ASTM E1527-13 Standard – Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

February 3, 2014

On November 6th, 2013, ASTM published the long anticipated new standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, ASTM E1527-13. ASTM E1527-13 will take effect immediately and will replace the E1527-05 standard as the industry best practice for Phase I ESAs.

What You Should Know About the Changes

The changes from the 2005 to 2013 ASTM standards do not significantly alter the Phase I ESA report or process, but there are a few key changes you should be aware of.

You may also want to ensure that your policy and contract documents reference the “most current” ASTM E1527 standard or update them to specifically reference the E1527-13 standard to ensure that you are receiving the most current standard and best quality report.

The most significant changes include:

File Reviews
The E1527-13 standard imposes a stronger imperative for conducting regulatory file reviews.

Vapor Migration
E1527-13 places greater emphasis on assessing impacts to the subject property from vapor migration.

Definitions

Several definitions have been clarified and simplified, and a new definition has been added of a “Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition” or “CREC.”

For details, articles and blogs regarding the new ASTM changes, visit http://www.partneresi.com/services/phase-i-environmental-site-assessment-report.php


OCC Handbook/ Commercial Real Estate Booklet

September 10, 2013

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) oversees a system of national banks and federal savings associations involved in Commercial Real Estate and Construction Lending, assuring that these institutions are safe, sound, competitive, and capable of providing for the banking needs of customers as best as possible.

The OCC issues a handbook, which according to the OCC Handbook itself,” The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) Comptroller’s Handbook booklet, “Commercial Real Estate Lending,” provides guidance for bank examiners and bankers on commercial real estate (CRE) lending activities.”

It specifically cites risk, “The booklet addresses the risks inherent in CRE lending as well as risks unique to specific lending activities and property types. Also discussed are supervisory expectations and regulatory requirements for prudent risk management. “

The Comptroller’s Handbook was updated in August of 2013. For further information regarding the  updates, visit

http://www.partneresi.com/resources/occ-handbook-commercial-real-estate-booklet.php


De Minimis Conditions

June 11, 2013

De minimis conditions are defined by ASTM as environmental conditions that “generally do not present a threat to human health or the environment and that generally would not be the subject of an enforcement action if brought to the attention of appropriate governmental agencies.” A de minimis condition is not considered a recognized environmental condition. An example of a de minimis condition might be a small, superficial spill of oil that is not anticipated to cause a significant concern.


Environmental Due Diligence in Utah

April 16, 2013

The Partner Utah office provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys in support of commercial real estate transactions, taking into consideration Utah’s diverse geology, climate, and topography.

Partner often customizes Phase I Environmental Site Assessment reports to meet individual client or agency lender’s (Fannie MaeFreddie Mac) requirements.

In addition to providing Phase I ESAs, Partner provides Property Condition Assessments and Commercial Building Inspections for a wide variety of clients, including CMBS lenders, Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac lenders, and equity clients. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set within ASTM E2018-08 guidelines.

Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the Utah Environmental Protection Agency (UEPA). Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-27(2002).

Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality requires that any consultant that provides advice or makes conclusions regarding underground storage tanks for a fee to have a Certified UST Consultant License. Soil and groundwater samples collected at underground storage tanks should be collected by a certified Soil and Groundwater Sampler otherwise, the DEQ will not accept the results. This can be important if the results are ever needed to try to gain site closure.

Partner has completed engineering assessments on all types of commercial real estate including office, retail, multi-family, industrial, and hospitality. Some recent Utah projects and experience include:

Partner completed Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental Testing for four national chain auto repair facilities in Vernal, UT.

Partner’s Construction Risk Management team completed Document & Cost Reviews and regular Construction Progress Monitoring for 6 sites in Utah including offices and a big box retailer.

 

For more information on Partner’s practice in Utah, visit http://www.partneresi.com/city/salt-lake-city.php


Environmental Due Diligence in Seattle

March 28, 2013

When engaging an environmental professional on a property in Washington, be sure they have experience in the state and are familiar with the local geology as well as regulatory agencies. Partner has the experience of over 1,100 projects in Washington since 2010.The Partner Washington office provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys in support of commercial real estate transactions.

Partner is the national leader in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments by volume. Most reports are performed to meet the standards of ASTM E1527-05. Partner often customizes reports to meet individual client or agency lender’s (Fannie MaeFreddie Mac) requirements and is familiar with the specifications of the Washington Department of Ecology.

Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the Washington Environmental Protection Agency (WEPA). Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-27(2002) while taking into account the unique geology of Washington, from shallow groundwater to glacial till.

A zoning report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations, Seattle and municipality provisions into consideration as well as other regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Some recent projects and experience that provide insight into our Washington consulting practice include:

Partner conducted ongoing Construction Progress Monitoring (CPM) during radon mitigation system installation at a multifamily property in Vancouver, Washington. The property included 39 two-story buildings. The construction progress inspections took place over several months.

Partner conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Document and Cost Reviews, and Operation and Maintenance Plans for the FDIC across a 42 site portfolio located throughout Washington (Bothell, Edmonds, Everett, Lynnwood, Mukilteo, Olympia, Snohomish and Tumwater).


Phase I ESA in Charlotte

March 26, 2013

When seeking environmental due diligence in support of commercial real estate transactions in the Carolinas, finding local professionals who understand the mixture of agricultural and forestland areas, as well as metropolitan and historical communities with complex site histories, is important. Partner has a strong presence in Charlotte, North Carolina through the entity Partner Engineering North Carolina, PLLC. The Partner North Carolina office provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys.

Partner is the national leader in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments by volume. Most reports are performed to meet the standards of ASTM E1527-05. Partner often customizes reports to meet individual client or agency lender’s (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) requirements.

Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR). Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-27 (2002). Partner understands the varying geology of the Carolinas, including the Coastal Plains, Piedmont, and Blue Ridge Mountain physiological provinces.

A zoning report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations, Charlotte and municipality provisions into consideration as well as other regulations, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Since 2010 Partner has completed over 1,000 jobs in North Carolina, nearly 700 of which were Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Some recent projects and experience that provide insight into our North Carolina consulting practice include:

• Partner completed a Property Condition Report for the NASCAR Hall of Fame located in Charlotte, NC.

• Partner conducted Property Condition Reports for a 44 site portfolio of health care facilities for Ventas Healthcare Properties, Inc. across the country, including several locations in North Carolina (Durham, Elizabeth, Henderson, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Wilmington and Zebulon).

 

For more information about Partner’s Charlotte practice, visit  http://www.partneresi.com/city/charlotte.php.


Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in Atlanta

March 21, 2013

During commercial real estate transactions in Georgia, it is important to engage environmental professionals who are familiar with the unique mixture of agricultural and forestland areas combined with metropolitan areas and suburban communities found throughout the state. The Partner Atlanta office provides Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Phase II Environmental testing, Property Condition Assessments, and Asbestos Surveys with the necessary understanding of local law and geology.

While conducting a Phase I ESA, Partner does a visual evaluation of accessible areas for the presence of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACMs). If it becomes evident that Asbestos Containing Materials may be present, Partner can perform sampling and testing to evaluate if Asbestos Containing Material is in fact present.

Partner performs Phase II Environmental Testing either in support of a financing decision or to meet the requirements of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Environmental Protection Division. Most of our reports are performed to meet the standards set by ASTM E1903-27(2002). Partner Atlanta staff understand the geological variations in Georgia, from the Appalachian Plateau to Coastal Plains, as well as state regulatory programs such as the Georgia UST Trust Fund.

A zoning report is a necessary part of many real property transactions because the current owner is responsible for existing zoning violations. Partner’s Zoning Reports take usage regulations, Atlanta and municipality provisions into consideration as well as other regulations; such as the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Since 2010 Partner has completed nearly 1,500 jobs in Georgia, 905 of which were Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. Some recent projects and experience that provide insight into our Georgia consulting practice include:

Partner performed storm water erosion inspections for a 69 site portfolio of vacant land across Georgia (Adairsville, Alpharetta, Aragon, Atlanta, Braselton, Clayton, Covington, Cumming, Dawsonville, Decatur, Douglasville, Fairburn, Forsyth, Flowery, Gainesville, Griffin, Hogansville, Jasper, Palmetto, Rome, Savannah, St. Simons).

Partner conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, Property Condition Reports, Moisture and Mold Inspections meeting Housing and Urban Development (HUD) specifications for 680 apartments throughout a two building complex in Marietta, GA.

 

For more information on Partner’s Atlanta, Georgia practice, visit http://www.partneresi.com/city/atlanta.php


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