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Environmental Lien Search Differences: ASTM E1527-13 vs E1527-21

Environmental lien research and ASTM standards E1527-13 and E1527-21 are critical components in the realm of environmental law and property transactions. Environmental liens are legal claims made by the state or federal government on a property due to the presence of hazardous substances. Researching these liens is a crucial step in environmental due diligence, providing insight into potential environmental liabilities associated with a property.

ASTM E1527-13 and ASTM E1527-21: Comparative Overview

The ASTM E1527-13 and E1527-21 are standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs). These assessments are a key component of the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) requirement under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The ASTM E1527-13 standard, while still recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been largely superseded by the E1527-21 rule. The newer standard introduces several changes aimed at improving the comprehensiveness and clarity of ESAs.

Key Differences of ASTM E1527-13 and ASTM E1527-21

The ASTM E1527-21 standard introduces several key changes from its 2013 predecessor. These changes include a more detailed definition of Recognized Environmental Condition (REC), additional requirements for significant data gaps, and more explicit guidance on Environmental Liens and Activity Use Limitation (AUL) searches.

One of the most notable changes is the requirement for title reports to search land records back to 1980, providing a more complete picture of the property’s environmental history. The rule also addresses emerging contaminants, expanding the scope of potential environmental hazards to consider.

When to Use ASTM E1527-13 vs ASTM E1527-21

While both ASTM E1527-13 and E1527-21 are currently recognized by the EPA, the choice between the two often depends on the specific circumstances of the property transaction. The ASTM E1527-21 standard, with its more comprehensive requirements and updated guidance, is generally recommended for most new ESAs.

However, the ASTM E1527-13 standard may still be appropriate in certain situations. For instance, if an ESA was initiated before the introduction of the E1527-21 rule, completing the assessment under the older standard may be more practical.

Understanding the differences between environmental lien research and the ASTM E1527-13 and E1527-21 standards is crucial for effective environmental due diligence. By choosing the appropriate standard and conducting thorough lien research, property buyers and sellers can better navigate potential environmental liabilities and ensure compliance with environmental laws.

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