2C — August 16 - 29, 2013 — Pennsylvania — Mid Atlantic Real Estate Journal


P ennsylvania

Commercial Real Estate is MORE than Sales and Leasing

art three of Three – continued from the July 26th ODM is- By David S. Coyne, Liberty Environmental, Inc. Phase I Enviro. Site Assessment Standard Practice 2013 Changes P

Thinking Ahead & Getting Results in commercial real estate.

impacts are present on the sub- ject property or at an adjacent property, a vapor risk may also be present. Where a significant risk of an on-site impacted groundwater plume may be present from an on-site source or from an adjacent property, a vapor intrusion risk may also be present and can also be evaluated, in most cases, by a capable Environmental Profes- sional familiar with subsurface investigation and site remedia- tion, and the sciences behind these practices. Of particular concern are situations in developed areas where utility conduits join- ing many properties pose a potential for vapor intrusion throughout an dense apart- ment complex or city block, for example, through the intercon- nected lattice of subsurface structures such as sewer pipes, utility conduits, water supply lines, and other utilities. In almost any urban setting there is a potential for vapor migra- tion of any number of potential contaminants and non-contam- inants (e.g. sewer gases, etc.) into buildings, which may not lie directly adjacent to the site. Preferential flowpaths can cre- ate a complex network of vapor flow regimes that would other- wise be impossible to evaluate under a normal ESA scope. In those circumstances, the EP may be bound to identify vapor migration as a concern, even if a known source of vapor is lo- cated several properties away. Contrastingly, the EP is not likely to be held responsible for a potential migration corridor that they had no way to sus- pect or even evaluate. In fact, the upcoming Standard 2013 states clearly that nothing in the Standard should be con-

strued to require application of the E2600 Standard to achieve compliance with all appropri- ate inquiries. This particular issue is likely to be the main source of debate among EPs during the application of the new E1527 Standard. The Regulatory Review While the ESA data collec- tion process remains generally intact and unchanged from the prior standard, there is one particular area where the procedures have been clarified and, in many interpretations, expanded, over the 2005 Stan- dard: the regulatory records review process. The new 2013 Standard requires that reviews of pertinent federal, state, or local regulatory records be per- formed if the subject property or any adjoining properties are identified on the regula- tory database review. If the EP determines that no such review is warranted for any listed property that falls into this category, the professional must provide a detailed ratio- nale for omitting the regulatory review. In recent years, the imple- mentation of right-to-know legislation in many states has changed records access procedures for state agencies and local municipalities. The local records access procedures appear to have been affected the most, so that an informal phone call with a particular official such as a zoning officer or fire marshall is often no lon- ger possible. A formal written request for file access is now re- quired by many municipalities, and many EPs are finding that the wait for access to local files often jeopardizes the planned due date of the ESA report. continued on page 4C

sue. For a full version o f ar t i c l e please con- tact Elaine Fanning at: efanning@ mar e j our - nal.com Recogniz-

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David S. Coyne

ing the critical importance of vapor intrusion evaluations as part of risk-based remedial strategies in the early 2000s, ASTM developed its Standard Practice E2600: Guide For Va- por Encroachment Screening in 2008. The E2600 process is designed as a voluntary supple- ment to the E1527 process, but specifically notes that it is not intended to change the scope of the ESA process. What, then is the objective of E2600? Specifi- cally, the process is designed to identify a vapor intrusion con- dition (VIC), which is generally defined as an indoor contami- nant caused by the release of vapor from contaminated soil or groundwater, either on or in close proximity to the property, which poses a health risk to the site’s occupants. While this appears in many ways to be a vapor-based ver- sion of an REC, it paradoxically excludes itself from the scope of the ESA, and that separation has led to a certain degree of confusion as to whether, and how, an Environmental Profes- sional is to incorporate vapor risks into its identification of RECs. While the terminology and the separation of Stan- dards may have been confus- ing, in practice this issue is not often too difficult to identify - where a significant risk of soil

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