How current is your data?

You probably know that ASTM E1527-05 includes language regarding the currency of government records searched as part of a Phase I ESA. But, did you know that E1527 also requires that updates to government data be documented by the database company?

As a quick refresher, here’s a snippet of language from the standard:

8.1.7: …Government information obtained from nongovernmental sources may be considered current if the source updates the information at least every 90 days or, for information that is updated less frequently than quarterly by the government agency, within 90 days of the date the government agency makes the information available to the public.

8.1.8: The report shall document each source that was used, even if a source revealed no findings. Sources shall be sufficiently documented, including name, date request for information was filled, date information provided was last updated by source, date information was last updated by original source…

The standard goes on to say that the reason for this, is so that the investigation into the property could be recreated by another environmental professional.

You may not have noticed, but if you head to the back of your Radius Map Report, you can find out exactly how we put together your report and how current each database was at the time you ordered it. Every EDR Radius Map Report includes a section detailing our search and update process. After you read through the executive summary, maps and findings of your report, you’ll find a section called “Records Searched” (don’t forget to use the handy links in the left margin!). There, you’ll not only see every set of federal, state, local and tribal source that was searched to create your Radius Map Report, but also the last time EDR contacted that agency to update the information, when the refreshed data arrived at EDR, the number of days since the source was updated, how often we update the database and when we are next scheduled to reach out to the agency. Below is an example.

If you look back at one of your recent reports, you’ll notice that most of the databases, especially the federal sources, are updated every quarter. But, there are some outliers that have not been updated for more than 90 days. In these cases, EDR reaches out every 90 days to ask for an update, and if there continues to be no update, we document this in compliance with the standard.

Do you ever run into data currency issues? Do you think EDR should update government records sources more frequently than 90 days? Leave us a comment below!