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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.


DCAMM Procurement

The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) is developing a Request for Responses (RFR) for a new Massachusetts Statewide Contract for Professional Environmental and Consulting Services and associated training. Pursuant to Massachusetts Operation Services Division (OSD), the new procurement has been designated as PRF77 and DCAMM has been designated as PRF77’s Contract Administrator.
 
Visit here for more information if you want to consider the submittal of a bid as a potential opportunity to perform work in the Commonwealth for any Eligible Entity, including state agencies and municipalities. Visit here for more information.  
 
Additional information about this matter can found on the Commonwealth’s procurement website at: https://www.commbuys.com/bso/  and the World Trade Organization Notice of Intent to Procure under PRF77 can be viewed at: COMMBUYS - Bid Solicitation.
 
DCAMM’s project team for PRF77 is being led by Kenneth Sanderson as Project Manager, together with Susan Ruch, DCAMM’s Director of Environmental Services.


Brownfields Workshop

The Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast (BCONE) is hosting the 2021 Northeast Sustainable Communities Workshop on June 22 and 23.

Please consider joining MassDEP staff and LSPA members as they present "Developing a Brownfields Site in MA: Building a Toolkit for Success."

LSPA members can attend at the BCONE Partner rate. Please email [email protected] for the promotional code.  

Special shout out and congratulations to our colleague Jamie Smith, Environmental Compliance Manager with the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development, whose contributions will be celebrated with the Geoffrey R. Forrest Outstanding Individual Achievement Award. The LSPA has the pleasure of working with Jamie in his role as a member of the LSP Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals.


MassDEP's Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) Now Available

MassDEP is pleased to announce the application for the FY2022 Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) is now available. This grant opportunity provides $150,000 in funding, with up to $15,000 per each 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 Friday, July 16, 2021.
 
The TAG application and information about this grant opportunity are available here.
Questions about MassDEP TAGs may be sent to either Peggy Shaw at [email protected] or Nancy Fitzpatrick at [email protected].


LSPA Requests Nominations for 2021 Contribution to the Practice Awards

The LSP Association requests your nominations for our 2021 "Contribution to the Practice" Awards. If you know of a deserving candidate and wish to nominate the person and/or organization, please email Kristi Lefebvre, LSPA Communications Manager with the nominee's name, award category and supporting materials. The deadline for nominations is Friday, July 30, 2021.  
 
Nominations are solicited in the following categories:
  • The LSPA Member Award is presented to an LSPA Member in recognition of leadership, commitment, and contributions to the LSPA organization and membership over the previous year.
  • The LSPA Service Award is presented to an individual or organization in recognition of service to/support of the LSP Association and its mission; service may be in the form of in-kind services, financial or other support. This award is for service over the previous year.
  • The Contribution to the Practice Award is presented to an individual or organization from the public, non-profit, or private sector for outstanding contributions to the practice and advancing the profession over the previous year. Attributes may include creativity in balancing economic development with environmental values, practical approaches to regulatory compliance, and innovative initiatives in technology and sustainability.
  • The LSPA Environmental Justice Award is presented to an individual or organization from the public, non-profit, or private sector for recent or continuing outstanding contributions in increasing awareness of Environmental Justice (EJ) issues and/or supporting EJ communities. Learn more about Environmental Justice populations here.
  • The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to an individual in recognition of distinguished and continued contributions over 25 years or more to the advancement of science, standards, or professionalism in the field of site assessment and remediation under MGL c. 21E. The awardee must:
    • Be an LSP or someone in the supporting professions, and
    • Demonstrate commitment to the LSPA. This might include participation in the LSPA at a leadership level, e.g. founding member, committee chair, Board member or officer; or partnership with the LSPA through leadership level participation in a related organization.
Nomination applications should include the following:
  • The name and affiliation of the nominator and his or her relationship to the nominee.
  • For individuals, the name and title of the person and organization with which s/he is associated. For organizations, include the name and title of the key contact, and the specific name of the division, office, or department nominated. Be as specific as possible.
  • A narrative statement of no more than 2 pages describing the focus of the nomination and the nature of the contributions. The nominator will be contacted if the LSPA Board requires additional information.  
  • For the Contribution to the Practice Award, please include the names, affiliations, and contact information for at least three individuals who can attest to the contributions. 
The LSPA Board of Directors will review the letters of nomination and supporting materials for all nominees, and will contact references if appropriate. The Board will discuss and then vote on nominees. Awards are made at the sole discretion of the LSPA Board of Directors. Awards are not always made in each category. There may be more than one award presented in any category.
 
Over the years, these awards have been highly regarded by the recipients as well as LSPA members and colleagues. The goodwill created by this program helps promote a positive image of LSPs and the Massachusetts privatized program.
 
To view the list of prior award recipients, please click here.
 
 

Lessons Learned from FY'19 Nature & Extent-Related NONs

All thirteen of the FY'19 audit findings pertaining to Nature and Extent (N&E) reviewed by the LSPA's Loss Prevention Committee (LPC) resulted in Notices of Noncompliance (NONs) issued to Responsible Parties. Permanent Solutions or Response Action Outcomes were invalidated by MassDEP in two cases.  The NONs related to ten Permanent Solution Statements/Response Action Outcomes, one Permanent Solution with Conditions, one Temporary Solution, and one Phase IV submittal. 

MassDEP referenced deficiencies in the following areas:
  • Application of Conceptual Site Models (CSM),
  • Definition of disposal site boundaries,
  • Incomplete data sets and scope of investigation, and
  • Insufficient information to support risk evaluations. 
For more details, read the article by Jim Begley, LSP of MT Environmental Restoration and an LSPA Loss Prevention Committee member.

 

LSPA Announces May 2021 Practice Tip

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the May 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on May 18, 2021.  

Practice Tip:
For excavation work at sites with sensitive receptors and with contaminants that could sorb to soils, consider including a real-time dust monitoring program as well as a risk-based evaluation of the impact of dust particulates in the RAM Plan.

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LSP Board Seeks to Fill LSP Seat Vacancy

The LSP Board of Registration is looking to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Farooq Siddique, LSP, FS Engineers, of Acton. Mr. Siddique had served on the volunteer Board since 2011. The LSPA thanks Mr. Siddique for his many years of service to the profession. 

The LSP Board’s open seat must be filled by someone who is a hazardous waste site cleanup professional licensed by the Board. See MGL Chapter 21A, Section 19A. Read more about the position details and the process for applying. Information is also posted here on the LSP Board’s website. Questions? Please contact the Board's Executive Director, Beverly Coles-Roby Esq., at [email protected].

Read an interview with Mr. Siddique from the LSPA’s 2014 newsletter here.


Ask Your Legislators to Co-Sponsor the LSPA’s Bill

The LSPA continues to work with Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer) to pass S. 676, our bill that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for residential heating oil spills. At the start of this new legislative session, we are asking LSPA members to write to their state senators and representatives to urge them to sign on as bill co-sponsors before June 1, 2021. The more sponsors of the bill - the better.   

A simple email to your senator and/or representative is all it takes. Enter your home address here to find your legislators.  Here is suggested text for an email.                                             

For more information about the LSPA's bill, please read our fact sheet and this additional information.


LSPA Writes to MassDEP With Key PFAS Questions and Suggestions

On March 8, 2021 the LSPA sent a four page letter to MassDEP addressing several topics regarding per- and poly-fluorinated compounds (PFAS), including the six PFAS regulated under the MCP (PFAS6). The letter was drafted by a task force formed from several LSPA committees working on issues related to the implementation of the PFAS-related MCP revisions and the impacts of PFAS across the Commonwealth. The LSPA letter is organized into three categories with several specific suggestions for each:
  • PFAS Background Conditions and MCP Release Exemptions;
  • MassDEP Private Well Sampling Program; and
  • Waste Management.
Read the LSPA’s letter here.


Review of MassDEP's NOAFs Related to Historic Fill and to Downgradient Property Status

Larry McTiernan, PG, LSP, Roux Associates, and a member of the LSPA’s Loss Prevention Committee has been keeping busy reviewing MassDEP’s Notices of Audit Findings (NOAFs) from FY ’19 related to Historic Fill and Downgradient Property Status.
 
In FY ’19, MassDEP issued two NOAFs related to Historic Fill. Both NOAFs were also Notices of Noncompliance and cited one or more violations of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). Read a summary of the two NOAFs and key takeaways for each in Larry’s brief article entitled Findings From FY ’19 Historic Fill NOAFs.

In the same fiscal year, there were four MassDEP NOAFs related to Downgradient Property Status (DPS) filings. All four NOAFs cited one or more violations of the MCP requirements for asserting DPS (and thus were also Notices of Noncompliance), and in three of the four cases MassDEP required either the termination or revision of the DPS submittal. As in FY18, the most common violation cited in the FY ’19 DPS NOAFs was the failure to adequately demonstrate that the criterion for asserting DPS set forth at 310 CMR 40.0183(2)(b) had not been met—particularly by failing to rule out an on-site source for the groundwater contamination found at the site. Read Larry's full article here.


Coming Soon - LSPA Ballot for 2021 Board Election

Voting will open on Friday, May 14, 2021 for the 2021-2022 LSPA Board of Directors election. Board positions will take effect July 1, 2021. 
 
Ballots will be sent by email to all LSPA members, both Full and Associate. We encourage all members to vote.
 
The LSPA's 9-member Board of Directors is composed of LSPA members who combine experience in environmental work with a passion for supporting and promoting the LSP practice. Current LSPA Board members are shown here.
 
There are three open seats on the Board for this election; the three year term is from FY '22 through FY '24. Provided below are the candidates on this year's ballot. Please click on each candidate's name to read more about them.
To view all the candidates' statements of interest, please click here
  
New Board members will be announced at the LSPA monthly membership meeting on Thursday, June 17, 2021, which will be held from 3:45 PM to 5:30 PM as a live webinar.
 
Please note that voting will close on Monday, June 14, 2021, at 5 PM.
 
If you have questions or comments, please contact Wendy Rundle, LSPA Executive Director at [email protected].



LSPA Board Election - Candidates for the Ballot

Each year, the Nominating Committee of the LSPA compiles a list of candidates who have expressed an interest in serving on the LSPA Board of Directors. These candidates present themselves to the Nominating Committee, are recommended by an LSPA member, or are approached due to their leadership positions within the LSPA. Annually in the spring, the LSPA Nominating Committee presents its recommendations for candidates to the LSPA Board. 
 
The LSPA's 9-member Board of Directors is composed of LSPA members who combine experience in environmental work with a passion for supporting and promoting the LSP practice. We have three, 3-year positions opening on the Board for the upcoming fiscal year.
 
The Board has accepted the following candidates for inclusion on the ballot for 3-year terms (2021 - 2024) on the Board of Directors:
  • Crista Trapp, Senior Scientist and Human Health Risk Assessor, The Vertex Companies Inc., Boston and Weymouth, MA. Crista is a member of the LSPA's Loss Prevention Committee and has served as the Committee Chair since 2017.
  • David Leone, LSP, Associate Principal, GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., Norwood, MA. Dave is completing his first 3-year term on the LSPA Board and is currently the LSPA President Elect. He is a former Co-Chair of the LSPA's Regulations Committee. Dave has been an LSP since 2011.
  • Charles Young, LSP, Associate/Senior Environmental Project Manager, Stantec, Quincy, MA. Charles is currently serving as an LSPA Director at Large and is completing his first 3-year term on the LSPA Board. Charles has been an LSP since 2015.
The Board of Directors believes that these three candidates have demonstrated their commitment to the Association and are well-positioned to ensure its continuing success.
 
Petitioning to be Placed on the Ballot
Are you or someone you know interested in being a candidate for the LSP Association Board?
 
If so, you have until April 26, 2021 to be included on the ballot.
 
The LSPA bylaws allow for a candidate who obtains a written petition, signed by at least 10 Full and/or Associate LSPA members in good standing, and submitted 30 days in advance of the election, to be placed on the ballot for election. 
 
Please submit your petition on or before Monday, April 26, 2021 to Kristi Lefebvre, LSPA Communications Manager at [email protected].
 
Information about the LSPA Board of Director's slate of Candidates and any other candidates nominated by petition will be posted at www.lspa.org in early May, as well as emailed to all LSPA members.   
 
Ballots with the final slate of candidates will be provided in mid-May to all Full and Associate LSPA members. 
 
If you have questions or comments, please contact Wendy Rundle, LSPA Executive Director at [email protected] or 617-417-4351.
 
Thank you for your participation,
Michele Paul, LSP
LSPA President

LSPA Announces April 2021 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the April 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on April 15, 2021.  

Compliance Tip of the Month

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