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LSPA Introduces January 2023 Compliance Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the January 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on January 26, 2023.  

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Pursuant to 310 CMR 40.1403(3)(a), notification to the Chief Municipal Officer and Board of Health of a community in which a Disposal Site is located is required when respirators or other protective clothing (Level A, B, or C Personal Protective Equipment) is used at a Disposal Site. This notification is required at least three days prior to the commencement of such field work or, if the level of protection is upgraded to Level C or above during the course of the work, as soon as practicable.

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Top Takeaways for EPA's New DRGP Permit, with New Deadlines

The U. S. EPA and EPA Region 1 have issued the Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for discharges of pollutants to Waters of the U. S. in waste waters from certain dewatering and remediation-related activities. This Dewatering and Remediation General Permit (DRGP) covers discharges to certain waters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire, sites in Connecticut and Rhode Island located on Indian Country lands, and federal facilities in Vermont.

This DRGP is a combined reissuance of the Remediation General Permit (RGP) that became effective on April 8, 2017, and expired on April 8, 2022, and the Dewatering General Permit (DGP) that became effective on April 25, 2015, and expired on April 7, 2022. The new general permit combines the former Discharge General Permit (DGP) for non-remediation construction projects with the Remediation General Permit (RGP). The DRGP authorizes discharges of groundwater, surface water, potable water, and storm water associated with following activities: site remediation, site dewatering, infrastructure dewatering and remediation activities, and material dewatering.

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LSPA Introduces December 2022 Compliance Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the December 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on December 14, 2022.  

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Consistent with 310 CMR 40.1003(7), if all other MCP closure requirements are met, a site with NAPL may be closed with a Permanent Solution With Conditions (PSWC) following complete evaluation of the nature and extent of the NAPL, including demonstration of the following consistent with Policy #WSC-16-450:

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Action Alert: Final Days for Action on LSPA's S. 2830 Home Heating Oil Insurance

The LSPA's bill S. 2830, which would require insurance companies to provide first- and third-party coverage for home heating oil releases, remains under consideration by the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means. We need your help this coming week. 

We are focusing all our attention on urging House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) and House Speaker Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy) to move this bill to a vote before the legislative session ends on January 3, 2023. 

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Notice of Listening Sessions and Opportunity for Public Comments on EOEEA Draft Environmental Justice Strategy

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently announced the release of its draft EEA secretariat-wide Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy.

The EJ Strategy was developed by a Secretariat-wide EJ Task Force comprised of representatives of each of EEA’s agencies, major offices, and affiliated organizations.  The draft strategy contains chapters that pertain to each of these agencies and offices, and is tailored to the unique mandate of each entity. It also provides a consistent approach to common issues, such as the development of EJ metrics to measure progress, staff training for awareness of EJ issues, commitment to diversity in hiring, inclusion of EJ criteria in grant disbursement and commitment to provision of languages services. 

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LSPA Emerging Professionals Event: Soil Classification

What's the difference between a fine sand and a silt? What is the modified Burmister System? Earlier this week, the LSPA’s Emerging Professionals Committee (EPC) held a soil classification training that answered those questions, and more.  Michael Trovato, a Project Environmental Scientist at Tighe & Bond, presented a hands-on introduction to this topic.  Beforehand, participants enjoyed a light dinner and socializing.  We invite you to join us at our next event!  Learn more about the EPC and connect with committee chairs here.


LSPA Introduces November 2022 Practice Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the November 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on November 15, 2022.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 
The LSPA has developed a Climate Change MCP Toolkit to assist practitioners as they consider the potential effects of climate change on site assessment and response actions. This is anticipated to be required by the pending amendments to the MCP.  The toolkit includes a flowchart, checklist, two case studies, glossary, and list of resources.

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Those who heat with oil face even greater price shock: cost of a leak

The LSPA continues to work for the passage of our bill to mandate that all homeowners’ policies automatically include coverage for spills and leaks from oil heating tanks. Read our letter in today’s Boston Globe.   

Notes from BWSC Advisory Committee, and Comment Period on MA Climate Change Assessment Report

Notes from BWSC Advisory Committee

MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee met on October 27, 2022 for several hours. Typically, MassDEP posts the slides and recordings of Advisory Committee meetings here. At this time, these have not yet been posted.

A brief summary of meeting highlights is provided below.

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LSPA October 2022 Practice Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the October 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on October 27, 2022.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 
Did you know MassDEP's position is that discarded carbon canisters, as a generated waste, are a sludge and subject to 310 CMR 30.302: Determination of Whether a Waste is Hazardous? Accordingly, per policy HW94‐007, a spent carbon canister that contains hazardous waste constituents from a listed hazardous waste source must be managed as a hazardous waste, regardless of whether the carbon canisters were used to treat groundwater or vapors from groundwater or soils.

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AND…..we’re back in-person!

AND…..we’re back!  The LSPA was excited to hold several in-person events over the past month.

Along with MassDEP and AMWS – The Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists, we held two sessions of “Wetlands, Wetland Regulations, and the MCP.”  This full day course involved time exploring five wetlands field stations and got rave reviews from participants.

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LSPA Climate Change MCP Toolkit Available

The LSPA has developed a Climate Change MCP Toolkit to assist waste site cleanup practitioners as they consider the potential effects of climate change on site assessment and response actions. This is anticipated to be required by the pending amendments to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP).  

The climate change toolkit is available through links in this email as well as on the LSPA website. The tools are reflective of the framework defined in the (the SHMCAP, MA SHMCAP Portal). The SHMCAP accounts for projected changes in precipitation and temperature, sea level rise, and extreme weather events, and aims to reduce the risks associated with natural hazards and the effects of climate change.

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LSPA's Home Heating Oil Insurance Bill Still Positioned for Passage

The Legislature’s Formal Session ended on July 31, 2022, without passage of the LSPA’s bill, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releasesThe LSPA was thrilled that the bill passed the Senate in April 2022 with a unanimous roll-call vote, indicating that Senators wanted to be on-record as supporting our bill. It was then sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means but did not advance in time for closure of the formal session.    

This is the furthest our bill has advanced over three sessions and we have not given up on the bill’s passage this session. The informal legislative session ends on January 2, 2023. Once the legislature has made decisions on more complex bills (e.g., economic development bill; FY '22 final supplemental budget), there should be a window for action for us.  We don’t expect this to happen until the end of September or early October.

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LSPA September 2022 Practice Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the September 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on September 14, 2022.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 
Did you know that you can access MassDEP Level 1 audit results through the MassDEP Site File Viewer?

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LSPA Members Get Discount at Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy

The LSP Association (LSPA) is proud to support the 38th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy (aka "The UMass Soils Conference") as an event sponsor. The conference is back to being held in person this year! As part of this sponsorship, all LSPA members are eligible to receive a discounted registration fee. Click here to learn more about redeeming your discount.

Also, if you are looking for DEP credits, check out Workshop 03: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Hot Topics. This workshop has been approved for 3.0 DEP Regulatory Credits for MA LSPs, Course #1782. If you are planning to attend, please be sure to sign up for both the workshop and CEUs during registration While the LSPA is not the course provider, we wanted to make our members aware of this opportunity. Any questions regarding the course should be directed to the conference organizers.

Interested in Participating in an LSPA Work Group on Historic Fill/Anthropogenic Background?

Members of the LSPA’s Technical Practices Committee are creating a Work Group to review the documents listed below. 

As part of this effort, the Work Group is reviewing the LSPA Comments on Historic Fill/Anthropogenic Background DRAFT Technical Update 2016, July 14, 2016, which were previously transmitted to MassDEP.

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Resources for Evaluating the Dust Inhalation Pathway and Impacts for Residents

Dust inhalation as a health issue has received increasing scrutiny at construction and remediation sites nationwide and in Massachusetts. Historically, the focus has been on the inhalation of respirable particulates by workers; fortunately, instrumentation is readily available that provides real-time worksite data for particulate concentrations in air. However, the focus is now broadening to include health risks associated with contaminants contained in the airborne dust on more sensitive nearby receptors who may also be exposed. This is an issue that frequently must be anticipated for Release Abatement Measures, Immediate Response Actions, and comprehensive remedial actions at Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) sites where significant earthwork is proposed. Unfortunately, instrumentation is not generally available that provides real-time data for the chemical component of dust risks.

For excavation work at sites with sensitive receptors and with contaminants that could sorb to soils, practitioners would be well advised to consider including a real-time dust monitoring program in their planning, as well as a risk-based evaluation of the impact of dust particulates. 

A 1997 MassDEP paper on dust action levels goes into more detail. 

This paper provides a bridge between the chemical risks and particulate risks of dust by providing risk-based soil concentrations to meet MCP risk limits associated with the dust inhalation pathway. The paper was used as a reference in MassDEP’s 2008 Technical Update titled “Characterization of Risks Due to Inhalation of Particulates by Construction Workers.”

A 2016 LSPA newsletter article attempts to summarize the useful contents of the 1997 paper and to make the paper more generally known. Since release of the 1997 paper, several toxicity values and MassDEP-derived relative absorption factors (RAFs) have been updated. For example, toxicity values for arsenic, chromium (III), chromium (VI), silver, benzo(a)pyrene, and naphthalene, and RAFs for arsenic, benzo(a)pyrene, cadmium, mercury, and naphthalene have changed. Therefore, the soil concentrations associated with the NAAQS PM-10 thresholds included in the 1997 paper may not be adequately protective of risk to health. Accordingly, the authors of the 2016 LSPA article have used the equations provided in the 1997 paper to recalculate the soil concentrations that would result in a hazard index (HI) of 0.2 and an excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) of 1 in a million at the NAAQS PM-10 dust action level of 150 µg/m3. This has been done for the eleven contaminants evaluated in the 1997 paper, based on the current toxicity values and RAFs derived as part of the June 2014 MCP and consistent with current risk assessment practices. The resulting values are provided in the 2016 paper. 

Action Alert: Clock is Ticking for LSPA's S. 2830 on Home Heating Oil Insurance

The LSPA's bill S. 2830, which would require insurance companies to provide first- and third-party coverage for home heating oil releases, is under consideration by the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means. We are asking for your help in the next two days.  

If your state representative is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means NOW is the time to get their attention. The more requests from constituents, the more visibility and support our bill gets. The legislature’s formal session ends on July 31, 2022. 

We encourage you to write your state representative in the next two days to urge their support of the bill. Check here to find your state representative. (If you have already written but not heard back from your representative, don’t hesitate to re-send your previous email).

Attached here is a sample email you can send. All representatives’ email addresses are on their home page. No need to send paper mail.

If you have experience with a home heating oil release, especially one in which the homeowner did not have insurance or had a tough time getting coverage, please feel free to share this in your letter. Real life examples are most compelling, especially if your client’s property is in the district of one of these representatives.

For more information about the bill, please read the LSPA’s recent letter summarizing progress to date, as well as links to media coverage.

Please contact our Executive Director Wendy Rundle at [email protected] if you have any questions. 
Thank you for your support; we will keep LSPA members apprised.

MassDEP’s Technical Assistance Grant Application is Now Available

MassDEP has announced that the application for the FY2023-24 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 better understanding of the cleanup of contaminated sites in their communities. 

The application deadline is Tuesday, October 18, 2022.

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LSPA Awards 3 WES Grants in 2021 and 2022

The LSPA is pleased to have awarded three WES Professional Practice Grants, totaling $17,500, over the past two years. The WES Grant award is a great way to secure funding to delve deeper into a topic of your choice that will further waste site cleanup work and advance the professional practice of LSPs. More details on the most recent projects and links to research findings are provided below. 

PFAS in New England: An Assessment of Distribution Data from Regulated Sites, Civil and Environmental Consultants (CEC) Inc., Raynham, MA. CEC completed a literature review to better understand the types of PFAS releases in New England. Empirical information was collected on a variety of parameters including PFAS plume length and area, the status of investigation and remedial activities, the maximum concentrations of regulated PFAS compounds detected in groundwater and soil proximal to the source sites, and the industry/source type at each location. 
The results of the review include analysis of PFAS distribution at regulated sites in New England to an effort to better identify and understand trends. Jon Kitchen, PG, LSP, presented CEC’s findings at an LSPA member meeting in April 2022. The slides and video from that meeting are available here.

Evaluation of PFAS in Rain Across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Woodard & Curran, Inc., Canton, MA. Woodard & Curran recently conducted a study to assess if PFAS is present in rain falling across Massachusetts and if so, at what levels relative to other studies. Another research question explored differences in PFAS concentration when different precipitation event types are considered. Twenty-five sampling stations were distributed across the Commonwealth.
At an LSPA May 2022 member meeting, the Woodard & Curran project team discussed the geographic distribution of PFAS detected and explored the different dynamics of each storm event. The slides and video from that meeting are available here

A third study, High Viscosity LNAPL Recoverability Assessment, is currently underway by Steve Boynton, LSP, of Subsurface Environmental Solutions (SES), Andover, MA. This research builds on the MCP requirement to evaluate LNAPL recovery “if and to the extent feasible.” The project will evaluate LNAPL thickness measurability by tracking the time required to obtain the depth to the LNAPL/water interface for various mixtures of No. 2 and No. 6 oil. The objective is to determine the viscosity above which typical transmissivity testing equipment (oil/water interface probes and peristaltic pumps) cannot be reliably used. It is hoped that results will assist in providing LSPs with a simple viscosity-based metric to conclude that transmissivity testing is or is not feasible. SES plans to present findings in a short course for technical LSP credit sometime in Fall 2022. 

Do you have a project idea that needs funding? Read more about how to apply for a WES Grant or complete the application formtoday!