Yes, you do. In November 2005, the requirements placed on Users of ESA reports became more stringent. In addition to the Reliance Letter, each person wishing to use the ESA report must also fulfill all the User Responsibilities outlined in ASTM E 1527-05. Even with a Reliance Letter, Users who do not fulfill their User Responsibilities may not be eligible for the Landowner Liability Protections they hoped to obtain.

Furthermore, because the new requirements published in November 2005 also require significant updates to an ESA after 180-days, Users also have to be aware of the date when the ESA report was issued. If the report needs to be updated, it may be more cost effective for a new User to be added to the list of Users in the report, rather than through a separate Reliance Letter. After one year, the Phase 1 ESA would need to be completely redone.

For clarification, a Reliance Letter does not provide a User with any warranties or guarantees that a property does not have contamination. The Reliance Letter simply functions to establish the recipient as a User of the report.

More importantly, it is significant to recognize that the needs of BUYERS and SELLERS are inherently different. An ESA prepared for the SELLER may not identify all the information that a BUYER would need to evaluate the business aspects of an acquisition, even if the ESA adheres to the ASTM standard.

Links to further information:

Regulatory Briefing: Reliance Letters & All Appropriate Inquiry

Regulatory Briefing: Landowner Liability Protections

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