In 2013, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) will publish an updated E 1527 standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs). That standard will include the requirement to assess Vapor Encroachment Conditions (VECs). According to ASTM, a VEC is the presence or likely presence of vapors from chemicals of concern in the sub-surface of the subject property caused by the release of vapors from contaminated soil or groundwater either on or near the subject property. The new ASTM E 1527 standard will require that sources of VECs be researched and considered as actual or potential contamination to the subject property. Environmental professionals will have the option to utilize the “ASTM E 2600-10 Standard Guide for Vapor Encroachment Screening on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions” which was published in 2010.
The ASTM E 2600-10 standard documents the processes for Tier I and Tier II screenings (Vapor Encroachment Screen, VES) to determine the actual or potential presence of a VEC. A Tier I Screening is qualitative in nature and predominantly comprises document review and professional opinion. This type of information is already part of a Phase I ESA so there is a relationship between these assessments. A Tier II Screening has two components: non-invasive and invasive. The non-invasive component comprises a more detailed document review involving remediation documents for the subject property or nearby properties. EWI typically includes this level of research in our Phase I ESA and Tier I VES services. The invasive component includes the collection of soil, soil gas, and groundwater (when encountered) samples at the subject property to determine if a contaminate source is onsite or at concentrations that would produce VECs for the subject property and/or its neighbors. EWI typically conducts this type of screening in a Limited Phase II Subsurface Investigation.