EPA Approves ASTM E1527-13 Phase I ESA Standard for All Appropriate Inquiry Environmental Law Update

Quarles & Brady LLP
George J. Marek, Lawrence W. Falbe, Lauren Harpke and Raphael F. Ramos

January 6, 2014

On December 30, 2013, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA” or the “Agency”) approved the recent American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) Standard E1527-13 as sufficient to satisfy All Appropriate Inquiry (“AAI”) for potential liability protections under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (“CERCLA”). 78 Fed. Reg. 79,319. As a result, E1527-13 now stands as the baseline for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (“Phase I ESAs”) and any individuals performing Phase I ESAs should ensure that their assessments are in compliance with that standard going forward.

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EPCRA Reporting

Synergy Environmental, Inc.
Hazem M. Hijazi, P.E.

January 20, 2014

The Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) was promulgated in 1986 to help communities plan for emergencies involving hazardous substances. EPCRA requires, among other things for the industry to report on the storage, use and releases of hazardous chemicals. The Community Right-to-Know provisions help increase the public’s knowledge and access to information on chemicals at individual facilities, their uses, and releases into the environment.

Key Provisions of the Act Include:

Section 304 – Emergency Notification:

Facilities must immediately report accidental releases of certain chemicals and hazardous substances greater than defined quantities.

Section 311 and 312 – Community Right to Know Requirements:

Facilities manufacturing, processing, or storing designated hazardous chemicals must make material Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) available to state and local officials and local fire departments. Facilities must also report an annual inventory of these chemicals by March 1 of each year. In Pennsylvania, reporting is administered by the Department of Labor and Industry, while in New Jersey it is administered by NJDEP.

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Land Banks: Too Good to Fail

Reed Smith, LLP
Dusty Elias Kirk

December 20, 2013

Pennsylvania municipalities and potential developers interested in converting vacant, abandoned, tax delinquent or foreclosed properties into productive use should take note of legislation enacted in 2012 that permits a municipality with more than 10,000 residents to create a land bank.1 Land banks are governmental entities that convert such properties into productive use, particularly for developers who seek to capitalize on land that would otherwise remain blighted and underdeveloped. Land banks also enable developers to acquire property that might otherwise be impossible or too costly to acquire because of clouded legal title.

Certain conditions give rise to the need for land banks. Large, but fragmented, inventories of abandoned and vacant property with little market value are the usual key triggers. The challenge that many municipalities and developers face in acquiring clear title to blighted or tax-delinquent property is identifying and locating the former property owners who have abandoned the property. Abandoned property imposes significant costs and burdens on adjacent properties and communities, including lowered property values, decreased tax revenues and undermined community cohesion. The Pennsylvania land bank legislation seeks to enable municipalities to turn deteriorating spaces into vibrant places.

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2014 Hot Topics in Environmental Law

Faegre Baker Daniels
Andrew L. Ehrlich, Alexander F. Logemann, Olivia D. Lucas, Kevin Lyskowski,
Ann E. Prouty and Luke S. Tomanelli

January 20, 2014

We expect 2014 to be another busy year in the environmental arena. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to continue to focus on the energy sector, with emphasis on reducing toxic air pollutants and protecting the stratospheric ozone layer. Environmental legal issues related to oil and gas development and hydraulic fracturing will continue to make headlines in 2014 as federal and state agencies adopt additional regulations, and states continue to wrestle with the issue of local control. Below is a list of hot topics in air, water, waste and chemical regulation we will be following into 2014:


We expect the following air-related issues to receive significant EPA attention in 2014:

  • EPA’s implementation of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) Subpart OOOO (Quad O) for the oil and gas sector will likely continue to be difficult. In 2013, EPA extended the compliance deadlines for certain storage tanks to comply with NSPS Quad O requirements following industry petitions for reconsideration. In 2014, EPA will reconsider the remaining issues raised, including concerns regarding compliance monitoring.

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