January 14, 2014

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On December 30, 2013, the EPA announced a final decision to amend the “All Appropriate Inquiries Rule” to make clear that persons conducting a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment according to the new ASTM standard, ASTM E1527-13, will meet the due diligence requirement of the Rule.  We have previously reported on the development of the new ASTM standard in December 2012 and October 2013, and will provide a more detailed summary of differences between the new standard and the old standard, E1527-05, in the near future.  For now, compliance with either the old or new standard will satisfy the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule, but in its announcement EPA explicitly “recommends that prospective property owners and environmental professionals use the updated standard.”  EPA also reserved the right to “further modify the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule to explicitly require the types of enhanced activities provided for in the updated ASTM E1527-13 standard” should it determine in the future that the standards and practices contained in E1527-13 were not being “widely adopted.”  The official announcement of this decision can be found in the Federal Register here.