ASTM Standard Updates for Phase I ESA Procedures - SSCI Environmental

When buying or selling commercial real estate (CRE) this year, property owners should note: The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) ASTM E1527-21 standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) was published on November 1, 2021. The standard is currently under Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) review and is expected to go into effect within a few months to a year from now.

• The historical records review will now require the review of aerial photographs, topographic maps, fire insurance maps and city directories for the subject and adjoining properties. These were suggested in the past.
• To qualify for Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), the property owner must approve a research of title records to identify Activity and Use Limitations (AULs) on the property.
• More defined definitions for Recognized Environmental Condition (REC), Historical Recognized Environmental Condition (HREC), and Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition (CREC).
• The implementation of referencing the property in question as the “Subject Property”.

These changes will allow real estate owners and prospective buyers to better understand the liabilities associated with the property, and to be able to protect themselves from environmental risks. These changes are already standard practice at SSCI, where we strive to stay ahead of the curve in giving our customers the most accurate, timely and cost-effective reporting. Starting January 1st, 2022, SSCI will reference the new standard, ASTM E1527-21, on all Phase I ESA reports.