Environmental Due Diligence

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Why you should adopt the new ASTM E1527-21 standard sooner rather than later

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LightBox Insights
June 5, 2023 2 mins

Key reasons to switch from ASTM-13 Guidelines:

In just one year, the percentage of environmental due diligence professionals exclusively following the ASTM E1527-21 Phase I ESA standard jumped from 21% to 75%. The other 25% are either letting their clients decide between the new standard and its predecessor (13%) or still in the process of preparing their teams and templates for the transition. In its December 2022 direct final rule, the USEPA announced that it will recognize the ASTM E1527-13 as an avenue for satisfying All Appropriate Inquiry during this “in between time,” but only until February 13, 2024.  

For the one one-quarter of the industry that has still not fully transitioned to exclusively using an E1527-21 Scope of Work, there are five important things to be aware of: 

  1. Certain elements of complying with the new Standard Practice could change your workflow, turnaround time and reporting methods. It’s important to ensure that teams are prepared to account for that in the transition. It will take time to educate yourself so the sooner you’re up to speed, the easier it will be to make the transition.
  2. You also have to update all of your report templates, contracts and proposals to reflect the updated Scope of Work, as well as incorporating the new terminology.  
  3. Making the transition now could minimize exposure to potentially significant risks for your business, particularly if there’s a dispute on a transaction over your Phase I’s findings and conclusions. Having relied on the older standard could put your firm in a very difficult position to define why you didn’t follow -21 and if there was an error or omission, it could be too late to go back and fix it.  
  4. Given the long timeframe since the standard was adopted, it’s a very steep uphill battle to argue at this point that you didn’t have enough time to prepare for the transition given that ASTM E1527-21 is now considered the industry best practice.   

Lightbox’s Suite of Environmental Data Resources for ASTM E1527-21 Transitions 

We have environmental data resources to help you make the transition, including articles, webinars, educational materials, a 21-optimized parcel, and ESA report template. We have even designed products like the 1980 Green Search product to help you comply with the new standard in the most cost effective way.  

If you have questions or want assistance, get in touch with your LightBox representative. 

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