A New Standard for Phase I ESAs and Vapor Intrusion May Be Added to EPA Ranking System

On August 15, 2013, the EPA published in the Federal Register a direct final action amending the All Appropriate Inquiries rule (40 CFR Part 312) to reference ASTM E1527-13, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process. With this action, EPA is ruling that the ASTM E1527-13 standard satisfies the requirements for conducting All Appropriate Inquiries under CERCLA. EPA also makes it clear that the existing ASTM standard E1527-05 can still be used to satisfy All Appropriate Inquiry requirements. The rule is effective November 13, 2013 unless EPA receives adverse comment by September 16, 2013. Some of the more significant changes adopted in ASTM E1527-13 that may impact time and costs include: 1) review of regulatory files for the target or adjoining properties; 2) a requirement to evaluate the potential impact for vapor intrusion; and 3) a revised definition of Historical Recognized Environmental Condition. For more information on these changes, contact a Mid-Atlantic professional.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is also considering a proposed rule that would include vapor intrusion in the agency’s hazard ranking system. The ranking system is used to determine the highest priority sites for the superfund National Priorities List. To read more about this potential decision click here.

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