From 2005 until August 2007, ADEQ operated a program
under the provisions of Act 2141 of 2007 to certify three
categories of professional environmental contractors: those
who performed Phase I environmental site assessments, those
who coordinated and oversaw the implementation of comprehensive
site assessments (CSA, a much more detailed site assessment
and investigation), and those who carried out site cleanups
and remedial actions. Following the establishment of a federal
standard for environmental professionals (those authorized
to prepare and submit Phase I environmental site assessments)
in November 2005, the Arkansas General Assembly repealed
the provisions of Act 2141 and established Act 1018 of 2007,
incorporating the federal standards set out at 40 CFR 312.10
and in ASTM Standard E1527-05 for “environmental professionals”
performing Phase I assessments pursuant to the ASTM standard
and the federal All Appropriate Inquiries rule published
40 CFR 312
(70 FR 66070, November 1, 2005).
As of November 1, 2006, any
person who performs a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment
in order to satisfy the requirement to conduct “all appropriate
inquiries” under section 101(35)(B) of CERCLA, as amended
by the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfield Revitalization
Act (Pub. L. 107–118, 115 stat. 2356, ‘‘the Brownfield
Amendments’’) must meet the qualifications of an environmental
professional as defined at 40 CFR 312.10. Separate state
qualifications under Act 2141 of 2005 are no longer in effect
as of July 31, 2007.
- Q. What qualifications do I need
to have in order to do Phase I environmental site assessments
- A. As of November
1, 2006 you must meet the qualifications for an
“Environmental Professional” as set out at 40 CFR 312.10.
This is a federal requirement for all parties who intend
to use the Phase I site assessment to meet any of the
landowner liability protections offered under CERCLA.
This is a self-certifying qualification, you are not
required to be approved or certified by ADEQ or another
agency in order to claim this status.
- Q. What is meant by “full-time
- A. “Relevant experience” as it applies
to environmental site assessment consultants under the
provisions of the federal AAI Rule (40 CFR 312.10) and
Regulation No. 32 is defined to mean “participation
in the performance of all appropriate inquiries investigations,
environmental site assessments, or other site investigations
that may include environmental analyses, investigations,
and remediation which involve the understanding of surface
and subsurface environmental conditions and the processes
used to evaluate these conditions and for which professional
judgment was used to develop opinions regarding conditions
indicative of releases or threatened releases to the
In its response to comments on the final rule for
All Appropriate Inquiries (40
CFR 312), EPA clarified that “[t]he use
of the phrase “full-time” within the definition of environmental
professional and the definition of relevant experience
is meant to require that an individual has accumulated
the equivalent of 3, 5, or 10 years of experience. An
individual may accumulate such experience over a longer
length of time than the 3, 5, or 10 years, as long as
the total time of accumulated experience would be the
equivalent of 3, 5, or 10 years of full-time experience.
Even after an individual accumulates the required number
of years of full-time experience, that individual does
not have to conduct environmental site assessments,
or all appropriate inquiries investigations, on a full-time
basis to qualify as an environmental professional.”
For consistency between the two environmental professional
programs, ADEQ interprets “relevant experience” in the
- Q. I’ve been doing some environmental
assessments, but I don’t yet have that many years of
full-time relevant experience. Can I still do
this sort of work?
- A. The AAI Rule and Regulation No.
32 do not prohibit the employment or engagement of an
associate, apprentice, assistant, or a subcontractor,
provided that an individual who is fully and appropriately
certified supervises that associate, apprentice, assistant,
or subcontractor and maintains responsible charge of
the work performed by that associate, apprentice, assistant,
- Q. Is it mandatory to attend
the ASTM Phase I Site Assessment course in order to
become certified as a Phase I Consultant?
- A. No. ASTM offers these courses as training opportunities within the State, but attendance at a particular course is not a requirement to be qualified as an environmental professional under 40 CFR 312.10.
- Q. Are there continuing education
requirements associated with certification under Reg.
- A. Yes. Certified professionals
must obtain at least 15 professional development hours
per year. If more than 15 hours are accrued, up
to 15 of these additional hours may be carried over
and applied to the following year’s requirements.
- Q. What sort of professional
development classes can be applied against the Reg.
32 continuing education requirements?
- A. Certified professionals may use
a broad range of educational opportunities. Topics
should be relevant to the field of environmental site
assessment & investigation, remediation, waste or
hazardous substance management, etc. Applicable
opportunities may include:
- Successful completion of relevant college courses
- Successful completion of relevant continuing
- Successful completion of relevant correspondence,
televised, videotaped, audiotaped, webcast, and
other short courses/tutorials.
- Presenting at or attending qualifying seminars,
in-house courses, work shops, or professional, technical,
or managerial presentations made at meetings, conventions,
- Q. What is meant by “All Appropriate
Inquiries,” and why is this important to someone who
wants to acquire a parcel of commercial property?
- A. Innocent property owners are only
protected from CERCLA and RATFA liability if they can
prove they did not contribute to the contamination and
had no reason to suspect the property was contaminated
at the time of purchase. In order to meet this
defense as a “bona fide prospective purchaser,” the
person must not be potentially liable, or affiliated
with any other person who is potentially liable for
response costs for addressing releases at the property,
and must carry out “all appropriate inquiries” into
the possibility and nature of potential contamination
on the site prior to purchase or taking title. “All
Appropriate Inquiries,” or “AAI” is the process of evaluating
a property for potential environmental contamination
and assessing potential liability for any contamination
present at the property. It is a form of environmental
Prospective landowners who do not conduct all appropriate
inquiries prior to or on the date of obtaining ownership
of the property may lose their ability to claim protection
from CERCLA liability as an innocent landowner, bona
fide prospective purchaser, or contiguous property owner.
A Phase I environmental site assessment conducted
pursuant to the provisions of ASTM Standard E1527-05
will typically satisfy the state and federal requirements
to conduct all appropriate inquiries.
- Q. What is the difference between
a Phase II site assessment and the “Comprehensive
Site Assessment” required by the Arkansas Voluntary
- A. A Phase II site assessment is typically
defined and carried out under the provisions of ASTM
Standard E1903. In its simplest form, a Phase
II assessment involves the collection of samples or
other measurements taken in the field to confirm or
deny the existence of a Recognized Environmental Concern
(REC) identified in a Phase I assessment. Depending
upon the nature of the property and any associated RECs,
a Phase II may range from a simple sampling event to
the full scope of evaluating the nature and extent of
contamination at the site.
The Arkansas Voluntary Cleanup Act and Brownfield
Program requires a comprehensive site assessment
(CSA) that "shall identify the location and extent
of contamination, the quantity or level of contamination,
the type of contamination, the probable source of contamination,
and the risk or threat associated with the contamination."
The CSA is a more exhaustive site investigation that
not only confirms or denies the existence of any RECs
at the site, but also determines the area location,
nature and extent of any contamination, but also evaluates
the risk posed to human health and the environment,
as well as any threat (such as actual or potential degradation
of ground and surface waters) posed by such contamination.
In most cases under the Voluntary Cleanup Act, the
limited scope of a Phase II assessment may be insufficient
to meet the requirements for a CSA. The User of
the site assessment and his Consultant should consul
with ADEQ staff beforehand in order to confirm what
work will be necessary to meet the requirements for