Professionals involved with commercial and industrial real estate transactions are almost assuredly familiar with the ASTM “Phase I Environmental Site Assessment” (ESA). Well, the current version of the ASTM Standard is due for revision in 2020.
Environmental due diligence has been an important factor in commercial and industrial property transactions since the 1980s, as proper due diligence was identified as a specific need for federal liability protection under CERCLA. In 1993, ASTM published E1527, the first “standard practice” for environmental professionals conducting Phase I ESAs. Since that time, the “ASTM Phase I Standard” (E1527) has been recognized as the industry standard for conducting the first phase of environmental due diligence.
Every 8 years, the ASTM standards expire and need to be revised. That time period will soon come for ASTM E1527-13, as it sunsets on January 1, 2021. Therefore, the new standard (E1527-21) must be finalized and published sometime in 2020.
The ASTM E50.02 subcommittee is working on updating several aspects to the standard. Key changes to E1527 are anticipated to include:
- Clarifications to the HREC and CREC definitions. The task group is working to refine the definitions for HRECs and CRECs and relationships between the various types of Recognized Environmental Conditions.
- Expansion of Historical Research to adjoining properties. The current version of the standard specifically requires historical research of the subject property, but the updated standard may require a more robust investigation of adjoining properties and the surrounding area.
- Non-Scope Considerations may be modified to reference emerging contaminants, especially PFAS.
Brickhouse Environmental is participating on the ASTM E50.02 subcommittee, and we will continue to track the status of the updated ASTM Phase I Standard. Continue to check our website and ASTM.org for future updates.