USEPA proposes removal of ASTM 1527-05

Posted: August 4th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Phase I ESA, Uncategorized | Comments Off on USEPA proposes removal of ASTM 1527-05

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend the standards and practices for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) to remove the reference to ASTM International’s E1527-05 standard practice. This 2005 standard practice recently was replaced with updated standard E1527-13 by ASTM International, a widely recognized standards development organization. Specifically, EPA is proposing to amend the “All Appropriate Inquiries o remove the reference to ASTM International’s E1527-05 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process.”

Link to Federal Register

When the new ASTM standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (E1527-13) came out, EPA’s initial response was to allow either ASTM Standard E1527-05 or E1527-13 to achieve All Appropriate Inquiry.   EPA received negative comments on its approach to allow reliance on either standard.  Specifically, many of the public comments predicted confusion regarding the applicability of the dual standards and predicted widespread reliance on the older and less stringent (but somewhat less expensive) standard.

In response to the public comments, EPA issued this latest proposed rule to clarify that Phase I Environmental Site Assessments going forward must rely on the newer, more stringent ASTM Standard E1527-13 which requires soil vapor mitigation analysis and new regulatory file review requirements.  Once the new rule is adopted, reliance on ASTM Standard E1527-05 will no longer be acceptable under the All Appropriate Inquiries standard.

Requiring exclusive use of ASTM 1527-13 will result in consistent due diligence requirements and expectations.

USFWS Releases Northern Long-Eared Bat Guidance

Posted: February 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on USFWS Releases Northern Long-Eared Bat Guidance

The US Fish & Wildlife Service has proposed  that the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) be listed as endangered.  On October 2, 2013, their recommendation for listing the northern long-eared bat as endangered throughout its range under the Endangered Species Act was published in the Federal Register.   More recently, the USFWS published a planning document,  Northern Long-Eared Bat Interim Conference and Planning Guidance (January 6, 2014).  The guidance document addresses immediate information needs for section 7 conferences and conservation planning.  It includes a comparison of the northern long-eared and Indian bats; as well as interim presence/absence survey technique.

Myotis_septentrionalis

Northern long-eared bat, Myotis Septentrionalis

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Northern long-eared bat range.

Major differences between ASTM 1527-05 and 1527-13

Posted: January 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Major differences between ASTM 1527-05 and 1527-13

The changes from the 2005 to 2013 ASTM standards do not significantly alter the Phase I ESA report or process, but there are a few key changes you should be aware of.

You may also want to ensure that your policy and contract documents reference the “most current” ASTM E1527 standard or update them to specifically reference the E1527-13 standard to ensure that you are receiving the most current standard and best quality report.

The most significant changes include:

File Reviews
The E1527-13 standard imposes a stronger imperative for conducting regulatory file reviews. The environmental professional reserves the right to forego such a review, but must explicitly explain in the report why a review is not warranted.

Vapor Migration
E1527-13 places greater emphasis on assessing impacts to the subject property from vapor migration. This is done through several changes in the standard: 1) clarifying that the definition of a release does include contamination in the soil vapor phase, not just in soil or groundwater; 2) adding a definition of “migration” that includes vapor (as well as soil and groundwater); and 3) clarifying that vapor migration/intrusion does not fall under the category of an Indoor Air Quality concern (which is out of the ASTM 1527 scope of work).

Definitions
Several definitions have been clarified and simplified, and a new definition has been added of a “Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition” or “CREC.” You will now see CREC as an additional section being discussed in the executive findings and conclusions.

The simplest explanation of the difference between a Historical Recognized Environmental Condition or “HREC” and “CREC” is as follows:
HREC = A closed release that has been cleaned up to unrestricted use criteria (i.e. you could put a residence on the property)
CREC = A closed release that has been cleaned up but not to unrestricted use criteria, such as to “commercial/industrial standards” (i.e. you could not put a residence on the property)

ASTM E1527-13 approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Posted: January 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on ASTM E1527-13 approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

ASTM E1527-13 has been officially approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The updated standard practice for the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment process will be effective as of Monday December 30.

The EPA previously announced ASTM E1527-13’s compliance with all industry regulations, but the new standard was not officially recognized as meeting All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) requirements until today’s final ruling. The ASTM E1527-13 standard that was adopted today is unchanged from the document published in November, but now includes a preliminary statement that addresses public comments, and emphasizes EPA’s position on implementing the new standard.

Although the previous version of the standard (ASTM E1527-05) will technically continue to meet AAI, ASTM E1527-13 replaces its predecessor as the industry best practice for Phase I ESAs, and the EPA advises parties seeking to claim protection from liability under CERCLA to follow the updated ASTM E1527-13 format.

The new standard introduced a number of key changes including revised definitions for Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) and Historic Recognized Environmental Conditions (HREC), a new definition (Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition) as well as stronger recommendations for conducting file reviews and assessing vapor migration risk.

Draft Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidance Available

Posted: April 29th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Draft Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidance Available

The USFWS has made their latest draft of the Indiana Bat Summer Survey Guidance available on their  Indiana bat survey guidance website.

Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Midwest Region

Posted: September 11th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments Off on Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Midwest Region

The latest standard of practice for wetland delineation in the Midwest is available on the US Army Corps of Engineers website.