On October 29, 2013, as expected and reported in our prior frESH law blog, USEPA withdrew its August 15, 2013 direct final rule that had approved the use of new ASTM Standard E 1527-13 to satisfy the All Appropriate Inquiry (“AAI”) requirements. The withdrawal was triggered by adverse comments, some of which expressed concern over the Agency’s approval to use ASTM Standard E 1527-05 and E 1527-13 to satisfy the AAI requirements. This move does not spell the end of ASTM Standard E 1527-13, though, since USEPA also published a parallel proposed rule approving the revised Standard’s use.
USEPA’s withdrawal notice states that while it will not accept further comments, it will respond to the existing comments in any final action adopting the parallel proposed rule. According to reports, USEPA expects to finalize the proposed rule in late 2013 or early 2014 and will likely keep references to both versions of the ASTM Standard.