EPA No Longer Recognizes 2005 Standard for All Appropriate Inquiries

The Environmental Protection Agency has updated its requirements for environmental assessments at brownfields and other sites. In a final rule published on October 6, 2014, the EPA removed reference to the 2005 ASTM International industry standard (E1527-05) from the “all appropriate inquiries standard” under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). Starting on October 16, 2015, parties must use the 2013 version of the standard (E1527-13) or the EPA’s AAI rule to conduct Phase I environmental assessments and qualify for one of the liability defenses under CERCLA.

The final rule will affect both private and public parties who conduct these types of inquiries.  In addition, it could affect any party conducting a site characterization or assessment of a property with a brownfields grant awarded under CERCLA. The rule is expected to affect a wide variety of industries, including real estate, banking, and real estate credit and environmental consulting services.

For more information or questions on CERCLA Standard for All Appropriate Inquiries, please contact Phillip Hoover.

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