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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What LEED v4 Means for You

In late 2013, the U.S. Green Building Council released its latest version of LEED, Version 4. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a national rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of “green” buildings, homes and neighborhoods.

The LEED rating system provides prerequisites and criteria for the green building industry and third party verification of green buildings. Although LEED v3 (also called LEED 2009) will still be available until June 2015 to give the green building industry time to adjust, the latest version of LEED contains a few significant changes of which all businesses involved with the green building industry should be aware.

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