What is A Recognized Environmental Condition?

A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment conducted to meet ASTM E 1527:2013 is intended to identify Recognized Environmental Conditions, or REC, associated with a property. Simply, a REC is a condition in which a spill, leak or other type of release to the environment or inside a structure has occurred, has potentially occurred or has a reasonable threat of occurrence in the future. It could be a condition that is visible at the site, such as staining around a fueling areas, or conditions no longer present, such as historical maps indicating a gas station was once present on the property.

Abandoned Gas Station Property Reviewed During Phase 1 Environmental

Abandoned Gas Station Property


ASTM E 1527:2013 defines a Recognized Environmental Condition as:
“the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substances or petroleum products in, on, or at a property: (1) due to 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. The term does not include de minimis conditions that a condition that generally does not present a threat to human health or the environment and that generally would not be the subject of an enforcement action if brought to the attention of appropriate governmental agencies.”

Under the current ASTM standard, three categories of RECs are established:

  • Current Recognized Environmental Conditions
  • Historical Recognized Environmental Conditions, and
  • Controlled Recognized Environmental Conditions


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