On June 17, the EPA proposed a rule that would remove references to the outdated 2005 industry standard for assessing Brownfields and other sites for potential environmental issues. The proposed rule would amend the EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiry (“AAI”) rule under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. (“CERCLA”). Conducting an investigation that meets the AAI standard is one of the necessary steps to achieving the Innocent Landowner Defense under CERCLA.
Under the existing rule, parties can establish the Innocent Landowner Defense by using either the 2005 or the recently published, and more stringent, 2013 standard. The new rule would erase the ambiguity and make clear that the 2013 standard is the appropriate standard for satisfying the AAI standard. Comments to the proposed rule are due by July 17 and should be identified by Docket Id. No. EPA-HQ-SFUND-2014-0474. Comments may be submitted to http://regulations.gov.
For questions on the new rule or the 2013 standard, please contact Phillip Hoover.