EPA Has Adopted the New ASTM Phase I Standard—Are Your Report Templates Ready?

Now that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted ASTM International’s E1527-21 Standard Practice on Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, environmental consulting firms and their clients want to be sure their Phase I reports are ready to meet the new standard.

For Quire Clients – there’s no need to stress, we do the heavy lifting to make sure your Phase I Templates are up to your, well, standards.

Shaking Up Your Phase I – A Quick Recap on the New Standard

So much has been written already about the new Phase I standard and EPA’s initial response. But it bears recapping briefly, especially in light of the agency’s recent adoption of this updated standard.

After ASTM International released ASTM E1527-21 on November 1, 2021, the EPA published a final rule the following March recognizing the standard. But not long after, the agency withdrew its final rule to allow time to address the many comments it had received. After a lengthy review period, EPA finally adopted ASTM E1527-21 in December 2022, recognizing it as the standard that satisfies the All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) rule, effective February 13, 2023.

One way in which EPA’s much-awaited adoption of ASTM E1527-21 differs from its typical approach is the fact that it plans to sunset the old standard after one year. Beginning February 13, 2024, EPA will no longer recognize the previous standard as satisfying the AAI rule. This makes compliance with the new standard more critical than ever before. After February 13, 2024, compliance with ASTM E1527-21 will be the only way the EPA accepts a Phase I ESA. This is a marked change from the agency’s historical approach, in which it would continue to accept and acknowledge previous versions of a standard even after recognizing updated versions.

How This Affects Your Report Writing Dream Team

As always, your clients will expect that you’re developing Phase I reports in accordance with the most current, applicable standards. While ASTM E1527-21 recommends a framework and structure for the report, just like the previous version of the standard, it doesn’t mandate the specific contents.

The good news: In our experience working with many environmental consulting firms across the country, most were already using a structure for the Phase I reports that align with the new standard. ASTM E1527-21 simply formalizes many of the best practices our clients were already following. For example, most Quire clients have always included a detailed site map in their Phase I Reports and a specific expiration date for the Report, both of which the standard now recommends. That means the new standard may not require you to make many significant changes to the content you include in your Phase I Reports. But you will want to update your Phase I templates—and that’s where it really pays to be a Quire Client.

Quire to the Rescue

If you’re a current Quire Client, there are two ways we can help you prepare to develop Phase I Reports in accordance with ASTM E1527-21.

  • If you haven’t yet built out a Phase I Report Template to suit your needs, or you’re looking to move to a more robust Template in conjunction with the new standard, consider using our Off-the-Rack (OTR) Phase I Template. We recently updated our OTR Template to match the new ASTM Phase I standard, ensuring it includes all the recommended components.
  • If you’ve already built out a custom Phase I Report Template as part of your onboarding to the Quire platform, but it doesn’t fully align with the new standard’s recommendations yet, talk with your Quire Account Manager. They can review your current Phase I Template and help ensure you’re including all the components recommended in the new standard.

And if you aren’t already using our technical reporting writing platform to streamline and improve the efficiency of your Phase I report writing, our OTR Template is just one more reason to make the switch! As a new Quire Client, you’ll get up and running faster by using this pre-built template for your Phase I reports, fully aligned with ASTM E1527-21.

Don’t forget: Your Quire Account Manager is always available to help you optimize your Report Templates and how you use our report writing platform, especially in light of new and emerging industry standards. They can leverage their deep knowledge about technical reports and our software platform to review your Quire Report Templates, delve into the analytics on your system use, and identify opportunities to improve your Report deliverables, gain greater consistency in your reporting, or streamline your report writing process.  Leading environmental consulting firms across the US rely on Quire to improve their report writing productivity and efficiency. To learn more, request a demo today!

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