EPA Approves the New Phase l Standard

Many in the construction industry are familiar with Phase I testing as the first step in identifying environmental risk to any site. Since 2005, the industry standard for a Phase I has been the ASTM E 1527-05.

Recently, however, the ASTM Standard for Phase I Environmental Assessment underwent some important modifications including:

  • New Recognized Environmental Condition (REC), Historical Recognized Environmental Condition (HREC) and Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition (CREC) definitions
  •  A new emphasis on assessing vapor migration
  • Procedures for conducting regulatory file reviews.

This newer, modified version of the Phase I is known as the ASTM E 1527-13.

On December 30, 2013 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the ASTM E 1527-13 as meeting AAI requirements. Since receiving EPA approval in December, the new ASTM E 1527-13 has replaced the previous version (ASTM E 1527-05) as the industry best practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

As a result, the EPA has advised that anyone seeking to claim protection from liability under CERCLA should use the new ASTM E 1527-13 and therefore, although the changes do not significantly alter the Phase I standard, it is important to understand what provisions were modified.

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