Parties to real estate transactions are familiar with obtaining Phase I Site Assessment Reports to assess environmental conditions and associated risks. However, there are new developments stemming from a revised technical standard combined with the U.S. Environmental Protection’s (EPA) proposed rule amending its All Appropriate Inquiry Rule. These changes are leading sellers, buyers and lenders to re-examine their due diligence check lists and protocols for Phase I Reports because of potential uncertainties, confusion, and additional costs and time. This article discusses the revised ASTM standard, the status of the U.S. EPA rulemaking and possible implications for transactional parties.
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