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Advanced Transactional Due Diligence With ASTM Environmental Assessment Standards


Understand how environmental assessment standards can reduce due diligence complications by providing common frames of reference.

Environmental due diligence is a common feature of corporate and real estate transactions, but can be complicated by the diverse perspectives and information needs of transaction parties. Purchasers conduct due diligence to understand liability risks and compliance costs. Lenders and insurers rely on due diligence to underwrite loans and policies. Regulators and courts scrutinize due diligence to test eligibility for certain statutory defenses.
Environmental assessment standards can reduce due diligence complications by providing common frames of reference. ASTM International's practices and guides outline concepts, terminology and procedures for many common due diligence tasks. The most familiar is E1527-13, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process, which the United States Environmental Protection Agency has endorsed as an alternative means to perform the all appropriate inquiry required to qualify for liability protections under the federal Superfund law.
This material will cover not only the Phase I standard, but also other ASTM standards that provide a broad spectrum of due diligence tools. These standards support systematic analysis of environmental conditions and risks, and facilitate communication among diverse stakeholders by defining standardized procedures and nomenclature. The content will also cover issues currently under discussion as the standards undergo revision.



Christopher P. McCormack, Esq.

Christopher P. McCormack, Esq.

Pullman & Comley LLC

  • Member, Pullman & Comley, LLC
  • Practice includes due diligence support for environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, extensive litigation experience in environmental cost recovery and environmental insurance coverage litigation, including lead counsel responsibility for PRP coalitions at Superfund sites, and complex commercial litigation
  • Chair, ASTM Task Group for ASTM E1903-11, “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process;” Member and Former Membership Secretary of ASTM Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action
  • Author and speaker on environmental topics, including guest lectures at the City College of New York on the ASTM Phase II standard. Author of “The ASTM Standard for Phase II Environmental Site Assessments,” published in Bloomberg BNA , “Daily Environmental Report” and recognized by the Burton Awards for excellence in legal writing in 2013
  • Legislative liaison and former Chair (2015-2017) of the Environmental Section of the Connecticut Bar Association
  • Listed in Chambers USA, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers; fellow of the American Bar Foundation; Life Fellow of Connecticut Bar Foundation
  • Graduate of Yale University and Fordham Law School
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 203-330-2016

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