ASTM Update – October 2018

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Article by Jeri Massengill, CEO

During the Week of October 22, hundreds of environmental professionals, attorneys, regulators, lenders and other stakeholders met in Washington DC to work on new and existing ASTM standards. We also held out-reach and brain-storming sessions to determine how ASTM can work with U.S. EPA to help address the multiple challenges with PFAS contamination.

As many of you due diligence professionals know, the E1527-13 Phase I ESA Standard is currently under review and revision.  Since this is such a big effort, the Phase I ESA Task Group breaks into focus groups that each work on a specific part of the standard, then bring suggested changes to the full Task Group for discussion.  Over the next 18 months, suggested revisions will be debated and discussed, then balloted three or four times until ASTM members eventually reach consensus on all the changes. A list of some of the focus areas we are currently addressing is below.

  1. Revision of environmental database names and categories
  2. Revision of suggested Table of Contents
  3. Revisions to Limitations/Data Gaps language
  4. Revision of reasonable time to acquire data
  5. Address non-liquid PCBs and Diffuse Anthropogenic Pollution
  6. Adjoining vs. adjacent terminology/definitions
  7. REC definition revisions and examples
  8. HREC/CREC simplified definitions
  9. Revise and strengthen search methodology language for AULs
  10. Phase I report shelf-life
  11. Site visit documentation
  12. Update and strengthen historical property research language
  13. Business Environmental Risk – New definition
  14. Clarify the meaning of “de minimis”
  15. Add continuing obligations appendix
  16. Revise Findings and Conclusions section and create new “Findings” definition

If you want to get involved or want more information about ASTM, please reach out to me at jerim@historicalinfo.com.

Jeri Massengill, CEO – Historical Information Gatherers and ASTM E50.02 Subcommittee Chair

 

 

Temporary Full Time Digital Imaging Specialist

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To Apply:

https://www.indeedjobs.com/historical-information-gatherers/_hl/en_US

Job Summary

Historical Information Gatherers (HIG) has been contracted to digitize books that will take 6-12 weeks to complete the job. The Temporary Digital Imaging Specialist will scan pages and edit/process raw images using a variety of equipment and software. These projects sometimes involve the handling of unusual, rare, or fragile materials. Attention to detail and efficiency are important aspects of this position.

The first 5-8 weeks of the work will occur in downtown Minneapolis. Once the scanning work is finished in downtown Minneapolis, the job will move to our Hopkins, MN location, until finished.

Start Date & Hours

Training will be May 10th & 11th, 2018 in our Hopkins office (8:30am-5pm). The job will move to downtown Minneapolis on May 14th and occur M-F 7am-4pm. Once finished at the downtown location, the job will then be M-F 8 or 8:30 to 4:30 or 5 (8 hours) in our Hopkins office.

Required Qualifications

  • Outstanding attention to detail and strong general computer skills
  • Ability to work with others in a team environment
  • Capable of performing repetitive tasks
  • Dependable transportation

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience with document scanning or photography
  • Familiarity with historical documents such as maps, property records, aerial photography and city directories
  • Experience with image editing software such as Photoshop, Capture One, and IrfanView

Note: Dog on premises at main office. Job will require repetition and some lifting. Must have reliable transportation.

About HIG

Historical Information Gatherers, Inc. provides environmental risk data used to assess past property uses and determine environmental risk for properties nationwide. Our products and services include historical maps, aerial photography, city directory research, local property record reviews, environmental database reports and specialized title research services. www.historicalinfo.com

ASTM Update – May 2018

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Article by Jeri Massengill, CEO

I am glad to report we had great attendance at the recent ASTM E50.02 Subcommittee meetings held last October and again early last month in San Diego.  Why did we have a great turnout?

  • Outreach by ASTM Task Group Chairs and Officers to recruit new members.
  • Discussions have started on revisions to E1527 – Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard.
  • The E50 Social! A fun get-together to network with colleagues, meet new ASTM members, and exchange ideas over drinks and appetizers.

Did you know?
There are 13 ASTM standards and 2 proposed standards that fall under the E50.02 Subcommittee on Real Estate Assessment and Management.

Consider helping update an existing standard or help create a new one in your area of expertise. You will learn from other professionals and have the chance to gain valuable leadership experience.

D5746-16 Standard Classification of Environmental Condition of Property Area Types for Defense Base Closure and Realignment Facilities

D6008-14 Standard Practice for Conducting Environmental Baseline Surveys

E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process

E1528-14 Standard Practice for Limited Environmental Due Diligence: Transaction Screen Process

E1903-11 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process

E2018-15 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments: Baseline Property Condition Assessment Process

E2091-11 Standard Guide for Use of Activity and Use Limitations, Including Institutional and Engineering Controls

 

E2247-16 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property

E2600-15 Standard Guide for Vapor Encroachment Screening on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions

E2790-11 Standard Guide for Identifying and Complying With Continuing Obligations

E2797-15 Standard Practice for Building Energy Performance Assessment for a Building Involved in a Real Estate Transaction

E2993-16 Standard Guide for Evaluating Potential Hazard as a Result of Methane in the Vadose Zone

E3026-15 Standard Guide for Readily Observable Moisture Affected Materials and Conditions Conducive to Elevated Moisture in Commercial Buildings: Visual Moisture Assessment Process

Proposed new standard: Accessibility Facility Assessments for Private Non-transient Housing

Proposed new standard:
Building Energy Performance Evaluation for Commercial Real Estate Transactions

Click here for ASTM membership information and let me know if you have any questions about getting involved.

Jeri Massengill – ASTM E50.02 Subcommittee Chair
jerim@historicalinfo.com / 952-457-5751

Official ASTM CEU Opportunity – Phase 1 ESA Process Training Course – Minneapolis, MN – June 13, 2018 – 1 Day ONLY!

PR News Release
This focused 1-day course for commercial real estate professionals, environmental consultants and engineers covers the ASTM Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process (E1527). You will gain an understanding of the landowner liability protections to CERCLA, how the standard is used in commercial real estate transactions, and how the standard and related regulations affect the way you do business.

Attending the EBA Summer 2018 Conference? This course is conveniently scheduled in order to accommodate those attending the conference.

Register Online at the ASTM training course registration page.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Hyatt Regency Minneapolis Hotel
1300 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Check-in & Networking: 8 – 8:30 a.m.
Class: 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Price: $495

Lunch provided by Historical Information Gatherers (HIG).
Dietary restrictions/preferences? Contact Marla at marlas@historicalinfo.com.


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Describe how and why the standard is used in commercial real estate transactions
  • Understand the connection between federal environmental regulations and E1527
  • Interpret how E1527 affects the way you do business

Who Should Attend

  • Emerging Environmental Professionals
  • Appraisers
  • Property Owners and Asset Managers
  • Real Estate and Environmental Attorneys
  • Bankers and other CRE finance professionals
  • Anyone responsible for reviewing Environmental Due Diligence reports

Fee Includes

  • Copy of E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process
  • Course presentation materials
  • Certificate of Course Completion and 0.7 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • 1-year membership to ASTM International and Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management, and Corrective Action. (Applies to new members only and may not be used to renew existing memberships.)

Special Guest Speaker

Julie Kilgore, President
Wasatch Environmental/ASTM E1527 Task Group Chair

Julie Kilgore of Wasatch Environmental has been the ASTM E1527 Task Group chair for nearly 20 years and has reviewed thousands of Phase I ESA reports.  Julie will give an overview of the current E1527 revision process currently underway.  You will learn what parts of the standard may need clarification, what issues the Task Group is working on and get a heads up on what changes may be coming when the revised standard is published in 2021.

About the Instructor

Sean Leary, Executive Vice President and Due Diligence Group Manager
Vieau Associates, Inc. / Certified ASTM Phase I ESA Trainer

Sean has ten years of experience providing environmental due diligence and remediation consulting. He contributed to the development of ASTM E1527-13 and is now involved in developing new ASTM environmental assessment standards.


Attention Professional Engineers

If your state has a continuing education requirement for license renewal, ASTM training courses and ASTM membership can help you meet that requirement.


Register Online at the ASTM training course registration page.

If your state has a continuing education requirement for license renewal, ASTM training courses and ASTM membership can help you meet that requirement.


https://youtu.be/NGnALVYyuEg

 

Browww.historicalinfo.comught to you by:

On the Road with Rich Townsend – November 2017

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Article by Rich Townsend, Director of Business Development

Having spent most of my career working for consulting firms in various business development and marketing roles, it has been an interesting year having the opportunity to meet so many consultants throughout the country in my role as Director of Business Development for HIG.

Whether it’s the office of a large multi-national firm or a small company in the basement of the owner’s home, most of the people I meet enjoy their work and that makes it equally enjoyable for me in my position.

In addition to in-person meetings, I have also had the chance to travel to meet many new consultants at conferences in different states. For those of you who don’t have the opportunity to get out, here are some key highlights:

Groundwater Association of California (GRA) Annual Conference – Sacramento, CA – the main focus of the sessions involved the new Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) which requires that each basin develop its own groundwater sustainability plan including management of both groundwater quantity and quality.

Northwest Environmental Business Council (NEBC) Remediation Conference – Tacoma, WA –like many remediation conferences, this highlighted new technologies, case studies, etc. The one huge takeaway however, was the fact that brownfield redevelopment is very hot in the Puget Sound area. The main driver is that there is so much competition for highly valued in-fill sites that developers in Seattle, sometimes up to a dozen, are competing for prized properties. In some cases buyers are willing to take on the potential environmental liability on the site in order to acquire the property.

Association of Environmental and Health Sciences (AEHS) Fall Conference, Amherst, MA – PFAS and more PFAS was the topic here. For those not aware, PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, which are commonly found in fire retardant chemicals. There is still a lot to learn about how these emerging contaminants impact the environment, and they are yet another hazardous substance that may need to be accounted for in the due diligence process.  On a positive note, the keynote luncheon speaker was Gina McCarthy, the former US EPA Administrator. She gave an honest but uplifting message on the challenge that all of us have to keep up the fight for science as the driver for making future policy decisions.

Let HIG help you!

With all of these issues, HIG can be your go-to historical information provider.  Most previously unknown environmental concerns identified during the due diligence process are discovered when consultants are provided with high quality historical data that allows for proper identification of past property uses.  HIG’s historical aerials and fire insurance maps make it easier for you to see where potentially hazardous substances were stored. Combine these images with the best city directory research in the business, and you will be able to best protect your client from future environmental liability concerns.

ASTM Update: Public comments expected to delay AAI reference to current Phase I Standard for Forestland and Rural Properties

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August 1, 2017 – Public comments expected to delay AAI reference to current Phase I Standard for Forestland and Rural Properties

This past June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed an amendment to the Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) under CERCLA to update the existing reference to ASTM International’s Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property. This amendment was issued as a Direct Final Rule that would have taken effect in mid-September if no adverse comments were received prior to the July 20 deadline for public comments.

After two public comments were received prior to the deadline, we reached out to EPA representative Patricia Overmeyer of the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization. Ms. Overmeyer noted that EPA would most likely withdraw the rule, and then take some time to decide how to address the comments received. After that process, EPA could presumably move forward with a new direct final rule. The timetable for these EPA next steps was unknown at the time of HIG Insight publication.

Background Information: AAI currently states that two ASTM Standards can be used to satisfy the statutory requirements for conducting all appropriate inquiries under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA); ASTM E2247 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property and the more well-known E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process. An ASTM Task Group updated the “Phase I for Rural Properties” over an approximate three year period with input from many professionals who use the standard and other stakeholders. The updated standard is designated E2247-16 as it was published by ASTM in December of 2016. 

The publication of the revised standard, and ASTM’s request to EPA that it be referenced in AAI, coincided with a new administration that wanted time to review policies and pending regulations. By June of this year, EPA had completed review of the updated standard and found no significant differences between the regulatory requirements in the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule and E2247-16, and the Direct Final Rule for an amendment to AAI was issued. The Direct Final Rule, supporting documents, and the comments received may all be found on the government’s website for Proposed Rules and Notices from the Federal Register at https://www.regulations.gov/docket?D=EPA-HQ-OLEM-2016-0786

ASTM Update – November 2017

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Article by Jeri Massengill, CEO

I am glad to report that attendance was up at the recent ASTM E50.02 Subcommittee meetings held in October.  Why did we have a great turnout?

  • Outreach by our hard working ASTM Task Group Chairs and Officers to recruit new members and encourage current members to become more active.
  • Discussions have begun regarding possible revisions to the extensively used E1527 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard.
  • The E50 Social – A fun get-together with ASTM colleagues to relax and exchange ideas over drinks and appetizers.
  • The New Orleans Experience – Great food, music and people watching make for a great diversion after a long day in ASTM meetings!

Did you know?
These ASTM standards and standard guides fall under the
E50.02 Subcommittee on Real Estate Assessment and Management

D5746-16 Standard Classification of Environmental Condition of Property Area Types for Defense Base Closure and Realignment Facilities

D6008-14 Standard Practice for Conducting Environmental Baseline Surveys

E1527-13 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process

E1528-14 Standard Practice for Limited Environmental Due Diligence: Transaction Screen Process

E1903-11 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process

E2018-15 Standard Guide for Property Condition Assessments: Baseline Property Condition Assessment Process

E2091-11 Standard Guide for Use of Activity and Use Limitations, Including Institutional and Engineering Controls

E2247-16 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property

E2600-15 Standard Guide for Vapor Encroachment Screening on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions

E2790-11 Standard Guide for Identifying and Complying With Continuing Obligations

E2797-15 Standard Practice for Building Energy Performance Assessment for a Building Involved in a Real Estate Transaction

E2993-16 Standard Guide for Evaluating Potential Hazard as a Result of Methane in the Vadose Zone

E3026-15 Standard Guide for Readily Observable Moisture Affected Materials and Conditions Conducive to Elevated Moisture in Commercial Buildings: Visual Moisture Assessment Process

Proposed new standard: Accessibility Facility Assessments for Private Non-transient Housing

I look forward to another well attended ASTM Committee Week next April in San Diego.  Click here for ASTM membership information and let me know if you have any questions about getting involved.

Jeri Massengill – ASTM E50.02 Subcommittee Chair
jerim@historicalinfo.com / 952-457-5751 office

EPA amends AAI to reference current ASTM Phase I Standard for Forestland and Rural Properties

PR News Release
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Friday, September 15, 2017

Two items were published in the September 15 Federal Register regarding the ASTM E2247 Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Standard for Forestland and Rural Properties. The original direct final rule recognizing the recently revised E2247-16 as acceptable for meeting AAI criteria was withdrawn due to a public comment that expressed concern regarding the September 18, 2017 effective date.  Simultaneously the EPA issued a new direct final rule, changing the effective date to March 14, 2018.  “The extended effective date will give parties using the ASTM E2247-08 standard sufficient time to transition to the new standard ASTM E2247-16,” reads section three of the new rule.  See more from the Federal RegisterJeri Massengill of HIG, co-chair of the E2247 Task Group, welcomes feedback regarding E2247-16. She can be reached at jerim@historicalinfo.com.