MassDEP
Ryan Kath and NBC 10 have aired a 3rd installment in their series on residential heating oil spills, and this time it's a bit of good news for one Massachusetts homeowner.  MassDEP has stepped in to assist with sampling and assessment at a property previously highlighted.

This story continues to drive home the point that in order to be protected from serious financial impacts, homeowners who use oil heat must proactively contact their insurance broker to request coverage.  Most homeowners assume they are covered, when in fact most are not.

Watch the story here.    

The LSP Association (LSPA) is sponsoring legislation to address this problem.  Senate bill 594 would require insurance companies to automatically provide this coverage.  Read more here and here to learn how the LSPA's legislation will close a loophole.

For more information contact Wendy Rundle, LSPA Executive Director, [email protected].



On Friday, July 19, 2019, at the end of MassDEP's public comment period, the LSPA submitted our comments on the 2019 Proposed MCP Amendments. Our cover letter summarized three key topics of concern: PFAS, Risk Characterization, and Transition Provisions. A separate document included 15 pages of comments.  

As usual, the LSPA process started with a call to members to submit their comments to the LSPA Regulations Committee.  Then committee co-chairs Joe Roman (GEI) and Dan LaFrance (Fuss & O'Neill) assembled a team of "champions" to review, develop, and vet comments.  Many thanks and kudos to that group for an awesome job pulling together a solid draft set of comments.

These comments were reviewed by the LSPA Board and finally by Michele Paul (City of New Bedford), the LSPA's new President. 

We encourage you to share any additional thoughts and comments with the LSPA at [email protected].  


The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the June Membership Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Woburn, MA on June 13, 2019.  

COMPLIANCE TIP OF THE MONTH 

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Would it surprise you to know that at least 50 emerging professionals are considering or actively planning to take the LSP Exam in the next few years?  That’s how many people attended the LSPA’s event last week hosted by the LSPA's Emerging Professionals Committee.

It was a curious and focused group who attentively listened while three new LSPs shared their experiences:

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Nancy M. White and Iris Davis Memorial Golf Tournament

When: Friday, June 7, 2019
Time: 7:00 AM Registration; 8:00 AM Shotgun Start
Location: Far Corner Golf Course, 5 Barker Road, Boxford, MA - Directions

This event is being held in memory of our dear friends Nancy and Iris on June 7, 2019 at Far Comer Golf Course in Boxford, MA. Registration begins at 7:00 AM, with tee-off at 8:00 AM.



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The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the May Membership Meeting at the DoubleTree in Westborough, MA on May 16, 2019.  

COMPLIANCE TIP OF THE MONTH 

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MassDEP has recently released the 2019 Proposed MCP Revisions. The revisions are available here on the MassDEP website.  
 
The LSPA Regulations Committee is assembling the LSPA's comments on the proposed revisions and would like your input. We have prepared a template to track comments and aid in consolidating feedback from the regulated community.  MassDEP has also suggested providing alternative language if it helps provide context for a comment, so please do so if applicable. Please use the template posted under Technical Resources.     
 
MassDEP will also be holding five public meetings associated with the MCP Public Comment period in May 2019. The list of public meetings is available here.

Please send your comments, suggestions, and revisions to the LSPA Regulations Committee 2019 MCP Revisions email address [email protected] by Friday, May 31, 2019. 
 
We cannot guarantee that your comments will be included in the LSPA document so, as always, we urge you to also submit your comments directly to MassDEP.
 
The LSPA will provide comments to MassDEP by the July 19, 2019 deadline.  


The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the April Membership Meeting at the Holiday Inn in Taunton, MA on April 23, 2019.  

COMPLIANCE TIP OF THE MONTH 

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The proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000) are now available on MassDEP's website at: https://www.mass.gov/lists/2019-proposed-mcp-revisions and a Public Hearing Notice has been published in the Massachusetts Register. This will kick-off an extended 3-month long public comment period that will end July 19, 2019, and will include five public hearings at MassDEP Offices across the state and additional meetings as needed/requested.
 
The purpose of the proposed revisions is to update and clarify existing provisions for the notification, assessment and cleanup of oil and/or hazardous material contamination in the environment to ensure that actions are performed in a timely manner, are appropriately monitored and documented, and achieve of a level of No Significant Risk that is protective of public health and the environment.
 
The proposals include, but are not limited to:
  • Clarification and modification of provisions related to notification, Imminent Hazards, Tier Classification and Extensions, Remedial Additives, Status Reports, Remedial Monitoring Reports, Temporary Solutions, Active Exposure Pathway Mitigation Measures, Exposure Point Concentrations, Activity and Use Limitations, and public involvement;
  • New adequately regulated provisions for disposal sites with Radioactive Materials;
  • Updates to Reportable Concentrations (RCs) and numerical cleanup standards (Method 1) for a limited number of chemicals; and
  • The addition of RCs and Method 1 standards for six perfluoroalkyl substances-Perfluoroheptanoic Acid (PFHpA), Perfluorohexanesulfonic Acid (PFHxS), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA) and Perfluorodecanoic Acid (PFDA)-emerging contaminants of concern for exposure in drinking water.
Questions about the public comment process, the meetings/hearing and/or the proposals may be emailed to [email protected].
 
The LSPA's Regulations Committee will spearhead the LSPA's response to the public comment period; we will send an email to LSPA members with details and deadlines early next week.


The LSPA Board realizes the need for an LSPA PFAS Task Force to cover the ever-changing and consuming topic of PFAS, and are in the process of setting out goals and a charter.  We would like to gauge interest and ask for volunteers now so that we can start to get organized. This sense of urgency stems in part from the formation of a MassDEP PFAS stakeholder group, and the fact that this group already had their first meeting.
 
Information on the MassDEP PFAS stakeholder group can be found here
 
The LSPA should have been on the invite list since we submitted a letter at the "PFAS Petition" hearing.  We have been in touch with the Drinking Water Program, Bureau of Water Resources who tells us the next stakeholder group meeting will be the week of June 17 - no definite date yet.
 
Attending these stakeholder meetings (which are open to the public) will be an initial key task for the group.
 
Please contact Wendy Rundle at [email protected] if you would like to join the LSPA Task Force. 
 
The LSPA submitted this response to MassDEP's invitation to offer written feedback on the "PFAS Petition" by the Conservation Law Foundation and Toxics Action Center. Read the letter here

MassDEP Response to CLF and Toxics Action PFAS Petition
In a January 28, 2019 email, Douglas E. Fine., Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Water Resources, MassDEP wrote:

As you know, MassDEP received a “Petition for Rulemaking to Establish a Treatment Technique Drinking Water Standard for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances” on October 25, 2018 from the Conservation Law Foundation and Toxics Action Center.  In accordance with regulatory requirements under 310 CMR 2.03 and 2.04, MassDEP held a public meeting on January 16, 2019 to consider the petition and to take comments on the petition. This opportunity allowed for representatives of the Conservation Law Foundation and the Toxics Action Center to present their views on the petition to 71 participants attending the meeting in person, and more than 80 watching via on-line stream.  The public meeting also allowed for 21 stakeholders to formally offer their views. In addition, MassDEP received written comments from 45 different individuals and organizations. MassDEP greatly appreciates attention to this important matter from the petitioners, and the agency is very appreciative of the participation of all stakeholders through their written and oral comments, and attendance and viewing of the public meeting.


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Thank you to Ryan Kath and the team at NBC10 Boston for this piece illustrating the serious challenges of home heating oil releases, especially for those who are uninsured. We expect two more parts to this series, with the final part focusing on legislation that would require insurance companies to provide specialized liquid fuel release insurance riders.  
 

While we can't comment on the specifics of this Blackstone property, we can say that Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs), attorneys, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), and the LSP Association (LSPA) hear regularly from homeowners who are overwhelmed and desperate about how they will afford to clean up home heating oil releases on their properties to meet the requirements of the State’s environmental regulations. Home heating oil spills are emotional and difficult for all involved.  

Many homeowners do not have the financial means to pay for costly cleanups, and MassDEP does not have the public funds to do this itself. The backing of homeowners' insurance companies is critical to make cleanups financially viable. The LSPA is working with state legislators to mandate that insurance companies provide coverage to homeowners using oil heat - just like they do for homeowners using electric, gas, and other energy sources, and just as most homeowners would expect when purchasing insurance.  

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The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the January Membership Meeting at the Holiday Inn in Taunton, MA on January 16, 2019.  

Compliance Tip of the Month

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The LSPA received the following email from MassDEP yesterday. Representatives of the LSPA will attend this meeting.

From: Locke, Paul (DEP) <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, Dec 20, 2018 at 4:11 PM
Subject: Invitation to Meeting on PFAS Petition (1/16/19, 10:00 @ MassDEP, Boston)
MassDEP Waste Site Cleanup Stakeholder,
 
The following email was sent to stakeholders of the MassDEP Drinking Water Program, but the information discussed will also be relevant to the Waste Site Cleanup Program. Please consider attending the meeting or viewing online.
-          Paul Locke
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Paul W. Locke  |  Assistant Commissioner  |  MassDEP Waste Site Cleanup
www.mass.gov/dep  |  [email protected]  |  617-556-1160 

 
MassDEP Drinking Water Stakeholder,
 
I am writing to invite you to participate in a meeting that will be held by MassDEP on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 10:00 am at MassDEP's Boston Office.  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss and solicit your feedback on a petition titled: "Petition for Rulemaking to Establish a Treatment Technique Drinking Water Standard for Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances."  The petition was submitted to MassDEP in October 2018 by the Conservation Law Foundation and Toxics Action Center pursuant to M.G.L. c. 30A, § 4.  MassDEP intends to act in accordance with the relevant provisions of 310 CMR 2.00 et seq., which require MassDEP to hold a meeting to consider the petition, and after the meeting to notify the petitioners of the Department's actions.  The petition, and information about the meeting, is available at: https://www.mass.gov/lists/petition-for-rulemaking-to-establish-a-treatment-technique-drinking-water-standard-for-pfas.
 
At the meeting, the petitioners will have the opportunity to present an overview of their petition.  MassDEP will provide an overview of the Drinking Water program's implementation of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act, including some background on PFAS and an update of actions taken by MassDEP to date.  There will be an opportunity for the public to offer feedback on the petition.  If you would like to offer brief, oral feedback at the meeting, please pre-register by sending an email to [email protected], and include "PFAS Petition Meeting" in the subject line of your email.  Please note that oral feedback will be time-limited in order to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to speak.  MassDEP will also accept written feedback on the petition.  If you would like to submit written feedback, we encourage you to send it electronically in advance of the meeting to [email protected], with the subject line of "PFAS Petition Feedback."  You may also submit feedback in hard copy at any time up to the close of the public meeting.
 
The meeting will be held at MassDEP's offices at One Winter Street, Boston, 2nd floor conference rooms A, B and C, at 10 AM on Wednesday, January 16, 2019.  Directions are available at https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massdep-boston-office.  If you are unable to attend in person, the meeting will be available via live-streaming at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCswijd-Vuwa0jMR4EroSm8w/live.
 
We look forward to your participation at this meeting.  Please contact the Drinking Water Program at [email protected] with the subject line of "PFAS Petition Questions," or call 617-292-5770 with any questions.
 
 
Sincerely,
Douglas E. Fine
Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Water Resources
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection


The LSPA kicked off its “school” year with a great event on September 25th sponsored by Regenesis

We heard a high energy and far ranging talk by Jay Ash, MA Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. Secretary Ash covered topics including his time as Mayor of Chelsea, collaboration with several LSPA members with whom he has worked (all good experiences!), Governor Baker’s bipartisan administration, exciting economic development projects happening statewide, and why he is optimistic about the Massachusetts innovation economy. MassDEP Commissioner Marty Suuberg gave a broad reaching overview of the 25 year privatized program and generously acknowledged the important role of the LSPA in this work. He spoke about MassDEP priorities going forward, including the use of new technology to improve government transparency, emerging contaminants, climate change and resiliency, and brownfields development. Both speakers addressed the value of the work that LSPs and other practitioners do, and its importance to the economic and environmental health of the Commonwealth. 

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We had a great turnout at last week's Western Massachusetts Membership Meeting, "A Fresh Look at Brownfields Challenges and Opportunities". The presentation slides have been posted on the LSPA website under Member Materials. Please visit here to download the materials or click directly on the links below:
Thank you to our sponsors for the evening: Con-Test Analytical Laboratory and Regenesis. We appreciate your continued support!


   
Paul Locke sends this reminder about who to contact regarding eDEP questions. MOST of the time it's the BWSC eDEP email box and once-in-a-while it's the EEA Service Desk. Read more below.
 
Do You Have Questions or Need Assistance with BWSC Forms, eDEP, or BWSC's  Searchable Sites List (i.e., the On-Line Data Portal)?
 
As you know, eDEP is MassDEP's on-line filing system for submitting DEP transmittal forms and other documents to MassDEP. 
 
MassDEP's eDEP system is maintained by the agency's EEA Information Technology Staff, with input from the BWSC Program.  Should you find yourself needing help with eDEP, we can help you better and faster by directing your question to the people with the right expertise.  
 
For most questions relating to eDEP and BWSC Forms, please email the BWSC eDEP email box, [email protected].
 
For questions or problems filling out BWSC Forms, accessing BWSC Site Files through the Data Portal or accessing Resource Maps, and for Data Requests and Corrections, LSP Proofs and Change of Address  contact BWSC for assistance at [email protected].

Contacting BWSC directly in most instances avoids multiple forwarding of e-mails and ensures that your questions are answered in a timely manner.  A BWSC staff member is assigned daily to answer questions sent to the BWSC.eDEP mailbox and typically will get back with a response within one business day.
 
For technical eDEP problems onlysuch as system slowness or availability, failure to upload forms or attachments, blank screens, passwords and other nuts/bolts/electron issues, please email the EEA Service Desk directly or call 617-626-1111.
  
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Paul W. Locke  |  Assistant Commissioner  |  MassDEP Waste Site Cleanup
www.mass.gov/dep  |  [email protected]  |  617-556-1160 
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Follow us on Twitter: @MassDEP
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The LSPA received the below press release from MassDEP.  In the email, Paul Locke noted, "As we have discussed PFAS at the MassDEP WSC Advisory Committee meetings, including the promise of MCP Reportable Concentrations and Method 1 Standards in the upcoming proposed revisions to 310 CMR 40.0000, you may be interested in the following press release from the US EPA."
 
EPA Releases Agenda for New England PFAS Community Engagement Event
 
Boston (June 18, 2018) - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an early agenda for the inaugural per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) two-day community engagement event at Exeter High School, 1 Blue Hawk Dr., Exeter, New Hampshire. This event allows EPA to hear directly from New England communities, state, local, and tribal partners on how to best help states and communities facing this issue. 
 
Additional details will be posted on the PFAS Community Engagement website
 
Both days will be open to the public and the press. If you are interested in attending the event on June 25 and/or June 26, please register here: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/forms/pfas-community-engagement-exeter-nh. The public is invited to speak during the June 25 listening session. Those interested in speaking should sign up for a three-minute speaking slot while registering.
 
Please check back at the PFAS Community Engagement website for further information leading up to the event. Citizens are also encouraged to submit written statements to the public docket at https://www.regulations.gov/ enter docket number: OW-2018-0270.
 
New Hampshire marks the first community engagement. Throughout the summer, EPA will visit and similarly engage with additional communities across the country. Information on these upcoming sessions will also be available on the EPA website
 
At the PFAS National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. on May 22-23, Administrator Pruitt announced four actions EPA will take:
  • EPA will initiate steps to evaluate the need for a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for PFOA and PFOS. We will convene our federal partners and examine everything we know about PFOA and PFOS in drinking water.
  • EPA is beginning the necessary steps to propose designating PFOA and PFOS as "hazardous substances" through one of the available statutory mechanisms, including potentially CERCLA Section 102.
  • EPA is currently developing groundwater cleanup recommendations for PFOA and PFOS at contaminated sites and will complete this task by fall of this year.
  • EPA is taking action in close collaboration with our federal and state partners to develop toxicity values for GenX and PFBS by this summer. 
The public's input is incredibly valuable and meaningful to EPA. Using information from the National Leadership Summit, public docket, and community engagements, EPA plans to develop a PFAS Management Plan for release later this year. In addition, a summary of the New England community engagement event will be made available on the PFAS Community Engagement website following the event.
 
Additional information can be found at: https://www.epa.gov/pfas/pfas-community-engagement 

The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the June Membership Meeting at the Holiday Inn in Taunton, MA on June 13, 2018.  

Conducting Public Involvement at PIP Sites

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MassDEP released drinking water guidelines today for five PFAS chemicals and sent the following information to Public Water Suppliers and other parties.
 

From the Waste Site Cleanup perspective, the background information on the development of the guideline will also serve as background information for Waste Site Cleanup’s soon-to-be-proposed MCP Method 1 GW-1 Standard for PFAS. 

MassDEP expects to keep us up-to-date throughout the summer on the status of the proposed MCP revisions and MassDEP’s approach to PFAS.

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