EPA is finishing their review process prior to issuing the Final Rule amending the All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) regulations to remove reference to ASTM E1527-05 and replace with E1527-13. This ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standard was updated in November 2013 and confirmed by EPA to be compliant with the AAI rule in December 2013.
EPA received five comments to their proposed rule in July 2014, four of which were positive and one of which was negative. EPA will address the negative comment in the Final Rule’s preamble and explain its reasoning for why it disagrees with the comment.
EPA will also clarify in its preamble that any Phase I’s completed to the ASTM E1527-05 standard between November 1, 2005 and the effective date of the Final Rule will still be considered as compliant with the AAI regulations.
EPA has stated that it intends to make the effective date one year after the Final Rule is published, which is expected to occur in late September/early October. They decided that an earlier effective date may be burdensome to some entities who are still transitioning to the new ASTM standard. Any Phase I’s completed for federal Brownfields grants, however, must be completed to the E1527-13 standard effective immediately, upon the date the Final Rule is published.
For more information on the proposed Rule and to access the comments submitted, visit the EPA’s Proposed Rule for Standards and Regulations of All Appropriate Inquiries webpage.
If you have any questions about the ASTM standard or Phase I’s in general, contact Natalie Neuman, Group Leader of Assessment Services, at nneuman[at]gabenv.com.