Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

EPA Amends Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI)

Posted by Rebecca Luman on Thu, Sep 21, 2017

Forest.jpgOn June 20, 2017, EPA published a direct final rule amending the Innocent Landowner, Standards for Conducting All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI Rule) at 40 C.F.R. 312 to update an existing reference to a standard practice recently revised by ASTM International (80 Fed. Reg. 28009). Specifically, EPA amended the AAI Rule to reference ASTM International's E2247-16, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property, to allow for its use to satisfy the statutory requirements for conducting AAI under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

In December 2016, ASTM International revised E2247 as part of its normal review process. The changes provide clarity for prospective purchasers conducting AAI on forestland and rural property, including updated methodology for site reconnaissance, clarifying language for recognized environmental conditions, and removal of unessential information. The current version, now designated E2247-16, replaced the “historic” 2008 version (E2247-08) that is referenced in EPA’s AAI Rule. This direct final rule now references the current industry standard (E22447-16).

EPA published this rule without a prior proposed rule because they view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment as this action simply revises an existing reference at 40 CFR 312.11(a) to the updated version of a standard practice recently made available by ASTM International (E2247–16). However, as a precautionary measure, EPA also published a separate, proposed rule at 82 FR 28040 in the event adverse comments were received on the direct final rule by July 20, 2017.

This amendment is effective on September 18, 2017, without further notice, unless EPA receives adverse comments. If EPA receives such comment, they will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that this direct final rule will not take effect. For more, see here.

Specialty Technical Publishers (STP) provides a variety of single-law and multi-law services, intended to facilitate clients’ understanding of and compliance with requirements. These include:

Like What You've Read? Subscribe to Our Blog Now

About the Author

Rebecca_Luman.jpgMs. Luman has over 25 years of experience as a consultant and project manager in the environmental field.
She has conducted Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) and subsurface assessments of various business, manufacturing, and petroleum facilities, and has managed investigations and removal actions at State Superfund sites.
Ms. Luman has also performed multi-media environmental compliance audits and environmental management system assessments within the aerospace, semiconductor, food, manufacturing, shipbuilding, and utility industries, and has prepared numerous environmental plans, permits (SPCC, SWPPP, NPDES, FRP, Emergency Contingency, and Hazardous Waste Management), and regulatory reports (Air Emissions Inventory, EPCRA, Discharge Monitoring, and Annual Waste Summaries).

She has been responsible for identifying environmental, health, and safety legal obligations for various businesses and industries across the United States, and for maintaining their compliance with the regulations. Prior to entering the private sector, Ms. Luman worked for a major public water supplier where she was involved in a federal Superfund Remedial Investigation involving the study of groundwater contamination over a 60-square mile area.
Most recently, she formed her own business, Healthy Tweaks, LLC, to raise awareness of the impact of chemicals on the environment, in consumer products, and on human health, particularly that of children. Her goal is to educate consumers and businesses to enable them to make choices that will improve their health and reduce their ecological footprint.
Ms. Luman is currently the lead author of Site Auditing and was previously the lead author on other STP regulatory publications covering federal EPA and State environmental differences, federal and California OSHA requirements, and federal construction and transportation regulations.
She completed her B.S., Civil Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin in 1989, and is a Professional Engineer licensed in Texas and California, and registered in New York. Her interest in understanding the impact of the built environment on the natural environment led her to become a LEED® Accredited Professional in 2009.  She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Auditing Roundtable, the Texas Association of Environmental Professionals, and the U.S. Green Building Council.  She is also on the Houston Advisory Board for The Nature Conservancy.

photo credit: JLS Photography - Alaska August in Alaska via photopin (license)