On June 20, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) published a Direct Final Rule in the Federal Register providing notice to amend the All Appropriate Inquiries (AAI) Rule, 40 CFR Part 312. The direct final rule amends the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule to reference the recently updated ASTM E2247–16 ‘‘Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property’’ allowing its use to satisfy the requirements for conducting Phase I investigations on rural and forested land. The rule will become effective September 17, 2017.

This revision does not change the All Appropriate Inquiries Rule other than to update references in the regulation from the earlier ASTM E2247–08 Standard to the updated ASTM E2247–16 standard.

The revision does not require the use of the recently revised standard, but allows the ASTM E2247–16 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process for Forestland or Rural Property’’ to be used by persons acquiring large tracts of rural property or forestlands to use it instead of following specific requirements of the all appropriate inquiries rule or the ASTM E1527–13 standard.

Ken Kirk is a Professional Geologist at Smith Management Group. Ken can be reached at kenk@smithmanage.com.