A new version of ASTM E1527 standard for Phase 1 Environmental Site Assessments is expected to be completed this year.
The new standard would affect about 250,000 commercial real estate deals a year. One of the proposed changes could be interpreted to require the same level of historical research of adjoining properties as is done for the subject property. The assessment, in such a case, would require additional historical research to fill in data gaps for certain adjoining properties, which could increase the scope and cost of some reports and potentially delay transactions.
Other proposed changes add PFAS and other emerging contaminants to the list of “non-scope issues,” raising awareness of the issue that some may want to evaluate as is commonly done with asbestos and mold. The draft new standard aims to call more attention to significant data gaps, a substantial piece of information that wasn’t feasible to obtain given time or budget constraints.
Data gaps would be assessed as to whether they materially affect the environmental professional’s ability to identify Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs). The ASTM committee will continue to discuss, refine, and vote on proposed changes and has a goal of releasing the new standard by the end of the year.