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LSPA Introduces June 2022 Compliance Tip of the Month

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the June 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on June 21, 2022.  

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Pursuant to 310 CMR 40.1074(5), in addition to the requirement to incorporate a Notice of Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) into deeds or other instruments of property transfer, a copy of the deed or other instrument (with the incorporated AUL) must be submitted to MassDEP within 30 days of recording. This must be done using Section B, item 11, of the BWSC113 form (note that an LSP signature/stamp is not required for this submittal). Both the former and new property owners have this obligation; however, a submittal provided by either of those parties meets the requirements for both of them.

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MassDEP Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Program Informational Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup is holding an online informational meeting about upcoming Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs) funding. TAGs are available to community and municipal groups to obtain expert advice and technical assistance and promote community education to enhance public participation in assessment and cleanup activities at oil or hazardous material disposal sites. The informational meeting will include a presentation on the purpose of the TAG program, grant eligibility requirements, and the grant application process and timelines.
 
The online meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 7:00 PM via Zoom. You may access the meeting via MassDEP’s TAG webpage at this link.

For those unable to attend, the meeting will be recorded and posted on MassDEP’s TAG webpage at the link above. MassDEP’s TAG webpage also provides general information about TAGs and TAG eligibility requirements.
 
MassDEP anticipates that grant awards will be a maximum of $20,000 per applicant, with total potential funding of up to $200,000. The estimated date of availability of the Grant Announcement and Application is July 18, 2022* and the estimated deadline for TAG Applications is October 18, 2022.* (* These are estimated dates and they may change.)
 
Questions about TAGs and the upcoming informational meeting may be sent to MassDEP at [email protected]


LSPA Introduces April 2022 Compliance Tip

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

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Any time environmental samples are taken at a listed disposal site on behalf of someone other than the owner of the property, the person(s) conducting the response action shall provide the owner of the property with a written notice using BWSC-123 prior to the sampling, or no more than seven days after the sampling if it was conducted as part of an IRA to address a 2-hour notification.
 

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Governor Baker Appoints Two LSPA Members to LSP Board of Registration

The Commonwealth’s Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals (the LSP Board) has two new members. The recent appointment by Governor Baker of LSPs Craig Ellis and Paul McKinlay to the Board, filled the two remaining open seats. The 11-member board licenses and regulates the 458 LSPs statewide.  
Millie Garcia-Serrano, LSP Board Chair, welcomed Craig and Paul to their first Board meeting on Tuesday, March 8, 2022.  Beverly Coles-Roby, LSP Board Executive Director, shared each of their bios. The LSPA congratulations Craig and Paul, both LSPA members, on their appointments. 

The enabling legislation for the LSP Board (MGL c. 21A, Sections 19A-19J) establishes the Board as an independent entity, located for administrative purposes within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Section 19A specifies that the Board should consist of eleven members, each of whom serves a four year term; Board members do not receive compensation from the Commonwealth for their work on the Board. 

The Chair of the Board is the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) or his designee; the designee must be a full-time employee of the Department at all times while chairing the Board. The current designee is Millie Garcia-Serrano, Regional Director, MassDEP Southeast Regional Office.

The other ten members of the Board, all appointed by the Governor, are as follows:  
  • There are five seats on the Board for currently-licensed LSPs
    • David Austin, AECOM
    • Kathleen Campbell, CDW Consultants
    • Craig Ellis, Beta Group
    • Gregg McBride, GZA GeoEnvironmental
    • Paul McKinlay, Weston & Sampson
  • Three Board members must be members of statewide organizations that promote the protection of the environment 
    • Kirk Franklin, Frank Corp.
    • Patrick Herron, Mystic River Watershed Association
    • Debra M. Listernick, O'Reilly Talbot & Okun Associates
  • One Board position is designated for a hydrogeologist
    • Gail Batchelder, HRP Associates, Inc
  • One member of the Board is designated for a member of a labor organization
    • James N. Smith, Department of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston, MA
Read bios of LSP Board members here.


LSPA Introduces February 2022 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the February 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on February 16, 2022.  

Compliance Tip:

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UST Board Meetings 2022

LSPA members who are stakeholders of the MassDOR UST Reimbursement Program are encouraged to participate in the public meetings of two subcommittees recently formed by the 21J Board.  One subcommittee is working on the goal of evaluating and updating the Appendix 3 Fee Schedule.  The second group is the Fee Schedule and Policy Review Subcommittee which will evaluate the fee schedule and policies including Board Approved Site Assessments (BASA), reimbursement for analysis of EPH samples, and reimbursement for soil transportation and disposal.

All meetings are listed on the UST Board website.  More details here.

MassDEP's Listening Session on Management of Contaminated Soil

On Thursday, December 16, 2021, MassDEP held a listening session to learn more about the issues and challenges related to managing contaminated soil. The meeting was hosted by MassDEP’s Liz Callahan (Acting Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup), Greg Cooper (Division Director, Business Compliance & Recycling), and Paul Locke (Acting Deputy Commissioner, Policy & Planning). 
 
The video of this meeting is available on MassDEP’s new soil management discussion page.
 
The LSPA was pleased to see a variety of sectors represented including state agencies, environmental consultants, landfill operators, excavating/recycling contractors, and developers.  
 
Special thanks to LSPA members and others who spoke so convincingly about the current challenges, possible measures for easing the burdens, long term soil re-use options, and other approaches. All need to be seriously considered.
 
The LSPA hopes this is the beginning of future meetings and discussions with MassDEP to address the issues. 
 
For more information about this topic from discussion at a September 2021 MassDEP meeting as well as information on closed and open landfills and other solid waste data and regulations, please visit MassDEP’s new soil management discussion page.

December 2021 Newsletter

LSPA's December 2021 Member Newsletter has been published! Table of Contents is listed below. Please log in to your account and visit Member Materials to view the full newsletter.

In this Issue....

MassDEP Listening Session Dec 16: Disposal Capacity Issues for Contaminated Soil

The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is holding a listening session on disposal capacity issues for contaminated soil coming from Massachusetts disposal sites (“contaminated” soil meaning concentrations > RCS-2).  This session will help MassDEP better understand the scope and impact of contaminated soil disposal issues and identify possible avenues for addressing them. 

The listening session is planned for December 16 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, to be held via Zoom, and hosted by MassDEP’s Liz Callahan (Acting Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup), Greg Cooper (Division Director, Business Compliance & Recycling), and Paul Locke (Acting Deputy Commissioner, Policy & Planning).  

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LSPA Introduces November 2021 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the November 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on November 17, 2021.  

Compliance Tip:
Once a Notice of Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) has been filed, the Disposal Site should be reviewed periodically to confirm that the conditions and obligations contained in the AUL are being complied with and/or maintained (310 CMR 40.1070, et seq.). MassDEP routinely performs field audits of sites with AULs, often several years after filing. LSPs should remind their clients that compliance with AUL conditions and obligations is required, and should document these reminders.

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LSPA Introduces NEW September 2021 Practice Tip

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the September 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on September 14, 2021.  

Practice Tip - MassDEP’s Private Well PFAS Testing
MassDEP is conducting free PFAS testing for a limited number of private wells, focusing on 84 Massachusetts towns where 60% or more of residents are served by private wells. Practitioners should know about MassDEP’s Story Map which is regularly updated to present the results of this private well sampling to date.

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MassDEP’s June 2021 Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee Meeting

MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) Advisory Committee meeting was held on June 24, 2021. The meeting covered several timely items; the meeting recording can be found here under June 24, 2021 Discussion Items and the meeting slides are here.

Topics covered included:
  • Regional Personnel Updates  
  • MCP Amendments
    • Internal MassDEP approvals expected to be completed this summer with final regulations published in the fall
    • Training for LSP credit, and Q & As specific to the amendments to follow
    • MassDEP also expects to finalize guidance documents related to final amendments including risk characterization
  • Subscribe to MassDEP Notifications 
  • Compendium of Analytical Methods (CAM) Update
    • Revised CAM protocols for 8260 (Volatile Organic Compounds) and 8270 (Semivolatiles)
    • Revised protocols posted on July 22, 2021 and take effect November 5, 2021 
  • Technical Assistance Grants and MOSPRA Grant Program Premier  
  • Assessing Climate Vulnerability at 21E Sites 
  • PFAS in Massachusetts
    • An excellent comprehensive review of the status of PFAS related efforts over the years and currently underway, including links to databases on MassDEP website
  • Office Hours and WSCAC Meetings
    • MassDEP plans to continue holding virtual meetings - Thursday morning “office hours” and Thursday morning WSCAC meetings both on the 4th Thursday of the month.  
    • Next Advisory Committee meeting is Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 9:00 am

LSPA Shares Practice Tip from MassDEP

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the June 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on June 17, 2021.  

Practice Tip:
MassDEP staff in all regions have asked the LSPA to remind practitioners to include the email addresses for the RP and LSP on all eDEP forms. This is particularly helpful as another avenue for contacting people, especially during times when people may not have access to their office phones.   

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Public Comment Period on UST Regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), under the authority of M.G.L. c. 21O, will hold public hearings in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 30A on proposed amendments to 310 CMR 80.00 Underground Storage Tank (UST) Systems to make the regulations at least as stringent as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) UST regulations at 40 CFR 280 and 281 and to clarify and enhance other UST program requirements. EPA amended its UST regulations effective October 13, 2015. States that have delegated UST programs, including Massachusetts, are required to amend their regulations to be “no less stringent” than EPA’s UST regulations. 

The proposed amendments and a background document are available on MassDEP’s website at: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massdep-public-hearings-comment-opportunities

Two virtual public hearings will be held on June 22, 2021, and written comments must be submitted by the end of the public comment period on July 2, 2021 by 5 pm. For more information on the upcoming public hearings, please visit here.  

The LSPA will not be sending comments on behalf of the membership. We encourage LSPA members to participate in the public comment period as appropriate through the public hearing or by submitting written comments.


Brownfields Workshop

The Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE) is hosting the 2021 Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop on June 22 and 23.

Please consider joining MassDEP staff and LSPA members as they present "Developing a Brownfields Site in MA: Building a Toolkit for Success."

LSPA members can attend at the BCONE Partner rate. Please email [email protected] for the promotional code.  

Special shout out and congratulations to our colleague Jamie Smith, Environmental Compliance Manager with the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, whose contributions will be celebrated with the Geoffrey R. Forrest Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. The LSPA has the pleasure of working with Jamie in his role as a member of the LSP Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals.


MassDEP's Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Now Available

MassDEP is pleased to announce the application for the FY2022 Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) is now available. This grant opportunity provides $150,000 in funding, with up to $15,000 per each 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 Friday, July 16, 2021.
 
The TAG application and information about this grant opportunity are available here.
Questions about MassDEP TAGs may be sent to either Peggy Shaw at [email protected] or Nancy Fitzpatrick at [email protected].


Review of MassDEP's NOAFs Related to Historic Fill and to Downgradient Property Status

Larry McTiernan, PG, LSP, Roux Associates, and a member of the LSPA’s Loss Prevention Committee has been keeping busy reviewing MassDEP’s Notices of Audit Findings (NOAFs) from FY ’19 related to Historic Fill and Downgradient Property Status.
 
In FY ’19, MassDEP issued two NOAFs related to Historic Fill. Both NOAFs were also Notices of Noncompliance and cited one or more violations of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). Read a summary of the two NOAFs and key takeaways for each in Larry’s brief article entitled Findings From FY ’19 Historic Fill NOAFs.

In the same fiscal year, there were four MassDEP NOAFs related to Downgradient Property Status (DPS) filings. All four NOAFs cited one or more violations of the MCP requirements for asserting DPS (and thus were also Notices of Noncompliance), and in three of the four cases MassDEP required either the termination or revision of the DPS submittal. As in FY18, the most common violation cited in the FY ’19 DPS NOAFs was the failure to adequately demonstrate that the criterion for asserting DPS set forth at 310 CMR 40.0183(2)(b) had not been met—particularly by failing to rule out an on-site source for the groundwater contamination found at the site. Read Larry's full article here.


Ten Takeaways from MassDEP’s March 19, 2021 Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee (WSCAC) Meeting

Members of the LSPA Regulations Committee sat in on this meeting (see the recording here) and present the following takeaways, in no particular order.

  • 2019 MCP Revisions. The MCP amendments continue to be edited and revised in response to comments. Once finalized, which is expected to be “later this spring,” they will go into effect (with a grace period), and MassDEP will provide training and updated risk guidance.
  • Private Well Sampling and IH Level of 90 ppt.  MassDEP is communicating with local Boards of Health and private well owners in ~80 towns that rely primarily on private water sources. MassDEP is aiming to collect data from both private wells near potential (known) PFAS sources and wells randomly located, as an approach to gaining a better understanding of background levels of PFAS in groundwater. If PFAS is detected in a residential well, a homeowner will not be required to notify MassDEP; in the absence of an identified on-site source, MassDEP will assume that homeowners have Downgradient Property Status, and MassDEP will hold in abeyance the issuance a Notice of Responsibility (NOR). MassDEP will work with homeowners to reduce risk; a drinking water Imminent Hazard PFAS6 concentration of 90 ppt has been established by MassDEP.
  • Multi-Lab Audit Findings.  Ken Marra and Liz Callahan summarized the results of the audit, which was initiated in 2016 and evaluated data packages for VPH/EPH/APH/TO-15. The Multi-Lab Data Audit Report (March 2021) has been posted here. Generally, laboratories did well with the TO-15 and APH analyses. There were potential low bias issues with VPH & EPH analyses in approximately one-half of the data packages, resulting in MassDEP issuing revisions to the VPH methods (February 2018) and EPH methods (December 2019) to clarify the issues. MassDEP does not anticipate doing a systematic review of past submittals relative to the low bias issues identified, but is considering measures for more routine checking of laboratory quality.

    If you are interested in participating in subgroup meetings regarding laboratory data quality, please send an email to [email protected].
  • MassDEP Focus on Environmental Justice.  Deneen Simpson, MassDEP’s Director of Environmental Justice, summarized MassDEP’s work since June 2020 to evaluate the agency’s internal and external culture, practices, and policies related to environmental justice and equity. This work involves regional offices as well as a focus by the Commissioner. MassDEP is working to diversify advisory and stakeholder groups, and has developed and is implementing Environmental Justice Public Involvement Plan Guidance (currently an internal document only) on approaches to  engage diverse communities. MassDEP’s EJ Team meets quarterly. Rishi Reddi is the Director of Environmental Justice at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEOA), and the EJ Team also includes Liz Callahan and Peggy Shaw of BWSC. 
  • Refreshing the Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee (WSCAC).  MassDEP is evaluating the composition of its stakeholder groups. The WSCAC is not created by statute and therefore MassDEP has flexibility regarding its composition, meeting format, etc. MassDEP would like to expand representation to ensure the full range of program stakeholders and would like to seek additional representation from EJ communities, PIP group members, student representatives, environmental advocacy groups, and/or subject matter experts. The Department is considering establishing term limits, establishing a set meeting schedule (likely quarterly), and varying meeting times and locations. The WSCAC members discussed their thoughts on the various proposals. If you have ideas of how MassDEP might conduct outreach to expand the representation of the advisory committee, please email [email protected].
  • Office Hours and WSCAC Meetings.  MassDEP expects to continue holding virtual meetings, but anticipates switching from the Zoom platform to another platform for its Thursday morning “office hours” and WSCAC meetings.  The frequency of weekly office hours will probably be reduced, and WSCAC meetings will likely be held quarterly.
  • Brownfields Tax Credits. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue is considering comments on its proposed new brownfields tax credit regulations.  An interagency workgroup has recently conducted listening sessions about the brownfields tax credit program.  They expect to have workgroup findings within a couple of months.
  • Searching for COCs on Waste Site/Spills Look Up.  Paul Locke confirmed that it is not possible for the public or MassDEP to search the site lookup database by COCs.
  • BWSC Grant Programs update.  Liz Callahan provided an update on various grant programs, including:
    • Natural Resource Damages – grant opportunity related to Former National Fireworks Site in Hanover
    • Technical Assistance
    • Marine Oil Spill Prevention & Response

News From Recent BWSC Office Hours Meetings

MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) will hold an Advisory Committee meeting this Friday, March 19, from 9 am to 11 am.  Zoom sign in protocol will be the same as it is for the weekly BWSC Office Hours. Read more here.

The LSPA very much appreciates the Office Hours that occur weekly (except this week) on Thursdays at 9 am. Click here for more information and here to see the library of meeting video recordings.

Below are a few recent tidbits for your information.

PFAS Source Signatures in Coastal Watersheds on Cape Cod
There has been much discussion in the past weeks regarding a paper titled, “Isolating the AFFF Signature in Coastal Watersheds Using Oxidizable PFAS Precursors and Unexplained Organofluorine,” authored by Harvard and USGS scientists Bridger J. Ruyle, Heidi M. Pickard, Denis R. LeBlanc, et al. in Environmental Science & Technology, published by the American Chemical Society, March 1, 2021. More information is here.

The Boston Globe published an article on the study and related issues on March 8, 2021.  

MassDEP Interactive Story Maps on PFAS in Public Water Systems
MassDEP’s website page on PFAS is full of useful information.

The third item on this page, titled PFAS detected in drinking water supplies in Massachusetts, shows a story map with seven tabs that present interactive maps, dashboards and photographs describing the efforts by MassDEP and Public Water Suppliers to address PFAS contamination. Tabs 3 and 4 show which municipalities in the Commonwealth have had their PWSs tested and the status of PFAS detections and responses by public water systems.

Check back regularly for updates.

Technical Assistance Grants
At the March 4 BWSC Office Hours meeting, Liz Callahan, BWSC Acting Division Director, Policy & Program Development, announced that the Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) program provided for in the MCP (310 CMR 40.1450 through 40.1499) is being revitalized after having lapsed since 2011. Liz Callahan reported that DEP is hoping the program will begin in early July 2021. To be added to MassDEP’s Pre-Notice mailing list, please email [email protected].
 
Community groups, municipalities, and others (but not PRPs) are eligible for TAG grants, each of which is expected to be in the ballpark of $15,000. The program is still under development. 
 

 

LSPA Announces March 2021 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the March 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on March 16, 2021.  

Compliance Tip of the Month

The four criteria for a Tier I site are related to IRA conditions, and a Tier I site cannot be initially classified or reclassified as Tier II until the IRA condition has been resolved and an IRA Completion Statement has been filed.  If a site meets at least one of these criteria it must be classified as Tier I:  evidence of groundwater contamination with OHM at concentrations equal to or exceeding the applicable RCGW-1 Reportable Concentration at a location within an Interim Wellhead Protection Area or Zone II, or within 500 feet of a Private Water Supply Well; 2) an Imminent Hazard is present; 3) one or more remedial actions are required as part of an IRA pursuant to 310 CMR 40.0414(2); or 4) an IRA is necessary to eliminate or mitigate a Critical Exposure Pathway pursuant to 310 CMR 40.0414(3).  

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