ASTM finalized the new Phase I ESA standard under E1527-21 in November 2021 and the industry is waiting for the EPA to formally accept the new standard under CERCLA and AAI regulations. The following are most of the revisions included in E1527-21 from the older standard (E1527-13):
- A more in-depth historical research scope is required to identify uses for the subject property and the adjoining properties.
- The term “likely” has been included to minimize the uncertainty within the conclusions that has plagued the end-product for decades. The new definition of likely is discussed within the new standard as “likely is that which is neither certain nor proved, but can be expected or believed by a reasonable observer based on the logic and/or experience of the environmental professional, and/or available evidence, as stated in the report to support the opinions given therein.”
- The report is required to include specific dates of completion for each major component completed during the study in order to more accurately define the 180-day shelf-life usability of the report.
- The report is required to include a more detailed explanation of significant data gaps encountered and the EPs opinion regarding whether additional investigation is necessary to resolve the data gap.
The EPA is expected to reconvene before June 2023 to accept this revised standard.