Revisions and Updates regarding ASTM E1903 – Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase II Environmental Site Assessment Process.  In the last year ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, released an update to the standard ASTEM 1903.

Since ASTM 1903 was adopted in 1993, the standard has seen several revisions every few years.  Like previous revisions, changes made between ASTM 1903-19 and ASTM-11 (released in 2019 and 2011, respectively) serve to make the standard more clear and concise.  Most changes are made in the name of brevity.  For example, the last words of Section 1.5 Limitations are shortened form “any individual Phase II Environmental Site Assessment” to “any individual Phase II ESA.”  And throughout the standard, the term “property” is replaced by the term “site.”  Of course, the purpose of the revisions isn’t solely to cut down on the number of characters used and save printer ink.  Text was added to provide more information when possible.  Many of these additions are small.  For example, in Section 7.7.1 Validation of Assumptions “appropriate environmental media (for example, soil or groundwater) at the right location and depth” is changed to “appropriate environmental media (for example, soil, soil gas or groundwater) at the right location, depth, and time.”  Other changes can be found that emphasize the importance of when an event occurred in addition to where.

Some changes are more obvious to the average reader.  ASTM 1903-19 adds Section 1.7, which states the standard was developed in accordance to internationally recognized principles issued by the World Trade Organization Barriers to Trade Committee.  ASTM 1903-19 also references five more documents in Section 2, more than doubling the previous total.  In the case of Section 4.1.5 Use by Other Parties, the entire text of the section was changed between ASTM E1903-11 and ASTM E1903-19.  However, both versions agree that any given Phase II ESA is developed based on the limitations and objectives set forth by a specific client, and other parties must understand said limitations and objectives when referencing the Phase II ESA for their own purposes.

In conclusion, understanding revisions made to a standard is just as important as understanding the standard itself.  Following standards increases accountability, and at McAlister GeoScience we want to reassure our clients we are complying will all relevant standards and regulations without sacrificing quality of service.  McAlister GeoScience has the professionals, abilities, experience, and low overhead to deliver the correct blend of quality, price, and timing.  Connect with us today!

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