In April of this year, GSI participated in an online Webinar titled Challenges with the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment/All Appropriate Inquiries Process State of the Practice. This webinar was sponsored by GeoSearch, a provider of online databases and historic environmental information for Phase I professionals.
The webinar was led by Julie Kilgore the current chair of the ASTM E1527 Task Group. Ms. Kilgore is also a member of the EPA Federal Advisory Committee for developing the “All Appropriate Inquiry” (AAI) regulation. While the original purpose of the presentation was to address challenges that have led to proposed revisions to the ASTM E1527, Ms. Kilgore also touched on some of the difficulties of conducting a Phase I during the COVID 19 situation.
According to Ms. Kilgore, the ASTM E1527 Task Group has reconvened with the first subcommittee ballot having been issued last September with another ballot coming ahead of the anticipated revision to the Standard in 2021.
As listed in her slide presentation, the upcoming revisions will include:
- Cleaning up the definitions of REC, CREC and HREC
- Addressing the third-party provided “Environmental Lien and AUL Searches”
- Move physical setting source section to precede regulatory database section
- Include physical setting source information obtained from agency file reviews
- More robust and detailed requirements for historical research
- More robust and detailed discussion about how data gaps are affecting the EP’s opinion.
- Consistent use of “Subject Property” Strengthen the site visit requirements (what to do and what to report)
- More robust and detailed report requirements
- Specifically address emerging (not yet regulated) contaminants as non-scope
- Updated Table of Contents suggestions
- New Appendix to provide guidance on the REC/HREC/CREC definitions, along with a flow chart and examples
Much of the time during the Q&A portion of the presentation was dedicated to questions participants had regarding RECs, HRECs and CRECs. For those of you not familiar with the current ASTM 1527-13 definitions for these they are as follows:
Recognized Environmental Condition (REC):
“the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property: (1) due to any release to the environment; (2) under conditions indicative of a release to the environment; or (3) under conditions that pose a material threat of a future release to the environment.”
Historical REC (HREC)
“a past release of any hazardous substances or petroleum products that has occurred in connection with the property and has been addressed to the satisfaction of the applicable regulatory authority or meeting unrestricted use criteria established by a regulatory authority, without subjecting the property to any required controls (e.g., property use restrictions, AULs, institutional controls, or engineering controls). Before calling the past release an HREC, the EP must determine whether the past release is a REC at the time the Phase I ESA is conducted (e.g., if there has been a change in the regulatory criteria).”
Controlled REC (CREC)
“a REC resulting from a past release of hazardous substances or petroleum products that has been addressed to the satisfaction of the applicable regulatory authority (e.g., as evidenced by the issuance of a NFA letter or equivalent, or meeting risk-based criteria established by regulatory authority), with hazardous substances or petroleum products allowed to remain in place subject to the implementation of required controls (e.g., property use restrictions, AULs, institutional controls, or engineering controls)… a CREC shall be listed in the Findings Section of the Phase I ESA report, and as a REC in the Conclusions Section of the…report.”
Learn more about GSI and our Phase I capabilities!
A recording of the webinar Challenges with the Phase I ESA Process can be heard at https://geo-search.com/training-videos/webinar-videos/.
To view or download the accompanying slides presentation go to: