In December 30, 2013, the EPA approved the use of a new ASTM Phase I environmental site assessment standard, E1527-13 (“2013 Standard”), in order to satisfy the CERCLA “all appropriate inquires” rule and qualify for certain liability defenses, such as the con??guous property owner defense, and innocent and bona fide purchaser safe harbors. The EPA, however, did not rescind its endorsement of the previous standard, E1527-05 (“2005 Standard”).
The EPA indicated it would rescind its endorsement of the previous standard in the “near future”, but it is unclear exactly when the EPA will act. Until it does, investors, lenders, borrowers, developers and other prospective property purchasers will now have to select which standard to use in performing environmental due diligence in connec??on with real estate acquisitions.
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