St. Louis, Missouri was the site of ASTM International’s Spring 2010 Meeting, attended by Farallon’s Associate Regulatory Specialist Ms. Tina Huff. Tina is an active ASTM member, serving on the E50 Committee overseeing Environmental Assessment. Direct participation in two ASTM Task Groups provides her immediate awareness of issues under discussion, and the opportunity to influence final decisions. Spring 2010 Meeting highlights for the Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and Vapor Intrusion Assessment Task Groups that Tina participates in are summarized below.
E1527—Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process
ASTM Standard 1527-05 defines good commercial and customary practice for conducting an ESA of a parcel of commercial real estate with respect to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes Standard 1527-05 as compliant with the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Regulation, satisfying the statutory requirements for conducting AAI under CERCLA. Additional information pertaining to Standard 1527-05 is available on the ASTM Web site here.
In response to comments and recommendations from parties affected by Standard E1527, the E1527 Task Group has been evaluating various elements of the Standard for needed clarification and possible revision. Among the issues being examined by the Task Group are:
rule, which does not explicitly state the qualifications required of an Environmental Professional conducting
a site visit. AAI establishment of Environmental Professional requirements has been suggested.
or eliminated entirely?
should reliance letters be issued after the Report has been completed?
quality among Phase I ESAs?
Concurrent Evaluation of All Appropriate Inquiries Regulation
While ASTM is re-evaluating Standard E1527, EPA is examining the AAI Regulation for possible revisions. In March 2010, EPA held a Listening Session to allow stakeholders and the general public to express comments, concerns, and recommendations about the AAI Regulation. EPA will take the views presented at the Listening Session into consideration when determining whether revisions to the Regulation are necessary. A summary of the AAI Listening Session is provided on EPA’s Web site here.
The ASTM Task Group is recommending that any revisions to Standard E1527 await finalization of EPA revision of the AAI Regulation to foster a joint effort with EPA and ensure ASTM adherence to any new AAI requirements. In the interim, smaller ASTM working groups will be established within the E1527 Task Group to discuss and provide recommendations on the issues identified for review.
E2600—Standard Practice for Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions
ASTM Standard E2600 defines good commercial and customary practice for conducting a vapor intrusion assessment (VIA) on a property involved in a real estate transaction with respect to chemicals of concern that may migrate as vapors into structures due to the presence of contaminated soil and groundwater. The practice was intended for voluntary use by parties who wish to conduct a VIA or a screening evaluation to assess for a potential vapor intrusion condition, and to identify alternatives for further investigation and mitigation as necessary. The practice may be added as a voluntary supplemental scope of work to Practice E1527. Additional information pertaining to Standard E2600 is available on the ASTM Web site here.
In the time since Standard E2600 was published in 2008, experienced users and the legal community have called for revision of various elements of the Standard. To address the needs identified, a revised vapor intrusion assessment protocol is scheduled for publication in June/July 2010. The revised document will be a Standard Guide rather than a Standard Practice, intended for screening purposes only and for parallel use with Practice E1527 in identifying recognized environmental conditions. Simplified Standard E2600 will include assessment and mitigation material as appendices only and will encourage users to follow local and state regulations for assessing and mitigating vapor intrusion issues. The Vapor Intrusion Assessment Task Group will survey the marketplace and users in early 2011 to learn how and when Standard E2600 is being used.
Additional information on vapor intrusion and Farallon’s services pertaining to vapor intrusion assessment and mitigation is available on the Farallon Web site here.