LSPA News

Don't Forget to Update Your LSPA Member Profile Specialties

Now that you have renewed your LSPA membership for 2022, please take a look at this page on the LSPA website. When you click on "Find an LSP," your name, company, and city/town will be searchable. We encourage you to fully complete the "Specialty Field" section of your member profile, as this will allow visitors to the LSPA website to find you by your specialties. You can edit this field at any time. Please see instructions here.
 
Haven’t yet renewed your membership for 2022? Please click here to renew.


Job Postings on LSPA Website

The LSPA website homepage has a drop down menu called Job Postings where a visitor can find the LSPA Job Board; it had ten job openings listed at the time of this writing.  

One recent job opportunity came to us on December 30, 2021 from the MA Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM). They shared a link for an Environmental Project Manager position.
 
If you or someone you know is looking for a job, please remember to bookmark and check this LSPA webpage regularly.  


Three LSPs Discuss LSP Exam Prep

The LSPA's Emerging Professionals Committee (EPC) is dedicated to providing educational & social programs for professionals who are new to environmental consulting in Massachusetts. 

In April 2021, the EPC presented “LSP Exam Prep & Overview" in which three LSPs discussed their experiences preparing for, and taking the LSP exam in 2019 and 2020 (under Covid restrictions). This presentation continues to be timely for anyone planning to take the exam soon, as well as for those curious about and perhaps intimidated by the prospect.

The 90-minute video of this event is available here for your viewing, and also includes an extended Q&A session.   

Learn more about the EPC and connect with committee chairs 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.

LSPA Introduces December 2021 Compliance Tip of the Month

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

Compliance Tip:
When using a Method 2 or Method 3 risk characterization to establish a condition of NSR, you must consider reasonably foreseeable, as well as current, site activities and uses. In particular, future vapor intrusion exposures could result from changes in building use or altered building conditions. Potentially problematic activities and uses can be eliminated from consideration in the risk characterization through an appropriate AUL, per 310 CMR 40.0923(3)(b).

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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....

December 15, 2021 Meeting of the UST Board to Discuss Fee Schedules and other Policies

The UST Petroleum Product Cleanup Fund Administrative Review Board (UST Board) has assembled a Subcommittee to discuss updates to the Appendix 3 Fee Schedule and other policies of the UST Board. The first meeting is scheduled for Wednesday December 15, 2021 from 10:00 AM until 11:00 AM. The meeting will be held via Zoom video conferencing. This is an open public meeting and participation from UST owners, technical consultants, and other interested parties is encouraged.
 
The meeting notice and Zoom link has been posted on the UST Board website here
 
The LSPA will have representatives in attendance.


LSPA Announces October 2021 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the October 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on October 28, 2021.  

Compliance Tip:
Even if you have demonstrated that no Imminent Hazard exists and there is a condition of No Significant Risk at your site, you still need to address a Critical Exposure Pathway (CEPif one has been identified.  As required by 310 CMR 40.0414(3)&(4), you must conduct response actions to eliminate, prevent, and/or mitigate the CEP, or submit documentation that it is not feasible to do so.  

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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 Testimony on S. 676 Home Heating Oil Insurance

Led by Susan Crane (Attorney) and Kevin Beaulieu (LSP), the LSPA assembled a team to testify before the MA Legislature’s Joint Committee on Financial Services on October 20, 2021, in support of Senate Bill 676, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases.  Three homeowners recently impacted by spills, and shocked to learn the releases were not covered by their homeowners insurance, shared their unfortunate experiences.  An insurance industry spokesperson was the only person to testify against the bill. 

The LSPA was pleased that legislators had many follow-up questions that (we thought) showed their interest in pushing insurance companies to take a more active interest in addressing this issue.

To view the relevant portion of the hearing, click here – LSPA testimony begins at 16:25 and runs until 41.20. The testimony of the MA Insurance Federation representative on S. 676 runs from 42:25 to 45:40.  Q&A from legislators runs from 52:10 to 58:30.

The LSPA will continue to monitor progress on the bill, and pursue options for more visibility on the issue.


September 2021 Newsletter

LSPA's September 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....

Legislative Update: LSPA’s Home Heating Oil Insurance Bill

NBC Boston ran this story on September 22, 2021 to again highlight the devastating and costly impacts of residential heating oil spills, especially for those without insurance coverage.  The LSPA continues to work with Senator Anne M. Gobi to pass S. 676, our bill that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for the approximately 700,000 homeowners who do not have it.  For two sessions, this bill has received a favorable report from the legislature's Joint Committee on Financial Services.  

For more information about the LSPA's bill, please read our fact sheet and this additional information which includes TV news coverage.

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

PRF77 RFR on COMMBUYS now - 8/5 pre-bid conference

The LSPA received the following email from Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM). Please contact DCAMM directly if you have any questions.


DCAMM is providing the following information that may be of interest to your membership.  Please feel free to forward.

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Brownfields Tax Credit Updates to Take Effect July 9, 2021

The LSPA received the following email yesterday regarding changes to the Brownfields Tax Credit program regulations and administrative procedures. These changes take effect today, Friday, July 9, 2021.  

Separate from but related to the staffing item below is this job posting for a Brownfields Credit Specialist position with the MA Department of Revenue. This position is also posted on the LSPA's Job Board. 

The MA Executive Office for Administration and Finance email reads:  

I am reaching out to inform you that tomorrow, July 9, 2021, the Administration will be implementing various administrative changes to improve the Brownfields Tax Credit and streamline the application process.

As you are aware, in recent months, the Executive Office for Administration & Finance convened an interagency working group with representatives from DOR, DEP, A&F, HED, and EEA to examine how to optimize the Brownfields Tax Credit.

This process and these upcoming changes have been informed by public feedback through the G.L. c. 30A process for regulations and multiple listening sessions. DOR will execute these changes by finalizing the Brownfields Tax Credit regulations (830 CMR 63.38Q.1) and issuing a revised administrative procedure for the program. The changes are summarized below.  

Regulation
  • Scope of Review on Appeal – For partial appeals, DOR will review only the denied portion of an application; the approved portion of an application will only be reviewed if there was a material misrepresentation or omission.
  • Denial Explanation – DOR will provide an explanation for each credit denial.
  • Asbestos Eligibility – DOR will deem asbestos removal costs to be generally eligible as long as the soil immediately under the building is contaminated and the building’s demolition was required in order to achieve a permanent solution.
  • Multiple Releases – For purposes of determining whether an applicant’s costs equal or exceed 15% of the assessed value of the property (as is required to become eligible for the credit), an applicant may aggregate net response and removal costs over a 3-year period when there are multiple contaminated sites on one property.
  • Effective Date of Regulation – By its terms, the regulation will go into effect when it is made public on July 9, 2021.
Subregulatory Guidance
  • Intake Timeline – When an application is submitted, DOR will contact the applicant within 30 days to notify them of which examiner has been assigned to the case and to outline the application review process.
  • Intake Narrative – To accelerate DOR’s initial review, applicants will be directed to provide a narrative explaining why submitted costs are eligible.
  • Review Process Updates – Applicants will receive a status update from the examiner assigned to their case every 60 days.
  • Expedited Timeline – An expedited process will be established for lower-dollar, less complex BTC projects¾those worth $250K or less. Such applicants will be contacted within 7 days and will receive updates every 30 days.
  • Appeals Timeline – DOR has established a timeframe for the processing of appeals. The stages of the process are as follows:
    1. Appeal is initiated. This occurs when the Office of Appeals receives the appeal.
    2. Initial Scheduling Letter sent. Within 30 days of Stage 1.
    3. Complete Appeal filed by Applicant. Within 60 days of Stage 1.
    4. Opening Conference held. Within 90 days of Stage 1.
    5. Information and Document Requests (IDRs) issued and answered. These are to be issued by the Appeals Officer within 60 days of the Opening Conference (Stage 4) and are to be answered by the Applicant within 30 days after they were issued.
    6. Formal Scheduling Letter sent (if no settlement has been reached). Within 60 days after all IDRs have been answered.
    7. Formal Hearing held. No later than 60 days after the Formal Scheduling Letter has been issued.
    8. Formal Letter of Determination issued. 60 days after the Formal Hearing. If the appeal is complex, this stage may be extended by an additional 90 days.
Additional Resources
  • Staffing – DOR will hire a dedicated environmental engineer and is also hiring and training 3 additional audit staff members.
Public Engagement
  • Revisit Regulation in 2 Years – DOR will solicit stakeholder feedback on the regulation two years from the date of final promulgation.
DOR plans to make public the final regulations and revised administrative procedure on Friday, July 9, 2021—the date that they will also take effect.

We’d like to thank you all for your helpful guidance and partnership during this process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
 
Thank you,

Cassandra

Cassandra B. Roeder
Associate General Counsel
Executive Office for Administration and Finance
State House, Room 373
Boston, MA 02133
(857) 400-5431


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.


LSPA Election Results and Board Transitions

The LSPA Board is pleased to announce that three candidates have been elected to the LSPA Board of Directors for 2021 - 2024:
  • David Leone, LSP, Associate Principal, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. Mr. Leone will begin his second 3-year term on July 1, 2021. He will serve as LSPA President from 2021-2022. 
  • Crista Trapp, Human Health Risk Assessor and Senior Scientist, The Vertex Companies, Inc.. Ms. Trapp will begin her first 3-year term on July 1, 2021. 
  • Charles Young, LSP, Associate and Senior Environmental Project Manager, Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. Mr. Young will begin his second 3-year term on July 1, 2021. He will serve as LSPA President-Elect from 2021-2022.  
Thank you to all who voted. We received 109 completed ballots. 
 
At the end of June 2021, LSPA Board Member Marilyn Wade's Board term will come to an end. Marilyn is a Managing Engineer at Brown and Caldwell. She has been on the LSPA Board in one capacity or another since July 2013. She served as LSPA Treasurer and most importantly, was the first LSPA President ever to serve two consecutive terms, from July 2017 through June 2019. She also served two terms as Past President. Marilyn, we thank you for your many and continuing contributions to the LSPA and the practice. 
 
We feel fortunate to have a vibrant association led by such skilled and dedicated professionals.