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Be sure to watch this special report tonight on Boston Channel 10 on the impacts of leaks and spills from home heating oil tanks. The financial, emotional, and environmental consequences can be dire. Uninsured homeowners are hit especially hard. Most people are surprised to learn, usually too late, that their insurance policies exclude this coverage. Check out this newscast tonight at 11pm. And on Tuesday, February 5th early evening news. Channel 10 Boston and Ryan Kath

 

The LSP Association (LSPA) is working with Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer) in this new legislative session to pass a bill that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for residential heating oil spills. Senator Gobi, Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, is the primary sponsor of the bill (Senate Docket No.975), which is the same language as her 2017 bill.  
 
The more sponsors of the bill - the better. We are asking you, LSPA members and friends, to write to your State Senator to urge her or him to sign on as a bill co-sponsor. This is the week to get it done.
 
A simple email to your Senator is all it takes. Enter your home address here to find your Senator. An email might read:
 
Dear Senator (name):
 
As a resident of (your address) and your constituent, I am writing to respectfully ask you to join on as a co-sponsor to Senator Anne M. Gobi's bill, Senate Docket No. 975. This bill would make it mandatory for insurance companies to provide coverage for residential heating oil spills. This bill would provide important consumer and environmental protection in the unfortunate event of a home heating oil leak or spill.
 
There are over 100 such incidents in the state annually and cleanup costs can range from $20,000 to $50,000 for simple spills, to more than $300,000 for complex spills that impact both soil and groundwater.*
 
Only about 5% of all homes statewide that use oil heat have the specialized "liquid fuel release" insurance rider that would protect them. And most homeowners don't know that they are not protected under most existing homeowners policies unless they specifically opt in for this coverage by purchasing a rider for a fairly low additional premium.*
 
(If you have first-hand experience assisting with residential spill remediation or know someone who has experienced a spill, it's good to share that).
 
I encourage you to consider co-sponsoring Senate Docket No. 975.
 
Thank you, (your name and address)
 
For more information about the LSPA's bill, please read more here.
Thank you,

LSPA Legislative Committee Chairs
 
 
Kevin Beaulieu, LSP, Common Sense Environmental
Spence Smith, LSP, Jacobs


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
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
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


On December 3, 2018, LSPA Board Member Jeanine Grachuk, Principal at Beveridge & Diamond, spoke about “How Geologists and Environmental Consultants Interact with Lawyers” to 20 students at a meeting of the Student Chapter of the LSP Association at Bridgewater State University. Always great to connect practitioners with students, and possible future LSPs (or attorneys!).

 

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The LSPA celebrated its 25th anniversary in style on October 25th at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. The only thing better than the gorgeous, historical venue was the fact that 350 LSPA members and friends were in attendance. It was a great night: food, drink, 17 Past LSPA Presidents in attendance, three Contribution to the Practice awards, and that doesn’t even include the evening’s entertainment. 

We were excited to hear Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s a cappella group, the Audiophiles, perform. What a talented group of future engineers and techies!




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The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the November Membership Meeting at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westborough, MA on November 13, 2018.  

Compliance Tip of the Month

An Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) cannot be used to limit the activities and exposures of utility workers conducting emergency excavation and repair of existing subsurface utilities. If the property has a utility line or easement, then at a minimum that area of the site must be cleaned up to a level that poses No Significant Risk for emergency excavation and repair of existing subsurface utilities by workers without personal protective equipment.

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LSPA Regulations Committee

3-Minute Update

Here is a 3-minute update on the September 27, 2018 BWSC Advisory Committee meeting, from the LSPA Regulations Committee Co-Chair, Joe Roman. For a more detailed five page summary of the meeting, please click here.



Join Us at the Soils Conference

October 15 in Amherst, MA 

 
LSPA Members, Clients, and Friends: 

Are you attending the 34th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy in Amherst next week? Are you an LSPA member in Western Massachusetts? Please join us for an informal gathering at The Hangar Pub.  

Date: Monday, October 15, 2018
Time: 7:00 pm +
Where: The Hangar Pub, 10 University Dr, Amherst, MA

The Hangar Pub is just a short drive from the UMass Amherst Campus Center where the conference is being held. The pub serves dinner and drinks (and has a corn hole game room). The LSPA will provide munchies and appetizers. 

When you arrive, please keep an eye out for Kevin Beaulieu, Common Sense Environmental, and LSPA Past President. He'll be holding down the fort, at the bar.

Enjoy the conference and we hope to see you Monday night.

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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The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the September Membership Meeting at the Newton Marriott in Newton, MA on September 25, 2018.  

Compliance Tip of the Month
 

The LSPA’s review of recent Notices of Audit Findings indicates that a common violation of sites in Remedy Operation Status (ROS) is the failure to fulfill reporting obligations. 

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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!


   
The LSP Association (LSPA) is proud to support the 34th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy (aka "The Soils Conference") as an event sponsor. As part of this sponsorship, all LSPA members are eligible to receive a discounted registration fee. Did you know you can save up to $255 on registration rates if you are an LSPA member?
 
Registration for the conference is now open! When registering, please remember to check "Presenters*, Sponsors/Supporters, and Academics" to receive the discount. Rates for LSPA members are listed below. These rates are valid until September 28. Registrations received after September 28 will be charged a late fee of $75.
  • Full Three Days: $295 (Savings of $255)
  • One Day: $150 (Savings of 75)
Please note: in order to receive this discount your LSPA membership must be paid in full.
 
Are you attending the conference or are you an LSPA member in the Western Massachusetts area? The LSPA will be organizing an informal gathering at The Hangar Pub on Monday night. Details coming soon! The Hangar Pub is just a short drive from the UMass Amherst Campus Center where the conference is being held. The pub serves dinner and drinks (and has a corn hole game room). 

LSPA’s newly-formed Sole Practitioners Group has developed a skills matrix, which lists sole practitioners along with their areas of expertise. With certain projects, you may be looking for a particular skill set or hoping to add another environmental professional to your team. This skills matrix will help you to find the best person for your team/project. The list, which is maintained by Stephen Boynton of Subsurface Environmental Solutions, LLC, chair of the Sole Practitioners Group, is available to members of that group. Please contact Steve for more information at 781.608.6119 or via mail [email protected].  

Congratulations to longtime LSPA member, Dorothy (Dot) McGlincy, LSP, on her first anniversary as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC)!  Dot has been an active LSPA member for decades, serving as President in 2002, and more recently co-chairing the Regulations Committee and the Legislative Committee.  There is practically nothing that Dot has not  done at the LSPA.  The LSPA has benefited from her intelligence, creativity, and enthusiasm for years – a perfect example is her critically acclaimed spoof of SNL’s “Weekend Update” performed at the LSPA’s 2016 May Membership Meeting.  Rumor has it that a video of this meeting exists somewhere…

The LSPA hopes to partner with the MACC on an event in 2019.  A joint event would benefit both MACC and LSPA members, as well as the environment! We look forward to collaborating with MACC in the year ahead.

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The LSP Association (LSPA) recently announced leadership changes to the Board of Directors as well as the election of two new Board members. These changes went into effect on July 1, 2018 and were announced to the membership at the LSPA monthly meeting, which was held on June 13, 2018 in Taunton, MA.  

The LSPA welcomes two new Board members:
  • David Leone, LSP, Associate Principal with GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. of Norwood, MA,  Director at Large.
  • Charles Young, LSP, Senior Environmental Project Manager at Stantec, of Quincy, MA, Director at Large.

Officers for this fiscal year are: 

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Mark your calendars! The LSPA Membership Meeting dates and locations for 2018-2019 have been announced. The LSP Association's membership meetings take place monthly from September through June in the Greater Boston area. Click here to view the schedule for the upcoming year.

Member meetings are also held in Springfield, MA about four times a year; the schedule is announced as meeting topics become available. The first meeting is September 13, 2018 "A Fresh Look at Brownfields Challenges and Opportunities"

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Last month, the LSPA offered an 8-hr field course in the greater Falmouth, Massachusetts, area entitled, “Sediment, Surface Water, and Biota Sampling Methods to Support MCP Assessments.” This is a repeat course and each time it has been offered, we have received excellent rave reviews. Here are a few comments that we received after the June 2018 course:

  • “Loved learning in the field with the hands on teaching style. Learned a lot and had a blast.”  “The boat portion of the course was excellent. Great to see use in action."
  • “The field/practical portion of this course was excellent. It was very helpful to see the techniques discussed during the presentation demonstrated in the field.” 
  • “I really enjoyed this course and getting out from behind the desk to see the innovative sampling methods and challenges that come along with sediment/SW/biota sampling.” 
  • “This was a GREAT course! Boat trip and everything! Really great to get the hands-on experience with the different sampling and investigation equipment.” 
  • “Excellent idea to have a field class with hands on opportunities for participants.”

Since it is a field course, the course is capped at approximately 30 attendees. Seats have filled up quickly each time the course has been offered. We’ve done our best to fit as many attendees as possible but we’ve ended up with a waiting list each time. Since the course has been such a success, we are considering offering it again in the near future. If you haven’t taken this course yet, please stay tuned! Here is a link to a photo album (courtesy of Matthew Hackman) from the June 2018 course. 

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 For the past 15 years, the LSPA Scholarship Fund has been presenting educational scholarships to individuals pursuing a degree in the field of science, environmental engineering, or other major that is consistent with becoming an LSP or environmental professional.  At LSPA’s June 13th Membership Meeting in Taunton, MA, the LSPA Scholarship Fund awarded two individual scholarships. 

Bill Betters and Chuck Myette from the LSPA Scholarship
Fund Board of Directors along with Award Recipient, Sean Larkin

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