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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. 


Action Alert: Clock is Ticking for LSPA's S. 2830 on 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, is under consideration by the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means. We are asking for your help in the next two days.  

If your state representative is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means NOW is the time to get their attention. The more requests from constituents, the more visibility and support our bill gets. The legislature’s formal session ends on July 31, 2022. 

We encourage you to write your state representative in the next two days to urge their support of the bill. Check here to find your state representative. (If you have already written but not heard back from your representative, don’t hesitate to re-send your previous email).

Attached here is a sample email you can send. All representatives’ email addresses are on their home page. No need to send paper mail.

If you have experience with a home heating oil release, especially one in which the homeowner did not have insurance or had a tough time getting coverage, please feel free to share this in your letter. Real life examples are most compelling, especially if your client’s property is in the district of one of these representatives.

For more information about the bill, please read the LSPA’s recent letter summarizing progress to date, as well as links to media coverage.

Please contact our Executive Director Wendy Rundle at [email protected] if you have any questions. 
 
Thank you for your support; we will keep LSPA members apprised.


MassDEP’s Technical Assistance Grant Application is Now Available

MassDEP has announced that the application for the FY2023-24 Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) is now available. This grant opportunity provides $200,000 in funding, with up to $20,000 per community or municipal applicant-group selected for an award, to enhance public involvement and promote better understanding of the cleanup of contaminated sites in their communities. 

The application deadline is Tuesday, October 18, 2022.

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LSPA Awards 3 WES Grants in 2021 and 2022

The LSPA is pleased to have awarded three WES Professional Practice Grants, totaling $17,500, over the past two years. The WES Grant award is a great way to secure funding to delve deeper into a topic of your choice that will further waste site cleanup work and advance the professional practice of LSPs. More details on the most recent projects and links to research findings are provided below. 

PFAS in New England: An Assessment of Distribution Data from Regulated Sites, Civil and Environmental Consultants (CEC) Inc., Raynham, MA. CEC completed a literature review to better understand the types of PFAS releases in New England. Empirical information was collected on a variety of parameters including PFAS plume length and area, the status of investigation and remedial activities, the maximum concentrations of regulated PFAS compounds detected in groundwater and soil proximal to the source sites, and the industry/source type at each location. 
 
The results of the review include analysis of PFAS distribution at regulated sites in New England to an effort to better identify and understand trends. Jon Kitchen, PG, LSP, presented CEC’s findings at an LSPA member meeting in April 2022. The slides and video from that meeting are available here.

Evaluation of PFAS in Rain Across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Woodard & Curran, Inc., Canton, MA. Woodard & Curran recently conducted a study to assess if PFAS is present in rain falling across Massachusetts and if so, at what levels relative to other studies. Another research question explored differences in PFAS concentration when different precipitation event types are considered. Twenty-five sampling stations were distributed across the Commonwealth.
 
At an LSPA May 2022 member meeting, the Woodard & Curran project team discussed the geographic distribution of PFAS detected and explored the different dynamics of each storm event. The slides and video from that meeting are available here

A third study, High Viscosity LNAPL Recoverability Assessment, is currently underway by Steve Boynton, LSP, of Subsurface Environmental Solutions (SES), Andover, MA. This research builds on the MCP requirement to evaluate LNAPL recovery “if and to the extent feasible.” The project will evaluate LNAPL thickness measurability by tracking the time required to obtain the depth to the LNAPL/water interface for various mixtures of No. 2 and No. 6 oil. The objective is to determine the viscosity above which typical transmissivity testing equipment (oil/water interface probes and peristaltic pumps) cannot be reliably used. It is hoped that results will assist in providing LSPs with a simple viscosity-based metric to conclude that transmissivity testing is or is not feasible. SES plans to present findings in a short course for technical LSP credit sometime in Fall 2022. 

Do you have a project idea that needs funding? Read more about how to apply for a WES Grant or complete the application formtoday!


Action Alert: Urge Your State Rep. to Support LSPA's Home Heating Oil Insurance Bill

The LSPA's bill S. 2830, which would require insurance companies to provide first- and third-party coverage for home heating oil releases, is now being considered by the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means.

We are asking for your help; please consider writing to your state representative in the next week to urge their support of the bill. The more requests from constituents, the more visibility and support our bill gets. If your state representative is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means NOW is the time to get their attention. The legislature’s formal session adjourns July 31, 2022. 

Check here to find your state representative.

Attached here is a sample email you can send. All representatives’ email addresses are on their home page. No need to send paper mail.

If you have experience with a home heating oil release, especially one in which the homeowner did not have insurance or had a tough time getting coverage, please feel free to share this in your letter. Real life examples are most compelling, especially if your client’s property is in the district of one of these representatives.

For more information about the bill, please read the LSPA’s recent letter summarizing progress to date, as well as links to media coverage.

Please contact our Executive Director Wendy Rundle at [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Thank you for your support; we will keep LSPA members apprised.

 

LSPA Introduces June 2022 Compliance Tip of the Month

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the June 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on June 21, 2022.  

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Pursuant to 310 CMR 40.1074(5), in addition to the requirement to incorporate a Notice of Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) into deeds or other instruments of property transfer, a copy of the deed or other instrument (with the incorporated AUL) must be submitted to MassDEP within 30 days of recording. This must be done using Section B, item 11, of the BWSC113 form (note that an LSP signature/stamp is not required for this submittal). Both the former and new property owners have this obligation; however, a submittal provided by either of those parties meets the requirements for both of them.

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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 three year terms from FY '23 through FY '25:

  • Katherine Dilawari, PE, LSP, Principal, Contaminated Site Management, Haley & Aldrich, Inc. Ms. Dilawari will begin her 3-year term on July 1, 2022. 
  • Timothy Nevins, LSP, CHMM, Senior Principal Scientist, Alliance Environmental Group/An F.W. Webb Company. Mr. Nevins will begin his first 3-year term on July 1, 2022. 
  • Joseph Roman, LSP, Environmental Division Manager, GEI Consultants. Mr. Roman will begin his second 3-year term on July 1, 2022. He will continue to serve as LSPA Treasurer.

Thank you to all who voted.

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LSPA Goes to Polar Park

The LSPA hosted a fun night of socializing and baseball at beautiful Polar Park in Worcester earlier this week.  Perfect weather.  Free drinks and food, raffle prizes, and a private box area made the night even better.  Keep an eye on Jaylin Davis #12 – he had a hot night with two home runs. Box score:  Mud Hens 0, Red Sox 4 (Final Score) on Gameday (milb.com)

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MassDEP Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Program Informational Meeting

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup is holding an online informational meeting about upcoming Technical Assistance Grants (TAGs) funding. TAGs are available to community and municipal groups to obtain expert advice and technical assistance and promote community education to enhance public participation in assessment and cleanup activities at oil or hazardous material disposal sites. The informational meeting will include a presentation on the purpose of the TAG program, grant eligibility requirements, and the grant application process and timelines.
 
The online meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at 7:00 PM via Zoom. You may access the meeting via MassDEP’s TAG webpage at this link.

For those unable to attend, the meeting will be recorded and posted on MassDEP’s TAG webpage at the link above. MassDEP’s TAG webpage also provides general information about TAGs and TAG eligibility requirements.
 
MassDEP anticipates that grant awards will be a maximum of $20,000 per applicant, with total potential funding of up to $200,000. The estimated date of availability of the Grant Announcement and Application is July 18, 2022* and the estimated deadline for TAG Applications is October 18, 2022.* (* These are estimated dates and they may change.)
 
Questions about TAGs and the upcoming informational meeting may be sent to MassDEP at [email protected]