The Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) market grew out of the real estate frenzy of the early 1980s. As federal mandates placed liability for remediation of contaminated property on the current owner, regardless of responsibility, investors sought the protection of the "innocent landowner" clause in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. To invoke the clause, an owner needed to prove that due diligence had been exercised in determining the potential presence of environmental hazards. Overnight, a variety of entities sought to fill the due-diligence requirements for investors. Some of the conservative lending institutions established stringent requirements, but overall the market and product were wide open. Some Phase I ESAs were a cursory review of local records; others included in-depth reviews of state and federal regulatory files. In 1993, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) published E 1527, which details standard practices for conducting environmental site assessments. The ASTM E 1527 standard is a risk-management process intended to reduce, not eliminate, environmental risk. Rather than functioning as an exact directive, E 1527 provides guidelines designed to promote consistency in Phase I ESAs.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00798459
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 19 2000 12:00AM