  • Information regarding the “shelf life” of a report, or how long a Phase I is valid for based on the submission date, in order to satisfy requirements for all appropriate inquiries.
  • New definitions on the significance of data gaps that could occur during a Phase I ESA. This is broken up into data gaps and significant data gaps, to identify significant data gaps which can affect the conclusions of the report.

While these changes to ASTMe1527 are not yet finalized, Walden’s staff of scientists, geologists and engineers are tracking the status of these updates in order to provide accurate and informative reports. If you are purchasing or buying property, please give a call to Walden at (516) 624-7200, where our team of Environmental Professionals can guide you through the Phase I process.

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