Jenny McClister, Environmental Attorney, McClister Law, LLC and Kristen Dickey, Environmental Manager, WSP presented Environmental Diligence 101 and the New ASTM Standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments at our December SWEP luncheon.
Click here to download the presentation slides: FINAL_SWEP Presentation Dec 2013
Summary: On November 6, 2013, ASTM issued an updated standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, ASTM E 1527-13. ASTM Phase Is are the industry standard for environmental diligence in real estate transactions namely because EPA has incorporated the ASTM standard into its rule for achieving “all appropriate inquiry” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA” or “Superfund”). A prospective purchaser must perform “all appropriate inquiry” prior to purchasing a property if it wants to establish any of the three diligence-based defenses to CERCLA liability.
This discussion covered what “all appropriate inquiry” is and the defenses to CERCLA liability; the principal differences between the new ASTM standard and its predecessor; how the new standard will impact transactions (e.g., cost considerations and timing); and the status of EPA’s approval of the new ASTM standard.