US EPA has amended the Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (“AAI”) to acknowledge another ASTM standard can be used to satisfy the AAI requirement for the landowner defenses to liability under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”) – innocent landowners, bona fide prospective purchasers, and continuous property owners. In addition to ASTM International Standard E1527-05, you can now use, when applicable, ASTM International Standard E2247-08 entitled Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property (“ASTM E2247-08”).
The Scope of ASTM E2247-08 indicates it can be used “for conducting a [Phase I] of a property120 acres or greater of forestland or rural property or with a developed use of only managed forestland and/or agriculture with respect to the range of contaminants within the scope of [CERCLA] and petroleum products. The property need not be contiguous; however, the non-contiguous areas should have substantially the same general land use and be part of the same transaction. The property may contain isolated areas of non-forestland and non-rural property.” ASTM E2247-08 indicates it is “closely related” to ASTM E1527.
US EPA’s action does not require the use of ASTM E2247-08 when applicable, but rather provides it as an additional tool. Any person seeking to qualify for a landowner defense under CERCLA still has the option of performing AAI by complying with the requirements set forth in regulation (40 CFR Part 312) or ASTM E1527-05.