EPA Proposes to Adopt New American Society for Testing and Materials Standard, Including PFAS, for CERCLA Phase I All Appropriate Inquiry

On March 14, 2022, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed and direct final rule, which adopts the E1527-21 standard issued by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), for All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) required under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Back in November 2021, ASTM released a revised standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I ESA), that is, E1527-21. Inclusion of this new standard in the CERCLA AAI requirements provides an option for prospective purchasers of property of using either the new standard or the existing standard (E1527-13). EPA will accept comment by April 13, 2022, and if no adverse comment is received by then, the rule will become effective on May 13, 2022.

ASTM updates the E1527 standard every eight years. The new standard (E1527-21) is revised to include guidance on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), among other updates, for the first time in the history of the Phase I ESA standards. EPA made available a comparison between E1527-13 and E1527-21 in the docket.

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