LSPA News & Blog

LSPA Introduces March 2023 Practice Tip

The following LSPA practice tip was introduced at the March 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually on March 14,  2023.  

Among other provisions, the health/safety requirements for MCP response actions set forth at 310 CMR 40.0018 specify that a worker health/safety plan must be implemented to the extent required by OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., and any other applicable federal, state, or local law.

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LSPA Introduces February 2023 Practice Tip

The following LSPA practice tip was introduced at the February 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually on February 15,  2023.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 
Administrative issues with Activity and Use Limitations (AULs) commonly result in the issuance of Notices of Noncompliance. One helpful tool for reviewing an AUL and its exhibits and assessing whether all requirements for submitting an AUL have been met, is the AUL Compliance Assistance Checklist available in Appendix I of MassDEP’s 2014 Draft Guidance on Implementing AULs.

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LSPA Provides Comments on EEA's Environmental Justice Strategy

Last week, the LSPA sent this letter to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs ("EEA") as part of its public comment period on the secretariat-wide draft Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy. The comment period ends on Friday, February 17, 2023. The effort to develop the report was led by EEA’s Environmental Justice Task Force and convened by EEA’s Director of Environmental Justice in September 2020.

In its materials, EEA noted that it seeks the public review to “elaborate on approaches that are likely to be successful, identify strategies that were missed, and highlight practices that may fall short of our mutual goals to establish a more just and equitable commonwealth.”  The strategy is intended to improve the internal management of EEA agencies and the intended audience is EEA staff in their efforts to engage the public. In addition to an overview of the EJ Policy, the report is organized into 13 sections, one for each EEA agency, that outline how each specific agency intends to implement actions for promoting and integrating EJ considerations across its programs, policies, activities, and other strategies. 

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LSPA Introduces January 2023 Compliance Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the January 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on January 26, 2023.  

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Pursuant to 310 CMR 40.1403(3)(a), notification to the Chief Municipal Officer and Board of Health of a community in which a Disposal Site is located is required when respirators or other protective clothing (Level A, B, or C Personal Protective Equipment) is used at a Disposal Site. This notification is required at least three days prior to the commencement of such field work or, if the level of protection is upgraded to Level C or above during the course of the work, as soon as practicable.

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Top Takeaways for EPA's New DRGP Permit, with New Deadlines

The U. S. EPA and EPA Region 1 have issued the Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for discharges of pollutants to Waters of the U. S. in waste waters from certain dewatering and remediation-related activities. This Dewatering and Remediation General Permit (DRGP) covers discharges to certain waters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire, sites in Connecticut and Rhode Island located on Indian Country lands, and federal facilities in Vermont.

This DRGP is a combined reissuance of the Remediation General Permit (RGP) that became effective on April 8, 2017, and expired on April 8, 2022, and the Dewatering General Permit (DGP) that became effective on April 25, 2015, and expired on April 7, 2022. The new general permit combines the former Discharge General Permit (DGP) for non-remediation construction projects with the Remediation General Permit (RGP). The DRGP authorizes discharges of groundwater, surface water, potable water, and storm water associated with following activities: site remediation, site dewatering, infrastructure dewatering and remediation activities, and material dewatering.

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LSPA Introduces December 2022 Compliance Tip of the Month

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

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Consistent with 310 CMR 40.1003(7), if all other MCP closure requirements are met, a site with NAPL may be closed with a Permanent Solution With Conditions (PSWC) following complete evaluation of the nature and extent of the NAPL, including demonstration of the following consistent with Policy #WSC-16-450:

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Action Alert: Final Days for Action on LSPA's S. 2830 Home Heating Oil Insurance

The LSPA's bill S. 2830, which would require insurance companies to provide first- and third-party coverage for home heating oil releases, remains under consideration by the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means. We need your help this coming week. 

We are focusing all our attention on urging House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) and House Speaker Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy) to move this bill to a vote before the legislative session ends on January 3, 2023. 

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Notice of Listening Sessions and Opportunity for Public Comments on EOEEA Draft Environmental Justice Strategy

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently announced the release of its draft EEA secretariat-wide Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy.

The EJ Strategy was developed by a Secretariat-wide EJ Task Force comprised of representatives of each of EEA’s agencies, major offices, and affiliated organizations.  The draft strategy contains chapters that pertain to each of these agencies and offices, and is tailored to the unique mandate of each entity. It also provides a consistent approach to common issues, such as the development of EJ metrics to measure progress, staff training for awareness of EJ issues, commitment to diversity in hiring, inclusion of EJ criteria in grant disbursement and commitment to provision of languages services. 

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LSPA Emerging Professionals Event: Soil Classification

What's the difference between a fine sand and a silt? What is the modified Burmister System? Earlier this week, the LSPA’s Emerging Professionals Committee (EPC) held a soil classification training that answered those questions, and more.  Michael Trovato, a Project Environmental Scientist at Tighe & Bond, presented a hands-on introduction to this topic.  Beforehand, participants enjoyed a light dinner and socializing.  We invite you to join us at our next event!  Learn more about the EPC and connect with committee chairs here.


LSPA Introduces November 2022 Practice Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the November 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on November 15, 2022.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 
The LSPA has developed a Climate Change MCP Toolkit to assist practitioners as they consider the potential effects of climate change on site assessment and response actions. This is anticipated to be required by the pending amendments to the MCP.  The toolkit includes a flowchart, checklist, two case studies, glossary, and list of resources.

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Those who heat with oil face even greater price shock: cost of a leak

The LSPA continues to work for the passage of our bill to mandate that all homeowners’ policies automatically include coverage for spills and leaks from oil heating tanks. Read our letter in today’s Boston Globe.   

Notes from BWSC Advisory Committee, and Comment Period on MA Climate Change Assessment Report

Notes from BWSC Advisory Committee

MassDEP’s Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee met on October 27, 2022 for several hours. Typically, MassDEP posts the slides and recordings of Advisory Committee meetings here. At this time, these have not yet been posted.

A brief summary of meeting highlights is provided below.

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LSPA October 2022 Practice Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the October 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on October 27, 2022.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 
Did you know MassDEP's position is that discarded carbon canisters, as a generated waste, are a sludge and subject to 310 CMR 30.302: Determination of Whether a Waste is Hazardous? Accordingly, per policy HW94‐007, a spent carbon canister that contains hazardous waste constituents from a listed hazardous waste source must be managed as a hazardous waste, regardless of whether the carbon canisters were used to treat groundwater or vapors from groundwater or soils.

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AND…..we’re back in-person!

AND…..we’re back!  The LSPA was excited to hold several in-person events over the past month.

Along with MassDEP and AMWS – The Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists, we held two sessions of “Wetlands, Wetland Regulations, and the MCP.”  This full day course involved time exploring five wetlands field stations and got rave reviews from participants.

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LSPA Climate Change MCP Toolkit Available

The LSPA has developed a Climate Change MCP Toolkit to assist waste site cleanup practitioners as they consider the potential effects of climate change on site assessment and response actions. This is anticipated to be required by the pending amendments to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP).  

The climate change toolkit is available through links in this email as well as on the LSPA website. The tools are reflective of the framework defined in the (the SHMCAP, MA SHMCAP Portal). The SHMCAP accounts for projected changes in precipitation and temperature, sea level rise, and extreme weather events, and aims to reduce the risks associated with natural hazards and the effects of climate change.

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LSPA's Home Heating Oil Insurance Bill Still Positioned for Passage

The Legislature’s Formal Session ended on July 31, 2022, without passage of the LSPA’s bill, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releasesThe LSPA was thrilled that the bill passed the Senate in April 2022 with a unanimous roll-call vote, indicating that Senators wanted to be on-record as supporting our bill. It was then sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means but did not advance in time for closure of the formal session.    

This is the furthest our bill has advanced over three sessions and we have not given up on the bill’s passage this session. The informal legislative session ends on January 2, 2023. Once the legislature has made decisions on more complex bills (e.g., economic development bill; FY '22 final supplemental budget), there should be a window for action for us.  We don’t expect this to happen until the end of September or early October.

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LSPA September 2022 Practice Tip of the Month

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

Practice Tip of the Month: 
Did you know that you can access MassDEP Level 1 audit results through the MassDEP Site File Viewer?

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LSPA Members Get Discount at Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy

The LSP Association (LSPA) is proud to support the 38th Annual International Conference on Soils, Sediments, Water, and Energy (aka "The UMass Soils Conference") as an event sponsor. The conference is back to being held in person this year! As part of this sponsorship, all LSPA members are eligible to receive a discounted registration fee. Click here to learn more about redeeming your discount.

Also, if you are looking for DEP credits, check out Workshop 03: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): Hot Topics. This workshop has been approved for 3.0 DEP Regulatory Credits for MA LSPs, Course #1782. If you are planning to attend, please be sure to sign up for both the workshop and CEUs during registration While the LSPA is not the course provider, we wanted to make our members aware of this opportunity. Any questions regarding the course should be directed to the conference organizers.

Interested in Participating in an LSPA Work Group on Historic Fill/Anthropogenic Background?

Members of the LSPA’s Technical Practices Committee are creating a Work Group to review the documents listed below. 

As part of this effort, the Work Group is reviewing the LSPA Comments on Historic Fill/Anthropogenic Background DRAFT Technical Update 2016, July 14, 2016, which were previously transmitted to MassDEP.

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Resources for Evaluating the Dust Inhalation Pathway and Impacts for Residents

Dust inhalation as a health issue has received increasing scrutiny at construction and remediation sites nationwide and in Massachusetts. Historically, the focus has been on the inhalation of respirable particulates by workers; fortunately, instrumentation is readily available that provides real-time worksite data for particulate concentrations in air. However, the focus is now broadening to include health risks associated with contaminants contained in the airborne dust on more sensitive nearby receptors who may also be exposed. This is an issue that frequently must be anticipated for Release Abatement Measures, Immediate Response Actions, and comprehensive remedial actions at Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) sites where significant earthwork is proposed. Unfortunately, instrumentation is not generally available that provides real-time data for the chemical component of dust risks.

For excavation work at sites with sensitive receptors and with contaminants that could sorb to soils, practitioners would be well advised to consider including a real-time dust monitoring program in their planning, as well as a risk-based evaluation of the impact of dust particulates. 

A 1997 MassDEP paper on dust action levels goes into more detail. 

This paper provides a bridge between the chemical risks and particulate risks of dust by providing risk-based soil concentrations to meet MCP risk limits associated with the dust inhalation pathway. The paper was used as a reference in MassDEP’s 2008 Technical Update titled “Characterization of Risks Due to Inhalation of Particulates by Construction Workers.”

A 2016 LSPA newsletter article attempts to summarize the useful contents of the 1997 paper and to make the paper more generally known. Since release of the 1997 paper, several toxicity values and MassDEP-derived relative absorption factors (RAFs) have been updated. For example, toxicity values for arsenic, chromium (III), chromium (VI), silver, benzo(a)pyrene, and naphthalene, and RAFs for arsenic, benzo(a)pyrene, cadmium, mercury, and naphthalene have changed. Therefore, the soil concentrations associated with the NAAQS PM-10 thresholds included in the 1997 paper may not be adequately protective of risk to health. Accordingly, the authors of the 2016 LSPA article have used the equations provided in the 1997 paper to recalculate the soil concentrations that would result in a hazard index (HI) of 0.2 and an excess lifetime cancer risk (ELCR) of 1 in a million at the NAAQS PM-10 dust action level of 150 µg/m3. This has been done for the eleven contaminants evaluated in the 1997 paper, based on the current toxicity values and RAFs derived as part of the June 2014 MCP and consistent with current risk assessment practices. The resulting values are provided in the 2016 paper.