Advanced Transactional Due Diligence With ASTM Environmental Assessment Standards
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Understand how environmental assessment standards can reduce due diligence complications by providing common frames of reference.Environmental due diligence is a common feature of corporate and real estate transactions, but can be complicated by the diverse perspectives and information needs of transaction parties. Purchasers conduct due diligence to understand liability risks and compliance costs. Lenders and insurers rely on due diligence to underwrite loans and policies. Regulators and courts scrutinize due diligence to test eligibility for certain statutory defenses.
Environmental assessment standards can reduce due diligence complications by providing common frames of reference. ASTM International's practices and guides outline concepts, terminology and procedures for many common due diligence tasks. The most familiar is E1527-13, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, which the United States Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed as an alternative means to perform the all appropriate inquiry required to qualify for liability protections under the federal Superfund law.
This material will cover not only the Phase I standard, but also other ASTM standards that provide a broad spectrum of due diligence tools. These standards support systematic analysis of environmental conditions and risks, and facilitate communication among diverse stakeholders by defining standardized procedures and nomenclature. The content will also cover issues currently under discussion as the standards undergo revision.
Christopher P. McCormack, Esq., Pullman & Comley LLC
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