April Veilleux

MassDEP Revisiting TCE Sites

By Denise Kmetzo, DABT, Principal, Collaborative Risk Solutions LLC 

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What a difference a few weeks can make.   As we write, the sun is shining and the once looming snow banks are quickly turning to puddles.  Just a few weeks ago it was a much different picture.  

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By: Wesley E. Stimpson, Technical Practices Committee

The recent revisions to the MCP, most of which became effective June 20, 2014, substantially change how sites with NAPL are characterized and moved through the MCP process.  In addition to some new terminology, MassDEP has embraced the fundamental scientific principles describing the behavior of fluid flow in porous media necessary to assess NAPL in subsurface strata.  PRPs are now asked to provide multiple lines of evidence to support any endpoint conclusions, and MassDEP will be looking for more data than has historically been provided in support of closing out this type of disposal sites.  The NAPL Upper Concentration Limit of 0.5 inches no longer needs to be met, and in fact is no longer available to be used as a component for obtaining an endpoint. 

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By: Jeanine Grachuk, Esq.; Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.; and Loss Prevention Committee member 

When doing any project, consider whether local Board of Health, Planning Board, Wetlands or other municipal ordinances, bylaws, or regulations could limit or restrict your planned work.  Local rules may impact site cleanup by requiring an additional permit or approval or by imposing stricter requirements.  An unusual case-in-point is a set of regulations adopted by the Town of Dartmouth Board of Health in April 2014 which will have the effect of prohibiting certain types of remediation at properties in Dartmouth, if it withstands judicial scrutiny.  At least one LSP has received an Order to Cease and Desist prohibiting transport of such soils from a property located in Dartmouth being remediated under state cleanup law, bringing the remediation to a halt.  

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By: Wendy Rundle, LSPA Executive Director 

Starting on January 1, 2015, LSPs will have liability protection when they provide voluntary services to emergency and public safety agencies during a natural catastrophe or disaster, at the request of or with the approval of an appropriate federal, state or local official. 

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By: Matt Young, Senior Project Manager Environmental Affairs, Cumberland Gulf Group of Companies  and Dave Leone, LSP, Senior Project Manager, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

LSPA Regulations Committee members were in attendance at the July 31, 2014 MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup pre-comment meeting on the public review draft Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) Guidance. The meeting was an informative and productive start to the draft guidance review process. The meeting was moderated by Liz Callahan, Acting Director Div. of Policy and Program Development, and included a presentation by Peggy Shaw, Esq.,

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By:  Larry Feldman, LSP, Senior Principal, GZA GeoEnvironmental, and LSPA Past President

On May 29, 2014 the LSPA Scholarship Fund held its first annual fund-raising golf tournament. Originally conceived of at the annual Past Presidents meeting last summer as a means to raise a targeted amount of $3,500 for the LSPA Scholarship Fund, the tournament actually netted over three times that amount - $11,000 - for the Fund, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.  Over 100 golfers enjoyed a beautiful day, a well-maintained course (Highfields in Grafton), and a hearty post-golf repast.  Prizes were awarded for best-ball team scores and individual skill accomplishments, and a raffle stocked with both golf-related and non-golf related items allowed all the chance to win while supporting the LSPA Scholarship Fund. Photographs of the event, taken by LSPA member and professional photographer Tom Barrasso, are available here.   

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By:  James J. Decoulos, P.E., LSP; James Curtis, P.E., LSP; Richard Eurich, Esq.; and Arthur Kreiger, Esq.

At the May 8, 2014 LSPA Membership Meeting, the Loss Prevention Committee presented a special program on the complexities of insurance coverage issues at contaminated sites - especially homeowner sites.  This article is intended to provide a brief summary of the issues discussed at the meeting.  Note, it is impossible in this brief article to provide a full discussion of all the relevant issues that come into play in evaluating insurance.  Further, the exact coverage that is provided by a particular policy depends on the language of the policy, and the generalizations discussed at the meeting may not apply.   

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By:  Denise Kmetzo, DABT, Collaborative Risk Solutions, and Technical Practices Committee

Tetrachloroethylene, or PCE, is recognized as a toxic chemical and is considered likely to be carcinogenic in humans by all routes of exposure. The degree of its toxicity has been debated for years, especially for the inhalation route of exposure. Two years ago, the EPA finalized PCE toxicity factors, including an inhalation Unit Risk (UR) factor, which is used to assess carcinogenic risk via inhalation. The LSPA encouraged MassDEP to adopt the EPA toxicity values, including the UR. Instead, during its recent reevaluation of PCE toxicity, MassDEP’s Office of Research and Standards (ORS) relied upon a UR for PCE that it had previously derived.  In January 2014, MassDEP released an updated PCE UR which is lower (i.e., less conservative) than MassDEP’s previously derived value, but remains greater than ten times higher (i.e., more conservative) than the EPA value.