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MassDEP Technical Assistance Grant Program FY25-26 Opportunity and Application

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced that the application for the FY2025-26 Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) is now available. This grant opportunity provides $200,000 in funding, with up to $20,000 per community or municipal applicant group selected for an award, to enhance public involvement and promote a better understanding of the cleanup of contaminated sites in their communities. 

The application deadline is Friday, September 6, 2024.

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LSPA Comments on Two BWSC Draft Guidance Documents

On June 5, 2024, the LSPA sent our comments to MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) as part of its public comment periods on two draft guidance documents: 

For both sets of comments the LSPA adhered to our typical process for collecting and submitting comments on draft documents:

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Ballot for 2024-2025 LSPA Board Elections

Voting is now open for the 2024-2025 LSPA Board of Directors election. Board positions will take effect July 1, 2024. 

There are three open seats on the Board for this election; the three-year term is from FY '25 through FY '27. Provided below are the candidates on this year's ballot. Please click on each candidate's name to read more about them.

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LSPA Introduces Compliance Tip of the Month for May 2024

The following LSPA compliance tip was introduced at the May 2024 Membership Meeting, which was held remotely on May 16, 2024 via Zoom.  

Compliance Tip of the Month
 The U.S. EPA has promulgated MCLs for PFAS in drinking water; states are required to establish their own regulations that are no less stringent than the federal standards within two years.

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LSPA Requests Nominations 2024 Contribution to the Practice Awards

The LSP Association requests your nominations for our 2024 "Contribution to the Practice" Awards. If you know of a deserving candidate and wish to nominate the person and/or organization, please complete this form. The deadline for nominations is Friday, August 9, 2024. The awards are presented annually in the fall either via live webinar or at the LSPA’s October dinner meeting.

Nominations are solicited in the following categories:

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Important Professional Liability Notice: Insurance Exclusions for PFAS-Related Waste Site Cleanup Activities

In February 2024, the LSPA heard from a few members that their insurance carriers were adding PFAS exclusions to their professional liability policies. This has since been confirmed by other LSPs and practitioners. Some consulting firms have been able to negotiate exceptions for PFAS “sample collection and testing,” and others have been successful in waiving exclusions for all PFAS-related activities. 

We urge you to share this information with the appropriate colleagues at your company and to review your insurance policy carefully. Remember: Given the ubiquity of PFAS, these types of exclusions could apply to many sites, whether or not PFAS is a primary contaminant of concern

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Upcoming Funding Opportunity Through MassDEP’s Technical Assistance Grant Program

MassDEP Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Program 
FY25-26 Opportunity and Application
Anticipated Release Date:  June 4, 2024

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup is pleased to announce the upcoming release of the FY25-26 Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs) funding opportunity. TAGs aim to support community and municipal groups in fostering public participation in decisions related to assessment and cleanup activities at oil or hazardous material disposal sites. Recipients of TAGs may use funds to access expert advice and technical assistance, and to facilitate community education for qualifying projects. 

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LSPA Legislative Update

MA Senate Passes LSPA Bill Mandating Insurance for Home Heating Oil Releases

The LSPA is pleased to announce that on April 25, 2024, the Massachusetts Senate passed the LSPA’s bill, S.2737, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases. Senator Paul Feeney, Chair of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, spoke in support of the bill prior to the vote. Read the press release on this and two other consumer protection bills from the office of Senate President Karen Spilka. 

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Notice of Ballot for 2024-2025 Board Elections

Voting will open on Wednesday, May 22, 2024 for the 2024-2025 LSPA Board of Directors election. Board positions will take effect July 1, 2024. 

Ballots will be sent by email to all LSPA members, both Full and Associate. We encourage all members to vote.

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Deadline Extended; Still Soliciting Comments on Two Draft MCP Guidance Documents

MassDEP’s deadlines for written comments have been extended to June 5, 2024 for both guidance documents currently posted on the MCP Amendments web pageRisk Characterization Guidance, Chapters 1-5, Public Review Draft” and Interim Guidance on Implementing Activity and Use Limitations.

The two LSPA groups reviewing these guidance documents are still looking for comments. If you want to join the review group or have comments you wish to share on the Risk Characterization Guidance, please contact [email protected] by no later than May 9th. 

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LSPA Scholarship Fund Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

The LSP Association Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for educational scholarships for the 2024-2025 academic year. Deadline for submission is Friday, May 3, 2024.

The scholarship program supports continued education within environmental fields of study at colleges and universities throughout New England.

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LSPA Artificial Intelligence Survey Finds Cautious Respondents

The LSPA sent a survey on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to our 750 members in mid-January 2024. Given the increased discussion about and use of AI, the LSPA was interested to learn to what level our members are involved with AI at work and in their personal lives. 

We received 93 responses (12% - much lower than usual). A summary of what you and your colleagues reported is attached here.

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LSPA Introduces Compliance Tip of the Month for March 2024

The following LSPA compliance tip was introduced at the March 2024 Membership Meeting, which was held remotely on March 14, 2024 via Zoom.  

LSPA Compliance Tip of the Month
Per 310 CMR 40.1406 of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP), an “Informational Notice to Property Owners” BWSC Form 122 must be completed to advise an owner that their property falls within the boundaries of a disposal site. The MCP specifies when such written notices must be provided and what information they must contain. Copies of all written notices required must be submitted to MassDEP with the corresponding Phase II Report or Permanent or Temporary Solution Statement. 

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MassDEP BWSC Advisory Committee Meeting Highlights

A MassDEP BWSC Advisory Committee meeting was held on February 15, 2024. This webpage has slides and video from the meeting. Some highlights are below.

In this video, Brian Roden, BWSC Audits and Enforcement Coordinator, provides a summary of the 2024 MCP Amendments for AEPMMs addressing Vapor Intrusion.

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Do You Have Air Monitoring Data From Asbestos Sites?

There is an LSPA WES Professional Practice Grant effort underway to collect and analyze available air data (collected both from perimeter stations and from personal monitors, as available) from a variety of asbestos impacted sites.

The LSPA is reaching out on behalf of the Haley & Aldrich research team to solicit additional air monitoring data from asbestos sites. So far, all the data they have is from NERO sites. Ideally, they would like to add two projects each from SERO, WERO, CERO. It would be most helpful if the projects also tested soil for percent asbestos (as opposed to identifying presence of asbestos solely through visual inspection). 

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LSPA Call for Board Candidates, By Tuesday, March 19

The Nominating Committee of the LSP Association (LSPA) is in the process of developing a slate of candidates for the three available positions on the LSPA's Board of Directors. These are three-year positions beginning on July 1, 2024. The Board is comprised of nine members, two of whom may be Associate (non-LSP) members. Current Board members are listed on the LSPA website here

We are posting this information in advance of developing the slate to solicit your suggestions for possible candidates, as well as to inform you about the process. The criteria that the Nominating Committee considers for a candidate for our Board of Directors include: 

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Waste Site Cleanup Program Leadership Transition News

Liz Callahan is retiring from MassDEP after 38 years with the Waste Site Cleanup Program and stepping down from her role as Acting Assistant Commissioner, effective March 2, 2024. Liz joined MassDEP’s Northeast Regional Office in 1986 as an Environmental Analyst I and was thrilled a few years later to be part of the team that drafted and implemented the “new” MCP for the Commonwealth’s privatized cleanup program. Prior to serving as Assistant Commissioner, Liz worked in various BWSC roles in the Boston and Northeast Region, including as Division Director for Policy and Program Development, managing many rounds of MCP amendments.

Millie Garcia-Serrano will be taking over for Liz as BWSC’s Assistant Commissioner on March 2nd. Millie, who holds a Master’s in Public Health, brings a wealth of experience to her new position, most recently as the Regional Director of MassDEP’s Southeast Regional Office. Millie’s past experience includes serving as the President of the Association of State and Territorial Solid Waste Management Officials (ASTSWMO), Chair of the Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals (LSP Board), and as the Southeast Regional Office’s Deputy Regional Director for BWSC. Liz Callahan will be working to support this leadership transition and ongoing MCP amendment implementation efforts through the end of March. 

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2024 Amendments to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, effective March 1 2024

On Friday, March 1, 2024, MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) shared several important updates to the BWSC program and the MCP.

2024 Amendments to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, effective March 1 2024 
Amendments to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP), 310 CMR 40.0000, the Commonwealth’s rules for the notification, assessment and cleanup of oil and hazardous material releases, threats of release, and disposal sites under MGL c. 21E take effect today. The MCP will be published by the Secretary of State in a supplemental register next week, and hard copies will be available at the State House Bookstore (for information on ordering copies click here).

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LSPA Introduces Practice Tip of the Month for February 2024

The following LSPA practice tip was introduced at the February 2024 Membership Meeting, which was held remotely on February 13, 2024 via Zoom.  

Practice Tip of the Month
Many municipalities have areas designated for the protection of groundwater quality to ensure its availability for use as a source of potable water supply (e.g., Aquifer Protection Districts).

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New MCP 2024 Amendment Topics

In anticipation of March 1, 2024, when the MCP Amendments go into effect, the LSPA’s Regulations Committee has been working on summarizing key changes to the MCP regulations. 

Provided below is a summary of the new regulations on a variety of topics not covered by previous LSPA email blasts. This information was developed and is provided on behalf of the LSPA only; it does not represent MassDEP guidance or other input. 

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