ASTM WK41151

    Work Item: ASTM WK41151 - Revision of E1528 - 06 Standard Practice for Limited Environmental Due Diligence: Transaction Screen Process

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    Active Standard: E1528 - 14

    Developed by Subcommittee: E50.02 | Committee E50 | Contact Staff Manager

    1. Rationale

    On behalf of the E1528 Transaction Screen Task Group, we submit for your consideration a revised E1528 Transaction Screen Practice. This is a standard aimed at users who wish to conduct limited environmental due diligence at a property unlikely to present environmental concerns and for which qualifying for CERCLA liability protection is not a goal. The redline format of the current ballot shows proposed changes from the current Practice that was approved in 2006. A subcommittee ballot to renew the standard was completed in June 2011. Although more than 98% of voting members participating in that ballot approved its renewal without any changes, the ballot received three negative votes. The task group was formed to address member comments and to update the standard where necessary. The task group represented a broad cross-section of environmental professionals, representatives of user groups, attorneys, and representatives of data service providers. Subsequent to the previous ballot, the task group met at both 2012 E50 Committee meetings and thereafter held three virtual meetings to consider suggested amendments to the standard. All negative votes as well as other comments submitted with the 2011 ballot have been considered by the task group and changes have been made in the current ballot in light of those comments. The comments received with the prior ballot fall into two subject areas: (1) One concern was that the standard did not make it sufficiently clear that performing the Transaction Screen would not establish eligibility for CERCLA landowner liability protections (LLPs) under the 2002 Brownfields Amendments to CERCLA or EPAs All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule. The task group responded to these comments by stating clearly in multiple places that the Transaction Screens do not establish eligibility for LLPs and informing users that qualifying for LLPs requires compliance with the E1527 or E2247 Phase I standards. To further minimize possible confusion about this point, we removed phrases in the current standard typically associated with CERCLA requirements (e.g., good commercial and customary practice). See sections 1.1, 1.1.1, 4.2.1. (2) A second point made by some commenters is that the Transaction Screen is no longer used and therefore need not be renewed. The task group investigated the accuracy of this claim and learned that it is incorrect. Several of the environmental professional members of the task group reported that although most of their assessment engagements are for Phase Is, they continue to receive engagements from clients for conducting a Transaction Screen. Representatives of user groups reported that some of their clients also use the Transaction Screen, as well as some government agencies also use the standard. Finally, we thought that a good test of whether there continues to be a demand for the standard would be whether there continue to be sales of the standard. ASTM staff assured us that the current E1528 standard continues to be sold. For these reasons, the task group was not persuaded by the comments that the standard is no longer used and should not be renewed. In the post-ballot task group meetings, several members proposed changes to the Transaction Screen that the task group agreed to include in this ballot. These changes include: The addition of aerial photography as a third source of historical information in section 10.2.1. We also added a definition of aerial photography in section 3.2.4. Several EP members of the task group reported that some clients request that they conduct a Transaction Screen but want the EP to identify any recognized environmental conditions (RECs) without conducting a Phase I assessment. We added This document is not an ASTM standard; it is under consideration within an ASTM technical committee but has not received all approvals required to become an ASTM standard. You agree not to reproduce or circulate or quote, in whole or in part, this document outside of ASTM Committee/Society activities, or submit it to any other organization or standards bodies (whether national, international, or other) except with the approval of the Chairman of the Committee having jurisdiction and the written authorization of the President of the Society. If you do not agree with these conditions please immediately destroy all copies of the document. Copyright ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428. All Rights Reserved. Designation: E152806 2 section 4.2.2 to state clearly that an assessment based on the Transaction Screen will not identify RECs for which a Phase I assessment would be necessary. Streamlining the definition of environmental professional in section 3.2.16 by uncoupling it from the definition in E1527-05 and cross-referencing the EPA definition in 40 C.F.R. 312.10(b). We added to the Questionnaire an inquiry to elicit information whether a below fair market value purchase price of the property may be indicative of contamination known or believed to be present on the property. Questionnaire No. 23. We replaced the black and white photographs in the Appendix of the current standard with more recent color photographs. We would like to thank the members who submitted comments and participated in the task group meetings and conference calls. The task group is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, April 17, at 9:00 AM at the Spring E50 Committee meeting in Indianapolis at which we will review the results of this ballot. Anyone interested in this standard is welcome. If you have any questions or wish to discuss any part of the proposed update of the Transaction Screen, please feel free to contact either one of us.


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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    William Weissman


    E50 (13-09)

    Ballot Item Approved as E1528-2014 and Pending Publication