What Lenders Need to Know About Changes to ASTM E1527-05
Lenders across the nation will be updating their due diligence policies to require vapor migration screens as a standard part of their Phase I ESA scope.
Vapor intrusion, the migration of volatile chemicals from the subsurface into overlying buildings, presents potential health risks and environmental liability at properties with current or past contamination. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is about to release the long-awaited final Vapor Intrusion Guidance to address the rapid evolution in the science and technology associated with how to evaluate and assess risk from vapor intrusion. The release of the guidance comes just a few months before ASTM is expected to release significant revisions to the Phase I environmental site assessment protocol (ASTM E 1527). Among the changes to ASTM E 1527-05 is the addition of new language throughout the standard to include the assessment of vapor migration risk along with the traditional soil and groundwater pathways.
Some environmental consultants address vapor migration, while others will include it only at a client’s request. It is critical that risk managers understand what these documents mean and how it might affect their own liability—or that of their borrowers. Now is the time to ensure that your bank’s policies are sufficiently protective and reflect the latest requirements on vapor migration risk.