astm_international_75687GRS Group recently sponsored a celebration marking a significant milestone for ASTM’s activities in support of the real estate management industry. ASTM’s semi-annual meeting last month in Tampa recognized the 25th anniversary of ASTM Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action.

After Congress enacted the Superfund program in 1976 and the 1986 SARA amendments to the program, real estate investors and lenders nationwide began a struggle to understand exactly what actions were needed to meet the due diligence and “all appropriate inquiry requirements” under the new laws.

In 1990, ASTM had formed the E50 committee to develop standards for UST systems and risk-based corrective actions at petroleum-contaminated sites. In 1993, ASTM adopted the E1527 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments. Because of the high level of visibility and controversy around this issue in the commercial real estate industry, early meetings of the E50 committee attracted as many as 1,000 attendees.

Over the past 25 years, E50 committee members—including GRS | Corteq’s Ross Simmons and Loraine DeBelser—have continued to refine the E1527 standard while implementing new standard practices for Property Condition Assessments, Phase II environmental investigations, vapor encroachment assessments, mold/moisture intrusion assessments, and other issues affecting evaluation of commercial real estate transactions.

Ross Simmons Project Manager GRS | Corteq

Ross Simmons
Project Manager
GRS | Corteq

Loraine Elyse DeBelser, AIA Technical Director-AE Content GRS | Corteq

The American Society of Testing & Materials was founded in 1898 and today includes over 30,000 members from 140 countries. In 2001, the organization changed its name to ASTM International. ASTM uses a transparent and open consensus process to develop test methods, specifications, classifications, guides and practices for global use to facilitate quality, safety and free trade across a wide variety of industries. ASTM committees, made up of volunteer experts in their respective fields, have developed widely used and accepted standards and methods for industries as diverse as automobiles, aircraft, chemicals and petroleum, energy, health care, metals, highway safety, construction, and consumer product safety.

In the commercial real estate field, committee E50 continues its work. Among the topics under discussion among E50 members at the next meeting in April 2016 at San Antonio will be working with the USEPA to update the E1527 Phase I standard, updating the related E1528 standard for Transaction Screens, a proposed new standard for visual assessment of moisture intrusion concerns in buildings, and a revised standard for complying with “Continuing Obligation” requirements for land owners and lenders under state and federal environmental regulations.

About GRS Group

GRS Group is a leading provider of commercial real estate (“CRE”) services worldwide.

With offices across the United States, Europe, and affiliates around the globe, GRS Group provides local market knowledge with global perspective for institutional real estate investors, occupiers and lenders worldwide. The GRS Group team has evaluated and advised on over $1 trillion in CRE transactions.