STP Publishes Environmental Site Assessment: All Appropriate Inquiries

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New publication offers a comprehensive audit checklist for those conducting environmental site assessments to qualify for liability protections or meet federal grant requirements.

Specialty Technical Publishers

This guide provides a comprehensive audit checklist for conducting all appropriate inquiries to qualify for landowner liability protections under CERCLA or “Superfund", providing landowner defense, prospective purchaser liability protection and property owner liability protection for our clients.

Specialty Technical Publishers announces the publication of Environmental Site Assessment: All Appropriate Enquiries.

Potential liability associated with contaminated property has been a matter of utmost concern to parties involved in real estate transactions since 1980 when federal legislation known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or “Superfund” came into effect. CERCLA introduced punitive legislation making “responsible parties” liable for cleanup costs—unless they qualified for certain liability protections by conducting “all appropriate inquiries” prior to a property transaction. . As a result, formal environmental site assessments have become a critical component of the transaction process.

Environmental site assessments are commonly used at operating facilities, abandoned lands, and Brownfield sites to determine property conditions for continued use and reuse.

This new STP publication is adapted from Site Auditing: Environmental Site Assessment of Property.

Environmental Site Assessment: All Appropriate Inquiries provides an audit checklist for conducting all appropriate inquiries (AAI) to qualify for landowner liability protections under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or “Superfund.” These protections include:

  •     Innocent landowner defense
  •     Bona fide prospective purchaser liability protection
  •     Contiguous property owner liability protection

The AAI process must also be followed by anyone conducting site characterization and assessment under a Superfund grant.

The checklist covers the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) rule for conducting AAI, as codified under 40 CFR 312, and also incorporates certain criteria from the EPA-recognized standard ASTM E1527-13.

This guide uses STP’s standard audit checklist format, with a single module including the following:

  •     Introduction, providing a discussion of the applicability of the guide, an overview of how it addresses the regulatory requirements for conducting AAI, and key definitions for terms used in the checklist.
  •     Rulebook, providing audit criteria based on EPA requirements under specific sections of 40 CFR 312, with detailed Guide Notes to help users assess conformance with the criteria. The rulebook sections cover the different aspects of AAI, as follows:
  •     All Appropriate Inquiries – General
  •     Inquiry by an Environmental Professional (EP)
  •     Interviews with Owners, Operators, and Occupants
  •     Reviews of Historical Sources of Information
  •     Searches for Recorded Environmental Cleanup Liens
  •     Reviews of Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Government Records
  •     Visual Inspections of the Facility and of Adjoining Properties
  •     Specialized Knowledge or Experience
  •     Relationship of the Purchase Price to the Value of the Property, If the Property Was Not Contaminated
  •     Commonly Known or Reasonably Ascertainable Information
  •     Degree of Obviousness of the Presence or Likely Presence of Contamination
  •     Disclosure Requirements (Release Notification)
  •     Scoresheet, allowing quick recording of the organization’s compliance status.

Environmental Site Assessment: All Appropriate Inquiries is a valuable resource for those conducting site assessments to ascertain the environmental conditions of property for any regulatory or business purpose.

Gail Ankiewicz, President:
"The Environmental Site Assessment is a comprehensive audit checklist for conducting all appropriate inquiries to qualify for landowner liability protections under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) or “Superfund.” It provides landowner defense, prospective purchaser liability protection and property owner liability protection for our clients."

About Specialty Technical Publishers
www,stpub.com [Specialty Technical Publishers (STP) __title__ Specialty Technical Publishers] produces technical resource guides covering environmental, health & safety, transportation, accounting, business practices, standards and law, offering comprehensive guidance on key compliance and regulatory issues. STP is a division of Glacier Media Inc., a Canadian information communications company that provides primary and essential information in print, electronic and online media. Glacier’s Business and Professional Information Group publishes directories, technical manuals, research and development materials, medical education, electronic databases, investment information and specialty websites.

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Lorraine O'Donovan
Specialty Technical Publishers
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