In October 2012, the ASTM E1527 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard  task force met at ASTM Committee Week meetings in Atlanta, GA to discuss negative votes and comments on a ballot issued in September. The group of about 50 environmental professionals, users of Phase I ESAs and industry observers reviewed 17 negative ballots and about 30 affirmative ballots with comments. Most comments outlined in the negative votes submitted were resolved through editorial changes and consensus-making. The group’s leadership was then tasked to work with those who submitted the remaining negative votes in an attempt to resolve their.

As of mid-November 2012, the task group had made progress towards reaching a final version of the standard, but several negative votes remained. As of the end of November, the group was preparing to pursue the “non-persuasive” process. This allows the standard writing committee to keep the consensus-based ASTM process moving when outliers disagree with the majority of members. In order to find a negative non-persuasive, two-thirds of the committee members must vote in favor of the non-persuasive motion.

Task group leadership expects the non-persuasive votes to affirm the current redline of the standard, and the new ASTM E1527-13 standard should be finalized for spring 2013 publication.

Some likely changes to ASTM E1527-13 standard compared to the current ASTM E1527-05 standard include:

  • REC & HREC definitions revised and new term, “CREC” or Controlled REC,
  • Vapor Migration clarified as included in Phase I ESA investigations and ASTM E2600-10 referenced
  • Regulatory File Review specifically detailed in a new subsection
  • Revisions to User Responsibilities section, particularly surrounding environmental lien search requirements
  •  Changes to appendices, especially the Table of Contents/Report Format Appendix and Legal Appendix
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