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EPA Adopts ASTM Site Assessment Standard

ASTMThe EPA on Monday formally adopted the new ASTM E1527-13 standard into its rule governing “all appropriate inquiries” for site contamination.

The agency’s AAI rules outline the steps that site purchasers must take to use the innocent landowner defense to protect themselves against liability under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund. In a recent issue of EL Analysts, Jenny Redlin of Partner Engineering and Science said she expected the EPA to rule, by the end of 2013, that both the 2005 and 2013 versions of the ASTM standard would be sufficient for AAI purposes. The industry has made arguments both for and against continued allowance of the 2005 standard, as Redlin outlines in her Q&A.

This week’s rule doesn’t directly remove references to the 2005 ASTM standard, but the EPA still plans to propose a rule to do so, Grant MacIntyre and Tim Wilkins of Bracewell & Giuliani report.

Takeaway: The EPA has enshrined environmental site assessment standard ASTM E1527-13 into law, and kicked a decision about the old 1527-05 standard down the road.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

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