ASTM E1527: Lessons From Applying the Current Phase I Site Assessment Standards Guide and Proposed Revisions

Meeting Appropriate Inquiry Requirements and Limiting CERCLA Liability

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

Conducted on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will review the previously 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 regarding this standard.


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 ESA--before taking title or possession of a property to qualify for at least one of the liability defenses available.

With each ASTM E1527 revision since 2005, the EPA has referenced the ASTM E1527-13 Standard Practice for conducting Phase I ESAs as a tool that can be used to satisfy AAI. The E1527-13 provides more guidance on how to conduct[ing] reviews of site history and vapor concerns, clarifies property owners' responsibilities, and includes more detailed information on non-scope items that users may want to be investigated. Other federal agencies, such as HUD, have adopted E1527 for satisfying their own due diligence requirements.

Listen as our authoritative panel of environmental law counsel examines the current standard and how it has impacted site assessments and 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 E1527-13
    2. Important 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, the 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 current ASTM standard as compared to the old standard
  • The implications for property owners and purchasers of the current environmental due diligence standard
  • Practices 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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