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MassDEP would like to notify LSPs who apply for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) coverage of an upcoming change in how applications and (Notices of Intent) NOIs are submitted. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) is in the process of rolling out ePLACE, which is a permitting portal through which you can apply for, renew, or amend a license, permit, certificate or notification. The portal allows all EOEEA authorizations that may be needed by a facility or permittee to be assembled under one integrated electronic system with partial public access. As part of EOEEA, MassDEP's Surface Water Discharge Permitting Program's ePLACE portal will go live on June 30, 2020. Once applicants set up a user ID and password, they will be able to upload applications and NOIs through the portal for multiple projects/facilities. The paper transmittal form will no longer be used and payments may be made by credit card or electronic check. Applicants will still have the option to mail a check, if necessary.

The portal will be available beginning on June 30, 2020 at: https://eplace.eea.mass.gov/citizenaccess and instructions will be available at: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/surface-water-discharge-permitting-npdes. ePLACE technical support will also be available. Applications and NOIs received by email or mail after this date will need to be resubmitted using ePLACE.


The following LSPA resource tip was presented at the June 2020 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on June 18, 2020.  

LSPA Resource Tip for More Resilient and Sustainable Remediation Solutions 

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The LSPA Board is pleased to announce that three candidates have been elected to the LSPA Board of Directors for 2020 - 2023:
Thank you to all who voted. We received 150 completed ballots. 
 
At the end of June 2020, LSPA Board Member Jeanine Grachuk's Board term will come to an end. Jeanine is an environmental attorney and Partner at Beveridge & Diamond P.C. We thank her for her many contributions as a Board member and Clerk.  

We feel fortunate to have a vibrant association led by such skilled and dedicated professionals
Sincerely,
   
David Leone, LSP
LSPA President-Elect, 2020-2021



This 20-minute video created by Phil Platcow, Senior Vice President for Health & Safety at The Vertex Companies, Inc., shows us how to get our home workspace set up for ergonomic success! Phil covers several different areas including what ergonomics is and how to have the proper at home set-up. He even tackles how to avoid distractions and provides information on our overall wellness. A BIG thank you to Phil and VERTEX for sharing their content with the LSPA and it's members. We hope you all enjoy the video. 



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BWSC Q & A: Covid-19 Edition
At last week's BWSC Office Hours, Paul Locke, BWSC Assistant Commissioner, announced that MassDEP has added a new question to the MCP Q & A: Covid-19 Edition. The question pertains to Limited Removal Action (LRA) Extensions.
 
The question is whether extensions will be granted in situations where there is an inability to meet the 120-day deadline for completing an LRA. In this case the delay is due to construction shutdowns in Boston.
 
MassDEP's response is:
If your client cannot conduct the Limited Removal Action prior to the end of the 120 days from the time s/he had knowledge of the PCB release, your client must notify.  
 
The Department has issued guidance (available here) that describes its expectations and application of enforcement discretion for certain delays in conducting response actions during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.  As stated in the guidance, all 2-hour, 72-hour and 120 day notifications must continue to be made during the State of Emergency. This is consistent with the provisions at 310 CMR 40.0025(1), which allow for written notices of delay in the case of a Force Majeure "except a deadline or time period for providing notification of a release or threat of release of oil and/or hazardous material, or an Imminent Hazard, as required by 310 CMR 40.0300..."
Questions may be submitted to MassDEP's BWSC at [email protected]. MassDEP staff will respond directly to the questions received and, if a question is of more general interest, post the answers on the webpage.
City of Boston Covid-19 Tools of the Trade
The City of Boston Inspectional Services Department has implemented new protocols for essential construction work in the City of Boston due to the Covid-19 public health emergency.  As of May 18, 2020, The City of Boston began allowing essential construction on sites that met certain criteria, including filing a Covid-19 Safety plan and a signed affidavit. 

To stay up to date with the latest news on construction in Boston, visit this 
website. You will also find Covid-19 guidelines and guidance videos there.
Take a look at this 
video for tips to ensure your Boston jobsite is safe, sanitary and in compliance with Covid-19 requirements.


Indoor Air and Covid-19
The LSPA's Technical Practices Committee (TPC) reminds us that the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has prepared a list of resources to address Coronavirus airborne transmission in hospitals, aircraft and other enclosed spaces.  It can be found here
 
If the topic of indoor air and building design/ventilation is of interest to you, please consider attending a TPC meeting; this topic is usually one of several meeting agenda items. The committee meets next by Zoom on June 10th from 8 am to 10 am. Contact Committee Chair Roger Thibault to receive the Zoom link.


Occupational Health and Safety
Another resource discussed at a recent TPC meeting is this guidance document from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) entitled "Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19."
As COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives, we want to recognize members of the LSPA who are going "above and beyond" by donating their time and resources to help others through this difficult period.

Below are two examples of these generous contributions. Kudos to Trident Environmental and Amy Rosenstein. Please contact us at [email protected] if you know of others who are helping.

Trident Environmental Group provided free decontamination services for first responder vehicles at their Norfolk headquarters. All surrounding towns were invited to participate in the April 18th event. Trident serviced about 60 police, fire and medical vehicles from Norfolk, Wrentham and Plainville.

Teams from the environmental contracting firm used their Steramist surface units to thoroughly disinfect first responder vehicles with a hydrogen peroxide-based mist and fog composed of ionized hydrogen peroxide.

          

Amy Rosenstein, Risk Assessor at the US Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, and LSPA member, is sewing face masks in her spare time for the Lexington Coalition Mask Team. This group has been donating masks to social service agencies and medical facilities. So far, they have collectively contributed 14,533+ handmade masks to those who need them. 

     
As you know, the LSPA has launched itself into the professional development world of webinars. So far, the response to our efforts has been overwhelmingly positive. Members and non-members alike report their great satisfaction with the more convenient and "greener" option of taking courses electronically (OK - and the in-person option just isn't available right now....). The LSPA's Education Committee is looking for webinar presenters. Do you have an area of expertise or a project you think would be interesting to LSPs and other practitioners? Did you plan to deliver a paper but your conference was cancelled? Have you developed a brown bag lunch presentation but your dog just isn't interested? The LSPA would like to hear from you! Our staff will handle all the logistics for one- to two-hour webinars (including applying for LSP credit if appropriate). We offer a stipend and lots of visibility. Please write us at [email protected] with your topics and ideas. We'd love to hear from you.

LSPs and other practitioners wear many different public health and safety "hats;" some serve in local government, some are EMTs or other first responders, and some organize equipment or food drives. Still others provide pro bono professional services. The LSPA is seeking information on members who are providing valuable services during this time, above and beyond their typical duties, so that we can recognize their good work. Please send a brief write-up to the LSPA at [email protected] about what you or someone you know is doing to contribute to the commonwealth during this pandemic. Photos would be great! With your permission, the LSPA may use this in our social media, our newsletter, or other communications. Sharing good news and good deeds will help us all feel a little bit better during this strange time!

Do you have a client with a residential heating oil spill? As upsetting and difficult as that can be under "normal" circumstances, it has surely been more complicated under the current restrictions.

The LSPA's bill S. 594, which would require insurance companies to provide first- and third-party coverage for home heating oil releases, has successfully moved out of the legislature's Joint Committee on Financial Services and is now with the Senate Ways & Means Committee. The LSPA is preparing to update key legislators on the need for this insurance; it is our understanding that the state senate is hoping to meet again next month.

Please contact our Executive Director Wendy Rundle at [email protected] if you or your client is interested in sharing information with the LSPA about a recent residential heating oil release. Our ability to provide actual examples, even anonymously, has proven to be most persuasive with legislators.


The following LSPA tip was presented at the April 2020 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on April 28, 2020.  

LSPA Tip for eDEP Submittals During the Time of COVID-19

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MassDEP BWSC Introduces New Q&A on MCP Issues During State of Emergency
At the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) April 23, 2020 Office Hours, Assistant Commissioner Paul Locke shared new resources that practitioners should be aware of.
 
The MCP Q&A: COVID-19 Edition consists of Questions & Answers about the notification, assessment, cleanup and closure of sites during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Questions may be submitted to BWSC at
[email protected]. MassDEP staff will respond directly to the questions received and, if a question is of more general interest, post the answers on the website page.
 
Also posted on this page is guidance from U.S. EPA on work at CERCLA (Superfund) and RCRA Corrective Action Sites during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Read more here
 
The BWSC continues to hold weekly office hours every Thursday at 9:00 am. Go here for more details. 
 
Recordings of past office hours can be found here.  
 
For additional information, refer to the BWSC April 7, 2020 Fact Sheet entitled

Many thanks to BWSC for providing these resources.  

Be well and stay safe.
Wendy Rundle, Executive Director


Let's be honest, one of the best things about attending an LSPA Member Meeting at the Westborough Doubletree Hotel is the chocolate chip cookies. Many an LSP has been seen doubling up on them at LSPA programs, or stuffing them in their pockets "for the ride home."   

We are disappointed to not be holding our May 2020 member meeting at the Doubletree but, if you're in the mood to bake (and eat!), you can still enjoy their chocolate chip cookies.  

For the first time, the hotel has revealed its cookie recipe. Read more here.
Print out the recipe here.


The LSP Association Scholarship Fund is accepting applications for educational scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year. Deadline for submission has been extended to Friday, May 29, 2020.

The scholarship program supports continued education within environmental fields of study at colleges and universities throughout New England.
 
The goal is to provide two scholarships, each up to an amount of $5,000, to qualified individuals. 
 
One of the scholarships, established in 2007, honors the outstanding contributions to the profession of LSPA past president Jeffrey M. Hardin, and is awarded to an individual who is part of the LSP community. The applicant for this scholarship must be an LSPA member or an immediate family member of an LSPA member and enrolled in a degree program at an accredited New England college or university. 
 
The applicant for the other scholarship does not have to be an LSPA member or in the immediate family of an LSPA member but must be a qualified Massachusetts resident who is enrolled in a Massachusetts college or university with a major in environmental studies.
 
Please visit www.lspa.org for application information. Deadline for submission has been extended to Friday, May 29, 2020.  

The LSPA received the following email yesterday afternoon from MassDEP BWSC. Among other things, it highlights a fact sheet with guidance outlining expectations related to MCP requirements and site work during the COVID-19 State of Emergency, including discussion of meeting response action deadlines for routine submittals. MassDEP recommends that should work be delayed by postponed field work, reduced staffing, or other interruptions, parties should notify MassDEP of the compliance delay in writing, include the deadline(s) that will be missed, and any measures, if applicable, taken to secure the disposal site during the period of work stoppage. The written notice of delay should be submitted to MassDEP through eDEP using transmittal form BWSC121: Notification of Delay. 

MassDEP BWSC also notes that it intends to exercise enforcement discretion for failure to meet deadlines for routine submittals during this State of Emergency. 
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MassDEP has published a Fact Sheet on the continuity of waste site cleanup activities during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.  

I expect we will discuss the new Fact Sheet and other matters during this week's BWSC Office Hours on Thursday morning. (DETAILS: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/bwsc-office-hours-video-calls)

As always, questions can be directed to [email protected] prior to the Thursday call.
 
I hope you are all safe & well.

  • Paul Locke

On Friday, April 3, 2020 the LSPA submitted comments to the MA Department of Revenue on Working Draft Regulation 830 CMR 63.38Q.1, the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit. Read our cover letter and the accompanying spreadsheet which presents our comments in more detail. Many thanks to the LSPA's Regulations Committee for compiling comments and to the many LSPA members who shared their feedback on the Working Draft regulation.
In early February 2020, the LSPA-sponsored Senate Bill 594 received a favorable report from the MA Legislature's Joint Committee on Financial Services. The bill was sent to the Senate Clerk shortly thereafter where it is likely to be referred to the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Many thanks to Committee Chairs Senator James Welch (D-Hampden) and Representative James Murphy (D-Weymouth) for their support.

The bill's progress has been supported by the LSPA's Legislative Committee and the special efforts of LSPA members Attorney Susan Crane and LSP Kevin Beaulieu. They, along with two homeowners and LSPA Executive Director Wendy Rundle, testified at the bill's hearing in September 2019. 

It is the aim of the LSPA in developing S. 594 to correct the significant omission in the current law so that it accomplishes the objectives for which it was designed, which is to mandate that insurance coverage be provided for all Massachusetts households that use fuel oil. Read the LSPA's written testimony here.

Above: S. Crane, K. Beaulieu, W. Rundle after testifying in support of S 594.

 Provided below is more information on three items that may be of interest to LSPA members:

  • Emergency order extending state permit deadlines.
  • State website for PPE donations and health professional volunteer opportunities.
  • Federal government Payroll Protection Program for small businesses, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals.

Emergency Order Extending State Permit Deadlines

Governor Baker signed an emergency order on March 26, 2020 which essentially extends state permit deadlines and specifically addresses constructive approvals, hearing deadlines, decision deadlines, appeal rights, and more.
Website for PPE Donations
The Baker-Polito Administration has established a web site to accept sales or donations of PPE for medical personnel.  
Also included in the link is an opportunity for health professionals to sign up to volunteer.
Federal Payroll Protection Program for Small Businesses, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals
The Federal government has expanded the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan eligibility to include certain small businesses and other organizations. This includes small businesses and also sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals
 
Brian Kindorf, the LSPA's bookkeeping/accounting contractor at Non Profit Capital Management www.npcm.com, reports that:
The loans will be made via SBA approved lenders - which means local banks will be administering this program directly.  The application has not been released yet but you can always pro-actively contact your bank's lending department for details and information.  Expect a few weeks for this program to get fully up-and-running - but maybe the SBA will move faster in this case.
 
More information from NPCM is provided here
Additional information here. 

Take care and be safe.

The LSPA received the following email this morning regarding the MassDEP BWSC New Office Hours.
Hope to see you there - virtually.  

Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee members and Other Interested Stakeholders,

During yesterday's BWSC Advisory Committee meeting, it was suggested that the Bureau hold regular meetings over the next few weeks to address issues that may arise while we work through the new COVID-9 paradigm.

We have set aside time on Thursday mornings, 9:00 - 10:00, during which Liz Callahan and I will be available via Zoom.com.

At the very least we will take your questions, issues and concerns and try to find answer... or provide an opportunity to vent. Feel free to check in during that time, and we'll see how this format works for you (and for us).

It may be productive to send questions in to the [email protected] mailbox so that we can get a head start on the response.

Details for the call are below.  You might want to add it to your calendar as a recurring event.
  • Paul Locke
P.S. The handout and link to video from yesterday's meeting is (will be) available through the BWSC Advisory Committee web page.  


Topic: MassDEP Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Office Hours 
Date: Every Thursday, Starting April 2, 2020
Time: 09:00 - 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
 
Join Zoom Meeting 

Meeting ID: 523 450 5769

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Today, Governor Charlie Baker issued an emergency order requiring all businesses and organizations that do not provide "COVID-19 Essential Services" to close their physical workplaces and facilities to workers, customers and the public as of Tuesday, March 24th at noon until Tuesday, April 7th at noon. These businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely.
 
The Baker-Polito Administration issued a list of designated businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that shall continue to operate brick and mortar facilities during this two-week time period.
 
The seventh bullet under "Public Works" refers to "Licensed site clean-up professionals and other workers addressing hazardous spills, waste sites, and remediation."  
 
The LSPA applauds the Governor for recognizing the role that LSPs and related professionals have in safeguarding health, safety, public welfare, and the environment.  We trust that individual companies will implement this responsibility with the safety and well being of their employees, stakeholders, and the general public in mind.
 
LSPs and others working in the field should be prepared to answer questions about how their work relates to the Governor's COVID-19 Essential Services.
 
Donations of PPE
The LSPA suggests that environmental consulting firms consider reaching out to their local first responders and hospitals to inquire if they are accepting donations of personal protective equipment. All reports indicate that additional supplies are needed to meet the needs for testing and treating patients.
 
We will be in touch.
Be safe,
Michele Paul, LSP
LSPA President
The LSPA received word on Wednesday night directly from MassDEP Commissioner Suuberg noting that Licensed Site Professionals are included in the Governor's Executive Order that addresses extending licenses for certain professions by 90 days. An excerpt is below.

Extending the Licenses of Certain Licensed Professionals: Governor Baker signed a new emergency order to ensure that licensed professionals do not have their licenses or registrations lapse due to unforeseen problems with renewal during the COVID-19 emergency. Specifically, under this order, occupational or professional licenses of individuals that are in good standing and that would otherwise be up for renewal during the COVID-19 emergency shall be extended for 90 days after the end of the public health emergency. This order does not affect license extensions that have already been granted in earlier emergency orders.
 
Read the Emergency Order here: Extension of Professional Licensure Order

Commissioner Suuberg wrote that the LSP Board will address steps moving forward, and that "We hope these actions will provide some relief and flexibility as the important work of the LSP community moves forward in the weeks ahead."

The LSPA very much appreciates the consideration given by the Baker-Polito Administration to the work of LSPs and related practitioners during this challenging time.

Best wishes, 
Michele Paul, LSP
LSPA President