Standard Practice for Limited Environmental Due Diligence: Transaction Screen Process
|Publication Date:||15 January 2014|
|ICS Code (Environmental impact assessment):||13.020.30|
Purpose-The purpose of this practice is to define a good practice in the United States of America for conducting a transaction screen2 for a parcel of commercial real estate where the user wishes to conduct limited environmental due diligence (that is, less than a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment). If the driving force behind the environmental due diligence is a desire to qualify for one of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Landowner Liability Protections (LLPs), this practice should not be applied. Instead, the ASTM E1527: Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process or ASTM E2247: Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property may be used.
This practice will not satisfy the requirement to conduct all appropriate inquiries into the previous ownership and uses of the property consistent with "generally accepted good commercial and customary standards and practices" as defined in 42 U.S.C. §9601(35)(B) to qualify for one of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Landowner Liability Protections (LLPs). Users who desire to conduct environmental due diligence to qualify for one of the CERCLA LLPs should conduct assessment activities in conformity with "Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries," 40 C.F.R. Part 312, ASTM E1527: Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process or ASTM E2247: Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property.
An evaluation of business environmental risk associated with a parcel of commercial real estate may necessitate investigation beyond that identified in this practice. See Sections 1.4 and 11.
Potential Environmental Concerns-The goal of conducting a transaction screen is to identify potential environmental concerns, as defined in 3.2.35.
Other Federal, State, and Local Environmental Laws-This practice does not address requirements of any state or local laws or of any federal laws. Users are cautioned that federal, state, and local laws may impose environmental assessment obligations that are beyond the scope of this practice. Users should also be aware that there are likely to be other legal obligations with regard to hazardous substances or petroleum products discovered on property that are not addressed in this practice and may pose risks of civil and/or criminal sanctions for non-compliance.
Objective-The objective guiding the development of this practice is to facilitate standardized transaction screens.
Note of Caution-The user should be cautious in applying this practice to properties with known current or historic handling of hazardous substances or petroleum products.
Considerations Beyond the Scope-The use of this practice is strictly limited to the scope set forth in this section. Section 11 of this practice identifies, for informational purposes, certain environmental conditions (not an allinclusive list) that may exist on a property that are beyond the scope of this practice but may warrant consideration by parties to a commercial real estate transaction. The need to include an investigation of any such conditions in the scope of services should be evaluated based upon, among other factors, the nature of the property and the reasons for performing the assessment (for example, a more comprehensive evaluation of business environmental risk) and should be agreed upon as additional services beyond the scope of this practice prior to initiation of the Transaction Screen Process.
Organization of This Practice-This practice has several parts and one appendix. Section 1 is the Scope. Section 2 refers to other ASTM standards in the Referenced Documents. Section 3, Terminology, has definitions of terms not unique to this practice, descriptions of terms unique to this practice, and acronyms. Section 4 is Significance and Use of this practice. Section 5 is the Introduction to the Transaction Screen Questionnaire. Section 6 sets forth the Transaction Screen Questionnaire itself. Sections 7 - 10 contain the Guide to the Transaction Screen Questionnaire and its various parts. Section 11 provides additional information regarding non-scope considerations. See 1.4.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.