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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

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.


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.


Ten Takeaways from MassDEP’s March 19, 2021 Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee (WSCAC) Meeting

Members of the LSPA Regulations Committee sat in on this meeting (see the recording here) and present the following takeaways, in no particular order.

  • 2019 MCP Revisions. The MCP amendments continue to be edited and revised in response to comments. Once finalized, which is expected to be “later this spring,” they will go into effect (with a grace period), and MassDEP will provide training and updated risk guidance.
  • Private Well Sampling and IH Level of 90 ppt.  MassDEP is communicating with local Boards of Health and private well owners in ~80 towns that rely primarily on private water sources. MassDEP is aiming to collect data from both private wells near potential (known) PFAS sources and wells randomly located, as an approach to gaining a better understanding of background levels of PFAS in groundwater. If PFAS is detected in a residential well, a homeowner will not be required to notify MassDEP; in the absence of an identified on-site source, MassDEP will assume that homeowners have Downgradient Property Status, and MassDEP will hold in abeyance the issuance a Notice of Responsibility (NOR). MassDEP will work with homeowners to reduce risk; a drinking water Imminent Hazard PFAS6 concentration of 90 ppt has been established by MassDEP.
  • Multi-Lab Audit Findings.  Ken Marra and Liz Callahan summarized the results of the audit, which was initiated in 2016 and evaluated data packages for VPH/EPH/APH/TO-15. The Multi-Lab Data Audit Report (March 2021) has been posted here. Generally, laboratories did well with the TO-15 and APH analyses. There were potential low bias issues with VPH & EPH analyses in approximately one-half of the data packages, resulting in MassDEP issuing revisions to the VPH methods (February 2018) and EPH methods (December 2019) to clarify the issues. MassDEP does not anticipate doing a systematic review of past submittals relative to the low bias issues identified, but is considering measures for more routine checking of laboratory quality.

    If you are interested in participating in subgroup meetings regarding laboratory data quality, please send an email to [email protected].
  • MassDEP Focus on Environmental Justice.  Deneen Simpson, MassDEP’s Director of Environmental Justice, summarized MassDEP’s work since June 2020 to evaluate the agency’s internal and external culture, practices, and policies related to environmental justice and equity. This work involves regional offices as well as a focus by the Commissioner. MassDEP is working to diversify advisory and stakeholder groups, and has developed and is implementing Environmental Justice Public Involvement Plan Guidance (currently an internal document only) on approaches to  engage diverse communities. MassDEP’s EJ Team meets quarterly. Rishi Reddi is the Director of Environmental Justice at the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEOA), and the EJ Team also includes Liz Callahan and Peggy Shaw of BWSC. 
  • Refreshing the Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee (WSCAC).  MassDEP is evaluating the composition of its stakeholder groups. The WSCAC is not created by statute and therefore MassDEP has flexibility regarding its composition, meeting format, etc. MassDEP would like to expand representation to ensure the full range of program stakeholders and would like to seek additional representation from EJ communities, PIP group members, student representatives, environmental advocacy groups, and/or subject matter experts. The Department is considering establishing term limits, establishing a set meeting schedule (likely quarterly), and varying meeting times and locations. The WSCAC members discussed their thoughts on the various proposals. If you have ideas of how MassDEP might conduct outreach to expand the representation of the advisory committee, please email [email protected].
  • Office Hours and WSCAC Meetings.  MassDEP expects to continue holding virtual meetings, but anticipates switching from the Zoom platform to another platform for its Thursday morning “office hours” and WSCAC meetings.  The frequency of weekly office hours will probably be reduced, and WSCAC meetings will likely be held quarterly.
  • Brownfields Tax Credits. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue is considering comments on its proposed new brownfields tax credit regulations.  An interagency workgroup has recently conducted listening sessions about the brownfields tax credit program.  They expect to have workgroup findings within a couple of months.
  • Searching for COCs on Waste Site/Spills Look Up.  Paul Locke confirmed that it is not possible for the public or MassDEP to search the site lookup database by COCs.
  • BWSC Grant Programs update.  Liz Callahan provided an update on various grant programs, including:
    • Natural Resource Damages – grant opportunity related to Former National Fireworks Site in Hanover
    • Technical Assistance
    • Marine Oil Spill Prevention & Response

LSPA Announces March 2021 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the March 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on March 16, 2021.  

Compliance Tip of the Month

The four criteria for a Tier I site are related to IRA conditions, and a Tier I site cannot be initially classified or reclassified as Tier II until the IRA condition has been resolved and an IRA Completion Statement has been filed.  If a site meets at least one of these criteria it must be classified as Tier I:  evidence of groundwater contamination with OHM at concentrations equal to or exceeding the applicable RCGW-1 Reportable Concentration at a location within an Interim Wellhead Protection Area or Zone II, or within 500 feet of a Private Water Supply Well; 2) an Imminent Hazard is present; 3) one or more remedial actions are required as part of an IRA pursuant to 310 CMR 40.0414(2); or 4) an IRA is necessary to eliminate or mitigate a Critical Exposure Pathway pursuant to 310 CMR 40.0414(3).  

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LSPA Presents February 2021 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the February 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on February 9, 2021.  

Not all LSP Board-approved “Regulatory” continuing education credits are also “DEP Course” credits. To qualify as a “DEP Course,” an otherwise qualifying course must also be “taught in whole or in substantial part by Department of Environmental Protection personnel.” Only those credits specifically listed as “DEP Regulatory” can be applied toward both the 12-credit DEP Course requirement and the eight-credit Regulatory requirement.  

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LSPA Unveils December 2020 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the December 2020 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on December 15, 2020.  

During the COVID-19 State of Emergency declared by the Governor, MassDEP will apply its enforcement discretion with respect to the use of email to send notices to local officials provided that the sender employs some way of confirming that the intended recipient has received the email (e.g., using the read receipt function or requesting an email response confirming receipt).

It is expected that the proposed MCP amendments in the 2019 public hearing draft would allow email notification of local officials.


Click here to view all published compliance tips. This document is also posted in the Members Only section of the website under Technical Resources.

MassDEP Drinking Water Program: Private Wells PFAS Sampling Program

At MassDEP's Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) December 3, 2020 Office Hours meeting, Paul Locke, Assistant Commissioner, announced that MassDEP's Drinking Water Program is kicking off its private well sampling program for PFAS compounds. Linked here are pertinent materials with more details:
 
Letter and FAQ about the MassDEP Private Wells PFAS Sampling Program
 
 
 
Check here to see recordings of Office Hours meetings.

MassDEP Establishes Final PFAS MCL and Updates

The LSPA received the following email, addressed to public water suppliers, from MassDEP's Drinking Water Program, with information and details on the October 2, 2020 publication of final regulations establishing a 20 parts per trillion (ppt) drinking water standard, or a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), for the sum of six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). 
September 24, 2020
 
Re:  Final PFAS Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) and Updates
 
Dear Public Water Suppliers:
 
On October 2, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will publish final regulations establishing a drinking water standard, or a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), for the sum of six per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The MCL is 20 parts per trillion (ppt) for what the regulations call PFAS6, or the sum of six PFAS compounds: perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA). PFAS are a family of chemicals widely used since the 1950s to manufacture common consumer products. They have been linked to a variety of health risks, particularly in women who are pregnant or nursing, and in infants. In using the sum of six PFAS compounds, the new standard protects public health for sensitive subgroups including pregnant women, nursing mothers and infants.

Of special interest in the new regulations, Public Water Supplies (PWS) in the Community (COM) and Non-Transient Non-Community (NTNC) categories will begin quarterly sampling for PFAS6:
  • Large COM PWS (>50,000 population) - 1/1/2021
  • Medium PWS (>10,000 & <=50,000 population) - 4/1/2021
  • Small COM and NTNC PWS (<=10,000 population) - 10/1/2021 
Transient Non-Community (TNC) PWS are not subject to the PFAS MCL requirements, but they are required under the regulations to collect one PFAS6 sample by September 30, 2022. Case-specific health assessments of drinking water PFAS6 concentrations at TNC systems can be required under existing authority.

To assist public water suppliers in preparing for and implementing the new PFAS regulations, the Baker-Polito Administration provided funding to MassDEP in the FY 2020 Supplemental Budget for testing for PFAS. I encourage all Public Water Suppliers (PWS) to take full advantage of the Commonwealth's Free PFAS Lab Analyses Program to conduct sampling and analyses for PFAS in your public water system. Testing for PFAS may also enable communities to take advantage of limited funding programs providing grants for remediation design and zero percent loans for construction. The Administration has announced more than $1.9 million in awards to 10 public water supply systems - Ayer, Westfield, Barnstable and Hyannis, Hudson, Millbury, Barnstable and Cummaquid, Acton, Easton, Devens, and Braintree, Holbrook and Randolph - to support their efforts to address PFAS contamination and design treatment systems to eliminate it in their drinking water.
PWS can sign up for free PFAS laboratory analyses at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S7QHNF2, or can send a request with the information described in the survey (e.g. PWS name, PWS ID#, # of sources already tested, number of sources to be tested, and system population) to [email protected], Subject: "PFAS free lab analyses."
MassDEP has started accepting applications to certify labs for PFAS analysis. Once labs receive Massachusetts certification they will appear in the Online Searchable Laboratory Certification Listing
 at https://eeaonline.eea.state.ma.us/DEP/Labcert/Labcert.aspx. (Search for Analyte = PFAS and Matrix = Potable (Drinking Water).) Until then, we recommend you use a laboratory from the list of MassDEP DWP approved labs, or use a lab certified by another state or certification authority for the analysis of PFAS; see the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Management System.
 
For the complete text of the PFAS regulations, please see: https://www.mass.gov/lists/development-of-a-pfas-drinking-water-standard-mcl. For the press release on the PFAS regulations and grants see https://www.mass.gov/dep. For more about the development of the PFAS regulations, please see https://www.mass.gov/lists/development-of-a-pfas-drinking-water-standard-mcl.
 
If you have any questions please contact me or the MassDEP Drinking Water Program at [email protected]
 
Sincerely,
 
 
Yvette DePeiza
Director, Drinking Water Program
MassDEP/BWR
 
For more information about PFAS and the Department's efforts to address these contaminants, please see: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/per-and-polyfluoroalkyl-substances-pfas.
 

Technical Assistance Grant RFP, Info from MassDEP, and LSPA Summer Plans

TAG Grant RFP Posted on LSPA Job Board
There is a new posting on the LSPA's Job Board for technical assistance at the Olin Chemical Superfund site in Wilmington, MA. The Wilmington Environmental Restoration Committee, Inc. (WERC) is a citizen group of Wilmington and Woburn residents organized in 2007. Their funding is provided through the USEPA's Technical Assistance Grant program. Proposals are due by close of business on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

Read the RFP posting here.

Governor's New Orders on Licenses and Permitting
At the July 9, 2020 BWSC Office Hours, Paul Locke, BWSC Assistant Commissioner, discussed Executive Order COVID-19 #42 "Order Resuming State Permitting Deadlines and Continuing to Extend the Validity of Certain State Permits"
Check out the meeting video here. Starting at about 17:20 minutes, the Assistant Commissioner clarifies state permitting and appeals deadlines and discusses how this may impact those working in areas regulated by BWSC.
 
The BWSC continues to hold weekly office hours every Thursday at 9:00 am. Go here for more details. 
 
Recordings of past office hours can be found here 

Public Involvement Q & A
The BWSC continues to add new items to the MCP Q & A: Covid-19 Edition. The most recent questions pertain to conducting public involvement activities, specifically in these areas:
  • Emailing local officials,
  • Conducting public meetings at PIP sites, and
  • Establishing information repositories.
The MCP Q&A: COVID-19 Edition consists of Questions & Answers about the notification, assessment, cleanup and closure of sites during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Questions may be submitted to BWSC at [email protected]. MassDEP staff will respond directly to the questions received and, if a question is of more general interest, post the answers on the website page.

LSPA Summer Plans
The LSPA plans to hold live webinars and offer several new on-demand, online courses throughout the summer. Please watch your email inbox for announcements, and also check the LSPA's course webpage regularly. In the meantime, if you have suggestions for webinar speakers or topics, don't hesitate to share them with us by writing [email protected].


LSPA Submits Comments to MassDEP on 2019 Proposed MCP Amendments


On Friday, July 19, 2019, at the end of MassDEP's public comment period, the LSPA submitted our comments on the 2019 Proposed MCP Amendments. Our cover letter summarized three key topics of concern: PFAS, Risk Characterization, and Transition Provisions. A separate document included 15 pages of comments.  

As usual, the LSPA process started with a call to members to submit their comments to the LSPA Regulations Committee.  Then committee co-chairs Joe Roman (GEI) and Dan LaFrance (Fuss & O'Neill) assembled a team of "champions" to review, develop, and vet comments.  Many thanks and kudos to that group for an awesome job pulling together a solid draft set of comments.

These comments were reviewed by the LSPA Board and finally by Michele Paul (City of New Bedford), the LSPA's new President. 

We encourage you to share any additional thoughts and comments with the LSPA at [email protected].  


LSPA's June 2019 Compliance Tip

The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the June Membership Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Woburn, MA on June 13, 2019.  

COMPLIANCE TIP OF THE MONTH 

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May 2019 LSPA Compliance Tip

The LSPA presented the following compliance tip at the May Membership Meeting at the DoubleTree in Westborough, MA on May 16, 2019.  

COMPLIANCE TIP OF THE MONTH 

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Proposed MCP Revisions Available

The proposed revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000) are now available on MassDEP's website at: https://www.mass.gov/lists/2019-proposed-mcp-revisions and a Public Hearing Notice has been published in the Massachusetts Register. This will kick-off an extended 3-month long public comment period that will end July 19, 2019, and will include five public hearings at MassDEP Offices across the state and additional meetings as needed/requested.
 
The purpose of the proposed revisions is to update and clarify existing provisions for the notification, assessment and cleanup of oil and/or hazardous material contamination in the environment to ensure that actions are performed in a timely manner, are appropriately monitored and documented, and achieve of a level of No Significant Risk that is protective of public health and the environment.
 
The proposals include, but are not limited to:
  • Clarification and modification of provisions related to notification, Imminent Hazards, Tier Classification and Extensions, Remedial Additives, Status Reports, Remedial Monitoring Reports, Temporary Solutions, Active Exposure Pathway Mitigation Measures, Exposure Point Concentrations, Activity and Use Limitations, and public involvement;
  • New adequately regulated provisions for disposal sites with Radioactive Materials;
  • Updates to Reportable Concentrations (RCs) and numerical cleanup standards (Method 1) for a limited number of chemicals; and
  • The addition of RCs and Method 1 standards for six perfluoroalkyl substances-Perfluoroheptanoic Acid (PFHpA), Perfluorohexanesulfonic Acid (PFHxS), Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA), Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), Perfluorononanoic Acid (PFNA) and Perfluorodecanoic Acid (PFDA)-emerging contaminants of concern for exposure in drinking water.
Questions about the public comment process, the meetings/hearing and/or the proposals may be emailed to [email protected].
 
The LSPA's Regulations Committee will spearhead the LSPA's response to the public comment period; we will send an email to LSPA members with details and deadlines early next week.


Kicking Off the School Year

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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MassDEP Posted its Updated VPH Method by GC/PID/FID and Corresponding CAM Protocol

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has updated its Method for the Determination of Volatile Petroleum Hydrocarbons by Gas Chromatography/Photoionization Detector/Flame Ionization Detector (VPH by GC/PID/FID) and the corresponding CAM protocol, WSC-CAM-IVA, Quality Control Requirements and Performance Standards for the Analysis of Volatile Petroleum Hydrocarbons (VPH) by Gas Chromatography/Photoionization Detector/Flame Ionization Detector in Support of Response Actions under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan. The updates include revised calibration requirements, changes to retention time windows for aliphatic hydrocarbons, required traps for the purge-and-trap process, new requirements for data deliverables, and a series of other minor revisions and clarifications. The revised method may be found here VPH Method by GC/PIC/FID. A complete list of the updates is provided in the preface of the revised method. 

Laboratories that are currently performing VPH by GC/PID/FID must make the necessary adjustments to implement the changes to the method on or before June 1, 2018 to comply with the method requirements and certify that the method is being performed in conformance with the CAM protocol, found here WSC-CAM-IVAIf you have questions about the revised method or CAM protocol, you may contact MassDEP at [email protected].

Record-Breaking Attendance at Western MA Membership Meeting

LSPA’s Western Massachusetts Committee had a record-breaking number of attendees at its membership meeting on Monday, January 29. 

We would like to thank our speakers of the evening: Mr. Jason Barroso, Waste Management, Inc.; Mr. Hugo DelRosso, US Ecology and Ms. Eva Tor, Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup, MassDEP’s Western Regional Office. The speakers addressed the topic of Waste Management Considerations for MCP Projects to an audience of 60+.

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Regulations Committee: January 2018 SAC Meeting 3-minute Update

Isaac Anderson, of Cooperstown Environmental and the LSPA's Regulations Committee, briefly summarizes the following topics from the January 25, 2018 MassDEP BWSC Advisory Committee:

  • MassDEP FY 19 Governor's Budget
  • Schedule for 2018 amendments to 2014 MCP
  • MassDEP internal coordination on PFAS 
  • CAM and Method Updates on VPH
  • Natural Resource Damages regulation development 
  • SSD system telemetry challenges, pilot testing, and guidance document 


More info can be found here:  https://www.mass.gov/service-details/january-25-2018-bwscac-massdep including link to the video of the full meeting.

April Compliance Tip of the Month

April 6, 2017
The LSPA presented the following monthly compliance tip at the April Membership Meeting at Bridgewater State University on April 6, 2017. 

How does one apply Reportable Concentrations and Method 1 Standards when they are equal to the site Oil and Hazardous Materials (OHM) concentrations?


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LSPA Presents March Compliance Tip

March 16, 2017
The LSPA presented the following monthly compliance tip on March 16, 2017. 

“Greener Cleanup evaluations” or considerations are not only called out in the MCP under Phase III (Detailed Evaluation Criteria for selecting a comprehensive remedy at 310 CMR 40.0858[4][c]), but also under Response Action Performance Standard (RAPS) at 310 CMR 40.0191(3)(e). 
 
Therefore, Greener Cleanup practices should be considered in all MCP Phases, except during time critical responses (e.g., “2-hour” and “72-hour” reportable conditions). MassDEP provides assistance in the Greener Cleanups Guidance, WSC #14 – 150 (October 2014).

Click here to view all published compliance tips. This document is also posted in the Members Only section of the website under Technical Resources.