ASTM E1527-13: Applying the New Phase I Site Assessment Standard

Navigating the Material Changes to Meet All Appropriate Inquiries Requirements and Limit CERCLA Liability

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE seminar will review the revised ASTM E1527 standard for conducting environmental site assessments (ESAs), how the standard has changed, and practical considerations for using the standard. The panel will discuss the practical considerations in conducting all appropriate inquiries (AAI) and the due diligence process. The panel will offer best practices and lessons from the first year of implementing the new standard.


Federal and state environmental laws can impose significant liabilities on parties buying or leasing commercial real estate unless these parties qualify for one of the liability defenses. One of the components for qualifying for one of the liability defenses that are available to property owners and operators is to perform AAI – commonly known as a Phase I ESA – prior to taking title or possession of a property.

On Dec. 30, 2013, the EPA amended its AAI Rule to provide that the new ASTM E1527-13 Standard Practice for conducting Phase I ESAs may be used to satisfy AAI. E1527-13 provides more guidance on conducting reviews of site history and vapor concerns, clarifies responsibilities of property owners, and includes more detailed information on non-scope items that users may want investigated. Other federal agencies such as HUD have adopted E1527-13 for satisfying their own due diligence requirements.

The revised standard is changing how Phase I ESAs are conducted and how environmental conditions are identified or reported. Many property owners and consultants are uncertain about the implications of the new ASTM E1527-13 including the impact on the timing and cost of reports. Parties and their counsel involved in commercial real estate transactions should carefully review Phase I proposals to confirm compliance with the revised ASTM standard as well as meet their particular risk tolerances.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental law counsel examines the new standard and the impact it will have on site assessments and the due diligence process. The panel will discuss how the new standard has been applied over the first year, related litigation, and offer best practices for Phase I site assessments and due diligence.



  1. Overview of Environmental Liability and Defenses
    1. Who is Liable and Scope of Liability
    2. Elements of liability defenses
    3. History of AAI
    4. Limited Purpose of AAI/ASTM
  2. ASTM
    1. History of development of E1527-13
    2. Revised and New Terms
    3. Agency File Reviews
    4. Role of Vapor Migration in E1527-13
    5. What are Data Gaps and how can they be used?
    6. Should Reports contain recommendations?
    7. Non-scope items and Business Environmental Risks
  3. Developing the appropriate environmental due diligence for your deal
    1. Nature of deal, number of properties, timing, etc.
    2. Differences in concerns of lenders and borrowers
    3. Toxic tort, reputational risk and other concerns
  4. Contractual Issues When Retaining Consultants


The panel will review these and other important issues:

  • The material changes in the new ASTM standard as compared to the old standard
  • The implications for property owners and purchasers of the new environmental due diligence standard
  • Practices counsel can employ to ensure clients meet the AAI requirements in order to limit CERCLA liability


Julie Kilgore
Julie Kilgore
Wasatch Environmental

Ms. Kilgore has 20 years of experience in environmental assessment, investigation, remediation, and regulatory agency...  |  Read More

Lawrence P. Schnapf
Lawrence P. Schnapf


Mr. Schnapf primarily concentrates on environmental risks associated with corporate, real estate and Brownfield...  |  Read More

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