Methane in the Vadose Zone

A proposed new ASTM International standard will enable users to determine whether or not a real estate site has a methane hazard that needs to be mitigated. WK32621, Practice for Evaluating Potential Hazard Due to Methane in the Vadose Zone, is being developed by Subcommittee E50.02 on Real Estate Assessment and Management, part of ASTM International Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action.

"Current standards require mitigation at a great number of sites where no hazard exists," says John Sepich, president, Brownfield Subslab, and chairman of the task group developing WK32621. "In a few cases, current standards for mitigation techniques are inadequate to protect a structure where the hazard is severe. The proposed standard should allow cost savings where no mitigation is necessary and should address extraordinary mitigation measures where the hazard is severe."

Once the proposed standard is approved, it will be used by regulators, developers, sellers, buyers, occupants, management companies, lenders, consultants, contractors and manufacturers.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the development of WK32621.

"In order for this proposed standard to be meaningful, it is important to involve regulators from a wide geographic range, and from local and state governments," says Sepich. "We would also like more participation from insurance and legal specialists and the consulting and regulatory industry."

Sepich also encourages international participation in the development of WK32621 since methane is of potential concern throughout the world.

CONTACT Technical Information: John Sepich, Brownfield Subslab • San Antonio, Texas • Phone: 213-500-0425 • Email: O ASTM Staff: Daniel Smith • Phone: 610-832-9727 • Email: O Upcoming Meeting: Nov. 1-3 • October Committee Week • Tampa, Fla.

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