Standard Practice for Conducting Environmental Baseline Surveys
|Publication Date:||10 October 1996|
|ICS Code (Pollution, pollution control and conservation):||13.020.40|
1.1 Purpose--The purpose of this practice is to define good commercial and customary practice in the United States for conducting an environmental baseline survey (EBS) in order to determine certain elements of the environmental condition of federal real property, including excess and surplus property at closing and realigning military installations. This effort is conducted to fulfill certain requirements of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) section 120(h), as amended by the Community Environmental Response Facilitation Act of 1992 (CERFA). As such, this practice is intended to help a user to gather and analyze data and information in order to classify property into seven environmental condition of property area types (in accordance with the Standard Classification of Environmental Condition of Property Area Types). Once documented, the EBS is used to support Findings of Suitability to Transfer (FOSTs), Findings of Suitability to Lease (FOSLs), or uncontaminated property determinations, or a combination thereof, pursuant to the requirements of CERFA. Users of this practice should note that it does not address (except where explicitly noted) requirements for appropriate and timely regulatory consultation or concurrence, or both, during the conduct of the EBS or during the identification and use of the standard environmental condition of property area types.
1.1.1 Environmental Baseline Survey--In accordance with the Department of Defense (DOD) policy, an EBS will be prepared or evaluated for its usefulness (and updated if necessary) for any property to be transferred by deed or leased. The EBS will be based on existing environmental information related to storage, release, treatment, or disposal of hazardous substances or petroleum products on the property to determine or discover the obviousness of the presence or likely presence of a release or threatened release of any hazardous substance or petroleum product. In certain cases, additional data, including sampling, if appropriate under the circumstances, may be needed in the EBS to support the FOST or FOSL. A previously conducted EBS may be updated as necessary and used for making a FOST or FOSL. An EBS also may help to satisfy other environmental requirements (for example, to satisfy the requirements of CERFA or to facilitate the preparation of environmental condition reports). In addition, the EBS provides a useful reference document and assists in compliance with hazard abatement policies related to asbestos and lead-based paint. The EBS process consists of discrete steps. This practice principally addresses EBS-related information gathering and analysis.
1.1.2 CERCLA Section 120(h) Requirements--This practice is intended to assist with the identification of installation areas subject to the notification and covenant requirements of CERCLA § 120(h) relating to the deed transfer of contaminated Federal real property (42 USC 9601 et seq.).
1.1.3 CERFA Requirements--This practice can be used to provide information that can be used to partially fulfill the identification requirements of CERFA [Pub. L. 102-426, 106 Stat. 2174], which amended CERCLA. Property classified as area Type 1, in accordance with Classification D 5746 is eligible for reporting as "uncontaminated" under the provisions of CERFA. Additionally, certain property classified as area Type 2, where evidence indicates that storage occurred for less than one year, may also be identified as uncontaminated. At installations listed on the National Priorities List, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concurrence must be obtained for the property to be considered "uncontaminated" and therefore transferable under CERCLA § 120(h)(4). The EPA has stated that there may be instances in which it would be appropriate to concur with the DoD Component that certain property can be identified as uncontaminated under CERCLA § 120(h)(4) although some limited quantity of hazardous substances or petroleum products have been stored, released, or disposed of on the property. If the information available indicates that the storage, release, or disposal was associated with activities that would not be expected to pose a threat to human health or the environment (for example, housing areas, petroleum-stained pavement areas, and areas having undergone routine application of pesticides), such property should be eligible for expeditious reuse.
1.1.4 Petroleum Products--Petroleum products and their derivatives are included within the scope of this practice. Areas on which petroleum products or their derivatives were stored for one year or more, known to have been released or disposed of [CERCLA § 120(h)(4)] are not eligible to be reported as "uncontaminated property" under CERFA.
1.1.5 Other Federal, State, and Local Environmental Laws--This practice does not address requirements of any federal, state, or local laws other than the applicable provisions of CERCLA identified in 1.1.2 and 1.1.3. Users are cautioned that federal, state, and local laws may impose additional EBS or other 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 that may pose risks of civil or criminal sanctions, or both, for noncompliance.
1.1.6 Other Federal, State, and Local Real Property and Natural and Cultural Resources Laws--This practice does not address requirements of any federal, state or local real property or natural and cultural resources laws. Users are cautioned that numerous federal, state, and local laws may impose additional environmental and other legal requirements that must be satisfied prior to deed transfer of property that are beyond the scope of this practice.
1.3 Limitations--Users of this practice should note that, while many of the elements of an EBS are performed in a manner consistent with other "due diligence" functions, an EBS is not prepared to satisfy a purchaser of real property's duty to conduct an "appropriate inquiry" in order to establish an "innocent landowner defense" to CERCLA § 107 liability. Any such use of any EBS by any party is outside the control of the United States Department of Defense and its components and beyond the scope of any EBS. No warranties or representations are made by the United States Department of Defense, its components, its officers, employees, or contractors that any EBS Report satisfies any such requirement for any party.
1.4 Organization of This Practice--This practice has 15 sections. Section 1 is the scope. Section 2 identifies referenced documents. Section 3, Terminology, includes definitions of terms not unique to this practice, descriptions of terms unique to this practice, and acronyms and abbreviations. Section 4 is the significance and use of this practice. Section 5 describes user's responsibilities. Sections 6 through 13 are the main body of the data gathering analysis steps of the EBS process. Section 14 briefly describes the EBS Step 3 classification of environmental condition of property area types. Section 15 contains a list of keywords.
1.5 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.