December 26, 2008

On December 23, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is proposing a final rule permitting use of an alternative standard to the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule for forestland or rural property. Under the final rule parties purchasing large tracts (greater than 120 acres) of forested land and parties purchasing large rural properties may choose use the ASTM E2247-08 “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment for Forestland or Rural Property” to satisfy the requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The EPA’s official notice, which is found in the December 23, 2008, Federal Register and can be found at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-30536.htm, is effective on March 23, 2009, unless the EPA receives adverse comments by January 22, 2009. The referenced ASTM Standard Practice E2247-08 is an alternative to the existing ASTM Standard Practice E1527-05 which typically applies to Phase I Environmental Site Assessments conducted at most other sites including commercial and industrial properties.

The environmental attorneys at Hessian & McKasy’s Environmental Law Attorney Practice Group represent clients in real estate transactions and conduct due diligence reviews to assess environmental liability.

The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer, Hessian & McKasy. P.A.

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