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ASTM E1527-13


Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process

1.1 Purpose—The purpose of this practice is to define good commercial and customary practice in the United States of America for conducting an environmental site assessment2 of a parcel of commercial real estate with respect to the range of contaminants within the scope of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) (42 U.S.C. §9601) and petroleum products. As such, this practice is intended to permit a user to satisfy one of the requirements to qualify for the innocent landowner, contiguous property owner, or bona fide prospective purchaser limitations on CERCLA liability (hereinafter, the “landowner liability protections,” or “LLPs”): that is, the practice that constitutes all appropriate inquiries into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with good commercial and customary practice as defined at 42 U.S.C. §9601(35)(B). (See Appendix X1 for an outline of CERCLA’s liability and defense provisions.) Controlled substances are not included within the scope of this standard. Persons conducting an environmental site assessment as part of an EPA Brownfields Assessment and Characterization Grant awarded under CERCLA 42 U.S.C. §9604(k)(2)(B) must include controlled substances as defined in the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. §802) within the scope of the assessment investigations to the extent directed in the terms and conditions of the specific grant or cooperative agreement. Additionally, an evaluation of business environmental risk associated with a parcel of commercial real estate may necessitate investigation beyond that identified in this practice (see Sections 1.3 and 13).

1.2 Objectives—Objectives guiding the development of this practice are (1) to synthesize and put in writing good commercial and customary practice for environmental site assessments for commercial real estate, (2) to facilitate high quality, standardized environmental site assessments, (3) to provide a practical and reasonable standard practice for conducting all appropriate inquiries, and (4) to clarify an industry standard for all appropriate inquiries in an effort to guide legal interpretation of the LLPs.

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