Yesterday, EPA withdrew the direct final rule for the Amendment to Standards and Practices for All Appropriate Inquiries that was published August 15, 2013. EPA had promulgated a direct final rule with a new standard of AAI for innocent landowners and bona fide prospective purchasers and tenants, in which EPA proposed to allow the use of either the 2005 ASTM standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs) or the new 2013 ASTM standard for Phase I ESAs to satisfy AAI. The use of either the 2005 or 2013 ASTM standard was viewed by many to create confusion and inconsistencies in the AAI process. The direct final rule was slated to become effective on November 13, 2013, however EPA had stated that if adverse comments were received the rule would be withdrawn. Because EPA received adverse comments, the direct final rule has been withdrawn. EPA will address comments received in future actions, which will likely include the promulgation of a proposed (revised) AAI rule. Stay tuned for further updates. For a link to the Federal Register direct final rule withdrawal, click here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-10-29/pdf/2013-25592.pdf?goback=%2Egde_3319545_member_5800943860758634497#%21
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