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Volume XII, Number 273

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You don't need to wait for EPA to tell you to do the right thing!

This morning we read that it might take EPA a bit longer than anticipated just a few days ago to bless the new ASTM standard for environmental site assessments.  Why?  Because at least one of the lawyers who spent countless hours developing the new standard is criticizing EPA's plan to allow adherence to either the old standard or the new standard and that is going to require a more time consuming administrative process than EPA had anticipated.

That lawyer, Larry Schnapf, seems to have a very valid point.  If the experts agree that the old standard needed revision, and they did, isn't it counterproductive for EPA to continue to bless the old standard?  In fact, if the definition of "standard" is "an idea or thing used as a measure, norm or model" (and it is), how can you have two standards for the same thing?

In any event, regardless of what EPA does, and how long it takes, as I wrote last week, you can and should collaborate with your environmental professionals now on the environmental site assessment scope that makes sense for you.

Any environmental professional you should be dealing with will be willing to provide you an environmental site assessment that meets the requirements of both the old standard and the new one.

EPA’s allowing the flexibility to use either ASTM standard practice -- the new one or the previous one -- will only result in confusion and uncertainty and allow some assessors to “skimp on the kind of critical historical research that E1527-21 clarifies is necessary and consistent with good commercial and customary practices,” says Schnapf.

©1994-2022 Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 82
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About this Author

Jeffrey R. Porter, Environmental Attorney, Mintz Levin, Risk Analysis Lawyer
Member

Jeff leads the firm’s Environmental Law Practice. He is also a member of the firm’s Policy Committee. For 23 years, he has advised clients regarding complex environmental regulatory compliance and permitting issues, including issues relating to air and water discharges and hazardous waste storage and disposal. In 2011 and 2012, the firm received the Acquisition International Legal Award for “US Environmental Law Firm of the Year.” The awards celebrate excellence and reward firms, teams and individuals for their contribution to client service, innovation and commitment to quality.

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617-348-1711
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