• Challenges associated with
performing agency file
• Results of two surveys
What‟s in them?
• Source files
• Other examples
• I‟m doing a Phase I, and
can account for the closure
of four tanks. How many
were originally installed?
Beyond the database report
• This is what was in the DB Report
Details vs. DETAILS
• Two waste oil tanks
• 500 & 250 gallons
• Removed in „91
• Filled w/ sand & gravel
• Oversight by FD
• ESA performed
• No contamination observed
Driver of Agency File Reviews
• As I think you will see from the survey, it‟s best practice for
• It is a core ASTM 1527 data element, even before the 1527-
• That is why the task group included it as a clarification in the
ASTM 1527-13 standard.
Summary of 8.2.2
• Property or adjoining “hit” in any 8.2.1 database
• Agency files should be reviewed
• Subject to 8.1.1-7 (reasonably ascertainable, reasonable time
• If not warranted, EP must explain
• Alternative sources
• Shall include summary of the information reviewed
• EP must comment on sufficiency
We wanted to learn, and communicate
to you, how the market utilizes this
practice, and the impact of the 1527-13
• Survey of EP‟s.
• Calling campaign to all 50 state agencies to document
• ASTM task group participation.
• EP interviews
• Discussions with lenders
• National: 335 total complete surveys PRE 1527-13
• 250 total surveys POST 1527-13
• CA DDD attendees
When do you do it?
• When do they conduct them?
• 62% with the Phase I
• 31% afterwards
A lot of variability
• In reading the qualitative responses, a majority of the
respondents mention a very high variability in information
available, quality of information, access to information.
• No standardization
• Multiple programs
• Different accessibility
• Not to mention local
• Report templates
• Educating clients
Sample of CA Agencies
CAL EPACALEPA, Dept. of Toxic SubstancesCalifornia Natural Resources AgencyCalifornia Spatial Information LibraryCentral Coast Region (3)Central Valley Region (5)County of SAC/HMDCounty of San DiegoDepartment of ConservationDepartment of Fish & GameDepartment of HealthDepartment of Toxic Substances ControlDepartment of Water ResourcesDept of Env. HealthLA CO Dept. of Public WorksLahontan Region (6)Los Angeles Region (4)North Coast Region (1)Office of Emergency ServicesOffice of Historic PreservationPublic Works, Waste Management
San Diego County Department of
San Diego Region (9)San Francisco Bay Region (2)San Jose Fire DepartmentSanta Ana Region (8)Solid Resources Eng. & Cons.SWRCBSWRCB, Aboveground Petroleum SSWRCB, Info Services BranchVictorville Branch Office (6)
CA DDD Attendees
• “Are you aware of the changes that E 1527-13 made
regarding AFR requirements?”
• 33% are NOT aware.
• “How often do you attempt to access agency files for Phase I
• 74% “always” do
• 92% “always” or “often”
• “Have your AFR practices changed since the publication of
• 83% “No, I did them before, and I do them now.”
• 15% “Yes, I am conducting AFR‟s more now.”
Have your AFR practices changed since the publication of ASTM
No, I did them before and I
do agency file reviews now
Yes, I am conducting
agency file reviews more
frequently now than i did
Yes, I didn’t do agency file
reviews before but I do now
Yes, I'm doing agency file
reviews less frequently now
than I did before
• We always did them for the site and nearby listings of
significant concern. Now we complete them for a lot more
• I've always conducted them, but I have been requesting more
files than usual for off-site properties.
• Yes, for adjoining properties. No change for Subject Property
• If sites of concern are identified within radii of concern to the
Subject Property, then we review the files.
• If there are indications of past investigations or assessment
and the client has not provided the documentation, file review
is a must.
• GeoTracker has made this easier, but lots of local CUPAs do
not put their information on line and a trip to the agency is
required (and often requires a change order)
Questions Lenders are asking EP
• “Remind me…are you completing AFR‟s as a standard part of
the Phase I scope of work you conduct for me?”
• “Will completing a file review affect the TAT and price of my
• “Should we be revising our scope of work to make it more
clear whether we expect AFR?”
• Regardless of the answers, they want to feel confident that
their EP partner has a rock solid understanding of the details
of the changes.