The Environmental Protection Agency is expected to withdraw a direct final rule issued in August regarding an ASTM standard for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments involving "all appropriate inquiries." An overwhelming number of public comments said that while the new rule was more stringent and would incur greater costs, it was better and could create a more level playing field than the current standard. EPA decided that either standard could be used, which caused an uproar among critics who say that would create a "two-tier due diligence market."

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