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ASTM E1527-21: Implementing the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard Practice

Meeting Appropriate Inquiry Requirements and Limiting CERCLA Liability

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
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Conducted on Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide an in-depth look at ASTM E1527-21, the ESA standard now recognized by the EPA as satisfying all appropriate inquiries (AAI) requirements. The panel will examine how this standard has been implemented and its impact on site assessment and the due diligence process since it was approved by the EPA effective February 2023. The panel will offer best practices for practitioners when guiding clients through the due diligence process and for AAI compliance to limit CERCLA liability.


Federal and state environmental laws can impose significant liabilities on parties buying or leasing commercial real estate unless they qualify for one of the liability defenses. Property owners and operators must perform an AAI--commonly known as a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA)--before taking title or possession of a property to qualify for at least one of the liability defenses available.

The EPA approved ASTM E1527-21 as the ESA standard that satisfies AAI requirements, effective Feb. 13, 2023. The standard made significant revisions compared to its predecessor, ASTM E1527-13. Effective February 13, 2024, ASTM E1527-13 no longer may be used to satisfy AAI requirements. Compared to its predecessor, the current standard provides more guidance on conducting historical reviews of the subject property and adjoining properties, revises key definitions, and clarifies the role of emerging contaminants such as PFAS in ESAs.

Listen as our expert panel examines the current standard and addresses its impact on site assessments and the due diligence process in the year since it has been approved by the EPA. The panel will also offer best practices for AAI compliance to limit CERCLA liability and for guiding clients through the due diligence process.



  1. Overview of environmental liability and defenses
    1. Who is liable and the scope of liability
    2. Elements of liability defenses
    3. History of AAI
    4. The limited purpose of AAI/ASTM
  2. ASTM
    1. History of the development of E1527-21
    2. Important terms
    3. Agency file reviews
    4. Role of vapor migration in E1527-21
    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. Impact of ASTM E1527-21 on property owners and purchasers
  4. Developing the appropriate environmental due diligence for your deal
    1. Nature of deal, the number of properties, timing, etc.
    2. Differences in concerns of lenders and borrowers
    3. Toxic tort, reputational risk, and other concerns
  5. Contractual issues when retaining consultants
  6. Practitioner takeaways


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key considerations for counsel and their clients in the ASTM E1527-21 standard?
  • What has been the impact of ASTM E1527-21 for property owners and purchasers compared to the prior standard?
  • What are best practices that counsel can employ to ensure clients meet the AAI requirements to limit CERCLA liability?


Kilgore, Julie
Julie Kilgore

Wasatch Environmental

Ms. Kilgore has 25 years of experience in environmental assessment, investigation, remediation, and regulatory agency...  |  Read More

Schnapf, Lawrence
Lawrence P. (Larry) Schnapf

Schnapf LLC

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

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