American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
Known as ASTM International, “American Society for Testing and Materials”, ASTM is a developer of international voluntary consensus standards. ASTM standards are developed by committees of relevant industry professionals who meet regularly in an open and transparent process to deliver standards, test methods, specifications, guides, and practices.
ASTM creates many standard procedures governing environmental and engineering services, such as:
Properly called ASTM E1527-13 the Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments.
Our Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process
(This Standard meets the requirements of EPA’s All Appropriate Inquiries.)
Properly called the ASTM E2018-15 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments: Baseline Property Condition Assessment Process.
Standard for Phase I Environmental
Since the ASTM Standard is copyrighted, we cannot post a copy here. However, you can read a summary by clicking the following link and you can purchase a copy at the American Society of Testing & Materials, as well.
All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI)
All appropriate inquiries (AAI) is the process of evaluating a property’s environmental conditions and assessing potential liability for any contamination.
CERCLA or Superfund
The 2002 Brownfields Amendments to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), also known as Superfund, required EPA to promulgate regulations establishing standards and practices for conducting AAI. The AAI final rule was published in the Federal Register on November 1, 2005 (70 FR 66070) and went into effect on November 1, 2006.
According to the EPA “Innocent landowners are persons who can demonstrate, among other requirements, that they “did not know and had no reason to know” prior to purchasing a property that any hazardous substance that is the subject of a release or threatened release was disposed of on, in, or at the property. Innocent landowners must meet the criteria set forth in CERCLA §101(35)(A).”
Recognized Environmental Condition (REC)
Recognized Environmental Condition (REC) is a term used by environmental consultants in Phase I Environmental Site Assessment reports to indicate the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products on a property under conditions that indicate an existing release, a past release, or a material threat of a release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products into structures on the property or into the ground, groundwater, or surface water of the property.
The term includes hazardous substances or petroleum products even under conditions in compliance with laws. The term is not intended to include de minimis conditions that generally do not present a threat to human health or the environment and that generally would not be the subject of an enforcement action if brought to the attention of appropriate governmental agencies.
De Minimis Conditions
De minimis conditions are defined by ASTM as environmental conditions that “generally do not present a threat to human health or the environment and that generally would not be the subject of an enforcement action if brought to the attention of appropriate governmental agencies.” A de minimis condition is not considered a recognized environmental condition. An example of a de minimis condition might be a small, superficial spill of oil that is not anticipated to cause significant concern.