ID#2374 made on
SSp2 - Environmental site assessment
LEED BD+C: Schools
LEED for Schools, First Edition 2007, Sustainable Sites Prerequisite 2, Environmental Site Assessment states that "Sites that are contaminated due to past existence of a landfill within 1000 feet...
LEED for Schools, First Edition 2007, Sustainable Sites Prerequisite 2, Environmental Site Assessment states that "Sites that are contaminated due to past existence of a landfill within 1000 feet of the site are prohibited. If the site is otherwise contaminated, then it must be remediated to meet local, state, or federal EPA region residential (unrestricted) standards whichever is most stringent." This language appears to prohibit any school site within 1000 feet; and presumes that the mere existence of a landfill within 1000 feet establishes contamination of a school site. We have a project that involves constructing a new elementary school on a site that has an existing elementary school that was built in the late 1950s. The new school will be constructed on the existing play fields and when it is occupied, the existing school will be demolished and that area of the site graded for recreation fields. The school property lies within 1000 feet of a landfill and the school site has no evidence of contamination. The adjacent landfill has been converted to recreation use (baseball field) in recent years. Based on the 2007 LEED for Schools document, one can conclude that this existing site would be prohibited from achieving LEED Certification. Assuming the proximity of the landfill does not automatically disqualify the project; can a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ASTM E1903-97) be performed to determine the presence of hazardous substances (contaminants)? If so, what agency or document determines "sufficient contamination"? ASTM E1903-97 is a document for conducting an Environmental Site Assessment Process. Section 1.1.3 states: "This guide has multiple purposes. It is intended to provide assistance to users in satisfying the appropriate inquiry element of CERCLA's innocent purchaser defense, as defined in 42 U.S.C. 9601(35)(B), . This guide also is intended to assist a user in gathering information about a property's environmental condition to guide the user's business decision. However, this guide does not purport to include the level of specificity required or technical standards that govern full characterization of a site's environmental condition." The ASTM standard is a procedure and does not on its own establish a threshold by which a site is considered contaminated. The LEED for Schools portion of the 2009 LEED document recently out for public comment proposed changing the SS Prereq. 2 language to state: "Sites that are contaminated due to the past existence of a landfill on the site are prohibited." If interpretation of the 2007 LEED for Schools SS Preq. 2 addressees new sites and not existing sites, and the proposed language change in the LEED for Schools portion of the LEED 2009 document revision is the true intent of the original wording, can it be assumed this project can proceed with LEED Certification under LEED for Schools?
The CIR is asking whether this project will be able to comply with the requirements of SSp2 if the school property lies within 1000 feet of a landfill because the language of the prerequisite states that "Sites that are contaminated due to the past existence of a landfill within 1000 feet of the site are prohibited". If the project is not contaminated by the landfill, based on the results of a Phase I and/or Phase II Environmental Site Assessment, then the project is not prohibited from achieving this prerequisite. Regarding safe limits to define contaminated vs. non-contaminated sites, refer to your local, state, or federal EPA region residential (unrestricted) standards whichever is most stringent. Applicable Internationally.
Related Addenda (Corrections & Interpretations)