De Minimis Condition in Phase 1 ESA Reports? 

De Minimis Condition in Phase 1 ESA Reports? 

A a de minimis condition, per the Phase 1 ESA Standard, is a property condition that doesn’t pose a threat to human health or the environment. This is a notable concern, but isn’t an REC. Similarly, it is not a CREC either. As a result, this condition generally doesn’t warrant enforcement-action by the government. However, when appropriate, it is mentioned in a Phase 1 ESA report for user guidance. The term is defined by the American Society for Testing and materials (ASTM) standards.

Examples of a De Minimis Condition

A de minimis condition will be within the outline of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report. Per the ASTM Standard, the environmental report should have a findings section which identifies all types of environmental conditions. Typically, environmental professionals do not recommend a Phase 2 Subsurface Investigation over just a de minimis condition. However, it could happen. For instance, if a property includes RECs as well as a de minimis condition, the investigation might target both conditions. Although, Phase 2 ESA budgets generally limit the scope to RECs which threaten the environment beyond a reasonable doubt.

A de minimis condition can be something with an easy solution. For example, adding a tray under a storage rack of consumer paint and cleaning items. Another example could be a non-hazardous pile of garbage on the floor of a property.

de minimis condition


Who Defines the Condition

All environmental conditions of a Phase I ESA are defined by the American Society for Testing and materials (ASTM) standards. The ASTM E-1527-13 manual is the current standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Reports. This manual defines the terminology, as well as other conditions. For example, REC, CREC, HREC and environmental issues.

Other Types of Conditions

Per the ASTM Standard, an REC is the presence or likely presence of any hazardous substance. The REC term includes hazardous substances and petroleum products, even under conditions that might be in compliance with laws. An REC is not a de minimis condition that does not present a threat to human health or the environment. Additionally, an REC is not a de minimis condition that isn’t be subject to enforcement action by governmental agencies.