ASTM Approves New Vapor Intrusion Testing Standard

Because vapor intrusion from contaminated soil and groundwater into structures can potentially create significant liability and have a material impact on property value, ASTM International Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment has now approved a new standard, E 2600, Practice for Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions, which provides guidance for vapor intrusion testing. The standard is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E50.02 on Real Estate Assessment and Management.

ASTM says the standard is intended for use on a voluntary basis by parties who wish to conduct a vapor intrusion analysis on a parcel of real estate, or more specifically, conduct a screening evaluation to determine whether or not there is potential for vapor intrusion contamination, and if so, identify alternatives for further investigation. "To determine whether the vapor intrusion exposure pathway is complete and, if so, whether it poses or may pose an unacceptable risk to human health (that is, whether a VIC exists), this practice directs the user and environmental professional to existing federal or state vapor intrusion policy, regulation and guidance," says ASTM's synopsis on the standard.

The evaluation process, as described in E 2600, consists of four tiers. The first two screening tiers are used to assess the potential for a vapor intrusion issue to exist, so that properties with a low risk can be screened out quickly and inexpensively. The third tier provides for more site-specific and comprehensive investigations if the potential for vapor intrusion cannot reasonably be eliminated at the Tier 1/Tier 2 levels while Tier 4 addresses mitigation alternatives.

Several events have been planned in conjunction with the publication of E 2600. A workshop on the new standard will be held at the Marriott Anaheim Hotel on April 8, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., as part of Committee E50's standards development meetings. In addition, a training class, Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions, will now be held on a regular basis throughout the United States. Upcoming session locations include Boston (March 25), Edison, N.J. (March 26) and ASTM International headquarters in West Conshohocken, Pa. (March 27). More information on the workshop and the training sessions can be found on the Committee E50 page of the ASTM Web site at www.astm.org. For more information on the standard, or to purchase it, visit http://www.astm.org/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/DATABASE.CART/REDLINE_PAGES/E2600.htm?L+mystore+yxid0305.

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