Skip to content.Skip to side navigation.
GPO Access Home Page.
Jump to selected topic.
Navigation Bar
About.Help. A-Z Resource List. Locate a Federal Depository Library. Buy Publications. Legislative. Executive. Judicial.
National Archives and Records Administration logo.
Database Features.
Browse
Simple Search
Advanced Search
* Boolean
  * Proximity
Search History
Search Tips
Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info
FAQs
Agency List
e-CFR Main Page
Related Resources
Code of Federal Regulations
Federal Register
List of CFR
Sections Affected
Regulations.gov
Unified Agenda
All NARA Publications
About Government.
Ben's Guide Logo.
Get Adobe Reader

blue pill
e-CFR Data is current as of September 29, 2008


Title 33: Navigation and Navigable Waters

Browse Previous | Browse Next

PART 137—OIL SPILL LIABILITY: STANDARDS FOR CONDUCTING ALL APPROPRIATE INQUIRIES UNDER THE INNOCENT LAND-OWNER DEFENSE

Section Contents

Subpart A—Introduction

§ 137.1   Purpose and applicability.
§ 137.5   Disclosure obligations.
§ 137.10   How are terms used in this part defined?
§ 137.15   References: Where can I get a copy of the publication mentioned in this part?

Subpart B—Standards and Practices

§ 137.18   Duties of persons specified in §137.1(a).
§ 137.20   May industry standards be used to comply with this regulation?
§ 137.25   Qualifications of the environmental professional.
§ 137.30   Objectives and performance factors.
§ 137.33   General all appropriate inquiries requirements.
§ 137.35   Inquiries by an environmental professional.
§ 137.40   Additional inquiries.
§ 137.45   Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants.
§ 137.50   Reviews of historical sources of information.
§ 137.55   Searches for recorded environmental cleanup liens.
§ 137.60   Reviews of Federal, State, tribal, and local government records.
§ 137.65   Visual inspections of the facility, the real property on which the facility is located, and adjoining properties.
§ 137.70   Specialized knowledge or experience on the part of persons specified in §137.1(a).
§ 137.75   The relationship of the purchase price to the value of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located, if oil was not at the facility or on the real property.
§ 137.80   Commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.
§ 137.85   The degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located and the ability to detect the oil by appropriate investigation.


Authority:   33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(4); Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 14000.

Source:   73 FR 2150, Jan. 14, 2008, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Introduction
top
§ 137.1   Purpose and applicability.
top

(a) In general under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (33 U.S.C. 2701, et seq. ), an owner or operator of a facility (as defined in §137.10) that is the source of a discharge, or a substantial threat of discharge, of oil into the navigable waters or adjoining shorelines or the exclusive economic zone is liable for damages and removal costs resulting from the discharge or threat. However, if that person can demonstrate, among other criteria not addressed in this part, that they did not know and had no reason to know at the time of their acquisition of the real property on which the facility is located that oil was located on, in, or at the facility, the person may be eligible for the innocent landowner defense to liability under 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(4). One element of the defense is that the person made all appropriate inquiries into the nature of the real property on which the facility is located before acquiring it. The purpose of this part is to prescribe standards and practices for making those inquiries.

(b) Under 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(4)(E), this part does not apply to real property purchased by a non-governmental entity or non-commercial entity for residential use or other similar uses where a property inspection and a title search reveal no basis for further investigation. In those cases, the property inspection and title search satisfy the requirements of this part.

(c) This part does not affect the existing OPA 90 liability protections for State and local governments that acquire a property involuntarily in their functions as sovereigns under 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(2)(B). Involuntary acquisition of properties by State and local governments fall under the provisions of 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(2)(B), not under the all-appropriate-inquiries provision of 33 U.S.C. 2703(d)(4) and this part.

§ 137.5   Disclosure obligations.
top

(a) Under 33 U.S.C. 2703(c)(1), persons specified in §137.1(a), including environmental professionals, must report the incident as required by law if they know or have reason to know of the incident.

(b) This part does not limit or expand disclosure obligations under any Federal, State, tribal, or local law. It is the obligation of each person, including environmental professionals, conducting inquiries to determine his or her respective disclosure obligations under Federal, State, tribal, and local law and to comply with them.

§ 137.10   How are terms used in this part defined?
top

(a) The following terms have the same definitions as in 33 U.S.C. 2701: damages ; discharge ; incident ; liable or liability ; oil ; owner or operator ; and removal costs .

(b) As used in this part—

Abandoned property means a property that, because of its general disrepair or lack of activity, a reasonable person could believe that there is an intent on the part of the current owners to surrender their rights to the property.

Adjoining property means real property the border of which is shared in part or in whole with that of the subject property or that would be shared in part or in whole with that of the property but for a street, road, or other public thoroughfare separating the properties.

Data gap means a lack of, or inability to, obtain information required by subpart B of this part despite good faith efforts by the environmental professional or persons specified in §137.1(a), as appropriate, to gather the information under §137.33.

Environmental professional means an individual who meets the requirements of §137.25.

Facility means any structure, group of structures, equipment, or device (other than a vessel) which is used for one or more of the following purposes: exploring for, drilling for, producing, storing, handling, transferring, processing, or transporting oil. This term includes any motor vehicle, rolling stock, or pipeline used for one or more of these purposes.

Good faith means the absence of any intention to seek an unfair advantage or to defraud another party; an honest and sincere intention to fulfill one's obligations in the conduct or transaction concerned.

Institutional controls means non-engineered instruments, such as administrative and/or legal controls, that help to minimize the potential for human exposure to oil discharge and/or protect the integrity of a removal action.

Relevant experience means 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 the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

§ 137.15   References: Where can I get a copy of the publication mentioned in this part?
top

Section 137.20 of this part refers to ASTM E 1527–05, Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process. That document is available from ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, P.O. Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428–2959. It is also available for inspection at the Coast Guard National Pollution Funds Center, 4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1013, Arlington, VA 22203–1804.

Subpart B—Standards and Practices
top
§ 137.18   Duties of persons specified in §137.1(a).
top

In order to make all appropriate inquiries, persons seeking to establish the liability protection under §137.1(a) must conduct the inquiries and investigations as required in this part and ensure that the inquiries and investigations required to be made by environmental professionals are made.

§ 137.20   May industry standards be used to comply with this regulation?
top

The industry standards in ASTM E 1527–05, (Referenced in §137.15) may be used to comply with the requirements set forth in §§137.45 through 137.85 of this part. Use of ASTM E 1527–05 for this purpose is optional and not mandatory.

§ 137.25   Qualifications of the environmental professional.
top

(a) An environmental professional is an individual who possesses sufficient specific education, training, and experience necessary to exercise professional judgment to develop opinions and conclusions regarding conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at a facility and the real property on which the facility is located sufficient to meet the objectives and performance factors in §137.30(a) and (b).

(1) Such a person must—

(i) Hold a current Professional Engineer's or Professional Geologist's license or registration from a State, tribe, or U.S. territory (or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) and have the equivalent of 3 years of full-time relevant experience;

(ii) Be licensed or certified by the Federal government, a State, tribe, or U.S. territory (or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico) to perform environmental inquiries under §137.35 and have the equivalent of 3 years of full-time relevant experience;

(iii) Have a Baccalaureate or higher degree from an accredited institution of higher education in a discipline of engineering or science and the equivalent of 5 years of full-time relevant experience; or

(iv) Have the equivalent of 10 years of full-time relevant experience.

(2) An environmental professional should remain current in his or her field through participation in continuing education or other activities.

(3) The requirements for an environmental professional in this section do not preempt State professional licensing or registration requirements, such as those for a professional geologist, engineer, or site-remediation professional. Before commencing work, a person should determine the applicability of State professional licensing or registration laws to the activities to be undertaken as part of an inquiry under §137.35(b).

(4) A person who does not qualify as an environmental professional under this section may assist in the conduct of all appropriate inquiries according to this part if the person is under the supervision or responsible charge of an environmental professional meeting the requirements of this section when conducting the inquiries.

§ 137.30   Objectives and performance factors.
top

(a) Objectives. This part is intended to result in the identification of conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located. In order to meet the objectives of this regulation, persons specified in §137.1(a) and the environmental professional must seek to identify, through the conduct of the standards and practices in this subpart, the following types of information about the facility and the real property on which the facility is located:

(1) Current and past uses and occupancies of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(2) Current and past uses of oil.

(3) Waste management and disposal activities that indicate presence or likely presence of oil.

(4) Current and past corrective actions and response activities that indicate presence or likely presence of oil.

(5) Engineering controls.

(6) Institutional controls, such as zoning restrictions, building permits, and easements.

(7) Properties adjoining or located nearby the facility and the real property on which the facility is located that have environmental conditions that could have resulted in conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(b) Performance factors. In order to meet this part and to meet the objectives stated in paragraph (a) of this section, the persons specified in §137.1(a) or the environmental professional (as appropriate to the particular standard and practice) must—

(1) Gather the information that is required for each standard and practice listed in this subpart that is publicly available, is obtainable from its source within a reasonable time and cost, and can be reviewed practicably; and

(2) Review and evaluate the thoroughness and reliability of the information gathered in complying with each standard and practice listed in this subpart taking into account information gathered in the course of complying with the other standards and practices of this part.

§ 137.33   General all appropriate inquiries requirements.
top

(a) All appropriate inquiries must be conducted within 1 year before the date of acquisition of the real property on which the facility is located, as evidenced by the date of receipt of the documentation transferring title to, or possession of, the real property and must include:

(1) An inquiry by an environmental professional, as provided in §137.35.

(2) The collection of information under §137.40 by persons specified in §137.1(a).

(b) The following components of the all appropriate inquiries must be conducted or updated within 180 days before the date of acquisition of the real property on which the facility is located:

(1) Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants. See §137.45.

(2) Searches for recorded environmental cleanup liens. See §137.55.

(3) Reviews of Federal, State, tribal, and local government records. See §137.60.

(4) Visual inspections of the facility, the real property on which the facility is located, and adjoining properties. See §137.65.

(5) The declaration by the environmental professional. See §137.35(d).

(c) All appropriate inquiries may include the results of and information contained in an inquiry previously conducted by, or on behalf of, persons specified in §137.1(a) who are responsible for the inquiries for the facility and the real property on which the facility is located if—

(1) The information was collected during the conduct of an all-appropriate-inquiries investigation under this part.

(2) The information was collected or updated within 1 year before the date of acquisition of the real property on which the facility is located.

(3) The following components of the inquiries were conducted or updated within 180 days before the date of acquisition of the real property on which the facility is located:

(i) Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants. See §137.45.

(ii) Searches for recorded environmental cleanup liens. See §137.55.

(iii) Reviews of Federal, State, tribal, and local government records. See §137.60.

(iv) Visual inspections of the facility, the real property on which the facility is located, and the adjoining properties. See §137.65.

(v) The declaration by the environmental professional. See §137.35(d).

(4) Previously collected information is updated by including relevant changes in the conditions of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located and specialized knowledge, as outlined in §137.70, of the persons conducting the all appropriate inquiries for the facility and the real property on which the facility is located, including persons specified in §137.1(a) and the environmental professional.

(d) All appropriate inquiries may include the results of an environmental professional's report under §137.35(c) that have been prepared by or for other persons if—

(1) The reports meet the objectives and performance factors in §137.30(a) and (b); and

(2) The person specified in §137.1(a) reviews the information and conducts the additional inquiries under §§137.70, 137.75, and 137.80 and updates the inquiries requiring an update under paragraph (b) of this section.

(e) To the extent there are data gaps that affect the ability of persons specified in §137.1(a) and environmental professionals to identify conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil, the gaps must be identified in the report under §137.35(c)(2). In addition, the sources of information consulted to address data gaps should be identified and the significance of the gaps noted. Sampling and analysis may be conducted to develop information to address data gaps.

(f) Any conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil identified as part of the all-appropriate-inquiries investigation should be noted in the report.

§ 137.35   Inquiries by an environmental professional.
top

(a) Inquiries by an environmental professional must be conducted either by the environmental professional or by a person under the supervision or responsible charge of an environmental professional.

(b) The inquiry of the environmental professional must include the requirements in §§137.45 (interviews with past and present owners), 137.50 (reviews of historical sources), 137.60 (reviews of government records), 137.65 (visual inspections), 137.80 (commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information) and 137.85 (degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of oil). In addition, the inquiry should take into account information provided to the environmental professional by the person specified in §137.1(a) conducting the additional inquiries under §137.40.

(c) The results of the inquiry by an environmental professional must be documented in a written report that, at a minimum, includes the following:

(1) An opinion as to whether the inquiry has identified conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(2) An identification of data gaps in the information developed as part of the inquiry that affect the ability of the environmental professional to identify conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located. The report must also indicate whether the gaps prevented the environmental professional from reaching an opinion regarding the identification of conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil.

(3) The qualifications of the environmental professional.

(4) An opinion regarding whether additional appropriate investigation is necessary.

(d) The environmental professional must place the following statements in the written document identified in paragraph (c) of this section and sign the document: “[I, We] declare that, to the best of [my, our] professional knowledge, [I, we] meet the requirements under 33 CFR 137.25 for an environmental professional.” and “[I, We] have the specific qualifications based on education, training, and experience to assess the nature, history, and setting of a facility and the real property on which it is located. [I, We] have developed and conducted all appropriate inquiries according to the standards and practices in 33 CFR part 137.”

§ 137.40   Additional inquiries.
top

(a) Persons specified in §137.1(a) must conduct inquiries in addition to those conducted by the environmental professional under §137.35 and may provide the information associated with these additional inquiries to the environmental professional responsible for conducting the activities listed in §137.35—

(1) As required by §137.55 and if not otherwise obtained by the environmental professional, environmental cleanup liens against the facility and the real property on which it is located that are filed or recorded under Federal, State, tribal, or local law.

(2) As required by §137.70, specialized knowledge or experience of the person specified in §137.1(a).

(3) As required by §137.75, the relationship of the purchase price to the fair market value of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located if the oil was not at the facility and the real property on which it is located.

(4) As required by §137.80 and if not otherwise obtained by the environmental professional, commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the facility and the real property on which it is located.

(b) [Reserved]

§ 137.45   Interviews with past and present owners, operators, and occupants.
top

(a) Interviews with owners, operators, and occupants of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located must be conducted for the purposes of achieving the objectives and performance factors of §137.30(a) and (b).

(b) The inquiry of the environmental professional must include interviewing the current owner and occupant of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located. If the facility and the real property on which the facility is located has multiple occupants, the inquiry of the environmental professional must include interviewing major occupants, as well as those occupants likely to use, store, treat, handle or dispose of oil or those who have likely done so in the past.

(c) The inquiry of the environmental professional also must include, to the extent necessary to achieve the objectives and performance factors in §137.30(a) and (b), interviewing one or more of the following persons:

(1) Current and past facility and real property managers with relevant knowledge of uses and physical characteristics of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(2) Past owners, occupants, or operators of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(3) Employees of current and past occupants of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(d) In the case of inquiries conducted at abandoned properties where there is evidence of potential unauthorized uses or evidence of uncontrolled access, the environmental professional's inquiry must include an interview of at least one owner or occupant of a neighboring property from which it appears possible that the owner or occupant of the neighboring property could have observed use or other presence or likely presence of oil.

§ 137.50   Reviews of historical sources of information.
top

(a) Historical documents and records must be reviewed for the purposes of achieving the objectives and performance factors of §137.30(a) and (b). Historical documents and records may include, but are not limited to, aerial photographs, fire insurance maps, building department records, chain of title documents, and land use records.

(b) Historical documents and records reviewed must cover a period of time as far back in the history of the real property to when the first structure was built or when it was first used for residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial, or governmental purposes. The environmental professional may exercise professional judgment in context of the facts available at the time of the inquiry as to how far back in time it is necessary to search historical records.

§ 137.55   Searches for recorded environmental cleanup liens.
top

(a) All appropriate inquiries must include a search for the existence of environmental cleanup liens against the facility and the real property on which the facility is located that are filed or recorded under Federal, State, tribal, or local law.

(b) All information collected by persons specified in §137.1(a) rather than an environmental professional regarding the existence of environmental cleanup liens associated with the facility and the real property on which the facility is located may be provided to the environmental professional or retained by the applicable party.

§ 137.60   Reviews of Federal, State, tribal, and local government records.
top

(a) Federal, State, tribal, and local government records or databases of government records of the facility, the real property on which the facility is located, and adjoining properties must be reviewed for the purposes of achieving the objectives and performance factors of §137.30(a) and (b).

(b) With regard to the facility and the property on which the facility is located, the review of Federal, State, and tribal government records or databases of the government records and local government records and databases of the records should include—

(1) Records of reported oil discharges present, including site investigation reports for the facility and the real property on which the facility is located;

(2) Records of activities, conditions, or incidents likely to cause or contribute to discharges or substantial threat of discharges of oil, including landfill and other disposal unit location records and permits, storage tank records and permits, hazardous waste handler and generator records and permits, Federal, tribal and State government listings of sites identified as priority cleanup sites, and spill reporting records;

(3) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System (CERCLIS) records;

(4) Public health records;

(5) Emergency Response Notification System records;

(6) Registries or publicly available lists of engineering controls; and

(7) Registries or publicly available lists of institutional controls, including environmental land use restrictions, applicable to the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(c) With regard to nearby or adjoining properties, the review of Federal, State, tribal, and local government records or databases of government records should include the identification of the following:

(1) Properties for which there are government records of reported discharges or substantial threat of discharges of oil. Such records or databases containing such records and the associated distances from the facility and the real property on which the facility is located for which such information should be searched include the following:

(i) Records of National Priorities List (NPL) sites or tribal- and State-equivalent sites (one mile).

(ii) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) properties subject to corrective action (one mile).

(iii) Records of Federally-registered, or State-permitted or -registered, hazardous waste sites identified for investigation or remediation, such as sites enrolled in State and tribal voluntary cleanup programs and tribal- and State-listed brownfield sites (one-half mile).

(iv) Records of leaking underground storage tanks (one-half mile).

(2) Properties that previously were identified or regulated by a government entity due to environmental concerns at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located. The records or databases containing the records and the associated distances from the facility and the real property on which the facility is located for which the information should be searched include the following:

(i) Records of delisted NPL sites (one-half mile).

(ii) Registries or publicly available lists of engineering controls (one-half mile).

(iii) Records of former CERCLIS sites with no further remedial action notices (one-half mile).

(3) Properties for which there are records of Federally-permitted, State-permitted or -registered, or tribal-permitted or -registered waste management activities. The records or databases that may contain the records include the following:

(i) Records of RCRA small quantity and large quantity generators (adjoining properties).

(ii) Records of Federally-permitted, State-permitted or -registered, or tribal-permitted landfills and solid waste management facilities (one-half mile).

(iii) Records of registered storage tanks (adjoining property).

(4) A review of additional government records with regard to sites identified under paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section may be necessary in the judgment of the environmental professional for the purpose of achieving the objectives and performance factors of §§137.30(a) and (b).

(d) The search distance from the real property boundary for reviewing government records or databases of government records listed in paragraph (c) of this section may be modified based upon the professional judgment of the environmental professional. The rationale for the modifications must be documented by the environmental professional. The environmental professional may consider one or more of the following factors in determining an alternate appropriate search distance—

(1) The nature and extent of a discharge.

(2) Geologic, hydrogeologic, or topographic conditions of the property and surrounding environment.

(3) Land use or development densities.

(4) The property type.

(5) Existing or past uses of surrounding properties.

(6) Potential migration pathways (e.g., groundwater flow direction, prevalent wind direction).

(7) Other relevant factors.

§ 137.65   Visual inspections of the facility, the real property on which the facility is located, and adjoining properties.
top

(a) For the purpose of achieving the objectives and performance factors of §137.30(a) and (b), the inquiry of the environmental professional must include the following:

(1) A visual on-site inspection of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located, and the improvements at the facility and real property, including a visual inspection of the areas where oil may be or may have been used, stored, treated, handled, or disposed. Physical limitations to the visual inspection must be noted.

(2) A visual inspection of adjoining properties, from the subject real property line, public rights-of-way, or other vantage point (e.g., aerial photography), including a visual inspection of areas where oil may be or may have been stored, treated, handled or disposed. A visual on-site inspection is recommended, though not required. Physical limitations to the inspection of adjacent properties must be noted.

(b) Except as in paragraph (c) of this section, a visual on-site inspection of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located must be conducted.

(c) An on-site inspection is not required if an on-site visual inspection of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located cannot be performed because of physical limitations, remote and inaccessible location, or other inability to obtain access to the facility and the real property on which the facility is located after good faith efforts have been taken to obtain access. The mere refusal of a voluntary seller to provide access to the facility and the real property on which the facility is located is not justification for not conducting an on-site inspection. The inquiry of the environmental professional must include—

(1) Visually inspecting the facility and the real property on which the facility is located using another method, such as aerial imagery for large properties, or visually inspecting the facility and the real property on which the facility is located from the nearest accessible vantage point, such as the property line or public road for small properties;

(2) Documenting the efforts undertaken to obtain access and an explanation of why such efforts were unsuccessful; and

(3) Documenting other sources of information regarding the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located that were consulted according to §137.30(a). The documentation should include comments, if any, by the environmental professional on the significance of the failure to conduct a visual on-site inspection of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located with regard to the ability to identify conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property.

§ 137.70   Specialized knowledge or experience on the part of persons specified in §137.1(a).
top

(a) For the purpose of identifying conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located, persons specified in §137.1(a) must take into account their own specialized knowledge of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located, the area surrounding the facility and the real property on which the facility is located, and the conditions of adjoining properties and their experience relevant to the inquiry.

(b) The results of all appropriate inquiries under §137.33 must take into account the relevant and applicable specialized knowledge and experience of the persons specified in §137.1(a) responsible for undertaking the inquiry.

§ 137.75   The relationship of the purchase price to the value of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located, if oil was not at the facility or on the real property.
top

(a) Persons specified in §137.1(a) must consider whether the purchase price of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located reasonably reflects the fair market value of the facility and real property if oil was not present or likely present.

(b) If the persons conclude that the purchase price does not reasonably reflect the fair market value of that facility and real property if oil was not at the facility and the real property, they must consider whether or not the differential in purchase price and fair market value is due to the presence or likely presence of oil.

§ 137.80   Commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.
top

(a) Throughout the inquiries, persons specified in §137.1(a) and environmental professionals conducting the inquiry must take into account commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information within the local community about the facility and the real property on which the facility is located and consider that information when seeking to identify conditions indicative of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property.

(b) Commonly known information may include information obtained by the person specified in §137.1(a) or by the environmental professional about the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located that is incidental to the information obtained during the inquiry of the environmental professional.

(c) To the extent necessary to achieve the objectives and performance factors of §137.30(a) and (b), the person specified in §137.1(a) and the environmental professional must gather information from varied sources whose input either individually or taken together may provide commonly known or reasonably ascertainable information about the facility and the real property on which the facility is located; the environmental professional may refer to one or more of the following sources of information:

(1) Current owners or occupants of neighboring properties or properties adjacent to the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(2) Local and state government officials who may have knowledge of, or information related to, the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(3) Others with knowledge of the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(4) Other sources of information, such as newspapers, Web sites, community organizations, local libraries, and historical societies.

§ 137.85   The degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located and the ability to detect the oil by appropriate investigation.
top

(a) Persons specified in §137.1(a) and environmental professionals conducting an inquiry of a facility and the real property on which it is located on their behalf must take into account the information collected under §§137.45 through 137.80 in considering the degree of obviousness of the presence or likely presence of oil at the facility and the real property on which the facility is located.

(b) Persons specified in §137.1(a) and environmental professionals conducting an inquiry of a facility and the property on which the facility is located on their behalf must take into account the information collected under §§137.45 through 137.80 in considering the ability to detect the presence or likely presence of oil by appropriate investigation. The report of the environmental professional should include an opinion under §137.35(c)(4) regarding whether additional appropriate investigation is necessary.

Browse Previous | Browse Next