Northeast Engineers | Blog

Out with the Old, In with the New

November 18th, 2014

If you are still not using the new ASTM standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, E1527-13, now is the time to start.  In just under one year the older standard, E1527-05, will not be considered “AAI Compliant” by the EPA.  Furthermore, the SBA recently revised its policy to require the new standard.

1527-13 graphic

In December of last year the EPA deemed both E1527-05 and -13 to be AAI compliant.  However, on October 6, 2014, the EPA amended the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) rule to remove reference to ASTM E1527-05.  This amendment was made to reduce confusion associated with reference to a standard no longer supported by ASTM. The new rule won’t take effect for one year so there’s no need to worry if you have recent or ongoing assessments based on the 2005 standard.  The delayed effective date is intended to provide time to wrap up ongoing assessments.  Going forward, all new AAI compliant assessments should be completed using the -13 standard.

Consistent with the EPA, the SBA revised its policy for lender and development company loan programs (SOP 50 10 5(G) ) as of October 1, 2014.  The revised policy replaces references to the -05 standard with the -13 standard.

Of course you can continue to use the -05 standard (or any scope of work) for transactions where you’re not looking for the liability protection that comes with an AAI compliant assessment and the SBA is not involved.  However, the -13 standard was developed for a reason.  There are several advantages over the old standard including an emphasis on vapor assessment, file reviews, and use restrictions. I described these changes in an earlier blog.

Contact us with any questions and when you need a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

Blog post written by Jason Gold, P.E.



Coming Soon… Revised Phase I ESA Standard (E1527-13)

October 7th, 2013

ASTM E1527-13 Update

The updated ASTM standard for Phase I ESA’s will likely be published next month.

I posted this blog in June summarizing the proposed changes in the new ASTM standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, E1527-13.  In August, the EPA issued a proposed rule recognizing that E1527-13 may be used to satisfy the requirements for conducting All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).  Some objections were submitted during the public comment period which ended on September 16, therefore, the EPA must now consider and respond to these comments. According to Julie Kilgore, chair of the ASTM committee responsible for developing the new standard, ASTM is expected to publish the final version of E1527-13 next month with the EPA following in early 2014.  EDR recently hosted an informative webinar on the topic that Dianne Crocker summarizes in more detail in her blog.

If you’re not prepared for the revised standard now is the time.  Contact us if you would like more information or to schedule an educational presentation.

Blog post by Jason Gold, P.E.


Office of the Comptroller Emphasizes Environmental Risk

September 24th, 2013

Env credit riskThe Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has published a new “Commercial Real Estate Lending” (CREL) booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook.  The revised booklet includes updated statutory and regulatory developments in environmental risk management.

The booklet provides much more guidance related to environmental risk. The CREL booklet states “Environmental contamination may negatively affect the value of real property collateral as well as create potential liability for the bank under various environmental laws. Therefore, the bank’s loan policy should establish a program for assessing the potential adverse effect of environmental contamination and ensure appropriate controls to limit the bank’s exposure to environmental liability associated with real estate taken as collateral.”
Read the rest of this entry »

EPA Proposes To Accept Updated Phase I ESA Standard

August 16th, 2013
photo credit: umjanedoan

photo credit: umjanedoan

On August 15th, the USEPA published a proposed amendment to the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule.  The proposed amendment will “reference ASTM International’s E1527-13 ‘Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process’ and allow for its use to satisfy the requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).” The EPA will accept public comments until September 16, 2013.

To explain the differences between the current and proposed standard, the USEPA also published a summary of the revised standard, “Summary of Updates and Revisions to ASTM E1527 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process: How E1527-13 Differs from E1527-05”. Refer to my previous blog posts to learn more about the 2013 standard.

Contact us with any questions regarding the proposed rule or E1527-13.

Blog post written by Jason Gold, P.E.


ASTM E1527-13: Are you prepared?

June 19th, 2013

Are you prepared for the pending revisions to the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment standard, ASTM E1527? If not, you’re not alone. According to a survey of lenders conducted by Environmental Data Resources and published in a May 30, 2013 EDR Insight report, 43% of respondents either “don’t know enough” or are “waiting for our EP’s” to educate them. This finding correlates well with another survey by EDR of Environmental Professionals that found 69% have not yet educated their clients. Read the rest of this entry »