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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 Soliciting Comments on Revised Asbestos Regulations

The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) has issued a revised final version of 454 CMR 28.00: The Removal, Containment, Maintenance, or Encapsulation of Asbestos, and will hold a second live video/telephone access public hearing on February 4, 2021 at 1:00 PM. 

This notice of public hearing provides more detailed information including the Webex link for connecting to the hearing and details about how to submit written comments.  All written testimony must be received by Monday, February 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM. 

A redline version of the revised final regulations can be downloaded here.

The LSPA's Regulations Committee is reviewing these regulations on a quick turnaround, and comparing them to the comments previously submitted by the LSPA in October 2020.  
 
If you have comments to contribute, please send them to [email protected] by no later than 5:00 PM Tuesday, February 2, 2021.  We suggest that you also submit your comments to DLS separately since we cannot guarantee that they will be included in the LSPA's submittal.
 
Thank you.
 
Regulations Committee Co-Chairs
Kate Dilawari, LSP, Haley & Aldrich
Denise Kmetzo, DABT, Collaborative Risk Solutions LLC

LSPA Soliciting Comments on Asbestos Regulations

Now that we have your attention.... The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards (DLS) has issued updated asbestos regulations; a public hearing will be held this Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 10 am and written comments are due this Friday, October 23, 2020. This Notice of Public Hearing provides more detailed information.
 
The current regulations at 453 CMR 6.00 can be accessed here. These are being rescinded in conjunction with the issuance of the new updated asbestos regulations, 454 CMR 28.00
 
The LSPA's Regulations Committee is reviewing these proposed regulations on a quick turnaround. If you have comments to contribute, please send them to [email protected] by no later than 5 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2020. We suggest that you also submit your comments to DLS separately since we cannot guarantee that they will be included in the LSPA's submittal.
 
Thank you.
Regulations Committee Co-Chairs
Kate Dilawari, LSP, Haley & Aldrich
Denise Kmetzo, DABT, Collaborative Risk Solutions LLC

LSPA Comments on MA Brownfields Tax Credit Regulation

On Friday, April 3, 2020 the LSPA submitted comments to the MA Department of Revenue on Working Draft Regulation 830 CMR 63.38Q.1, the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit. Read our cover letter and the accompanying spreadsheet which presents our comments in more detail. Many thanks to the LSPA's Regulations Committee for compiling comments and to the many LSPA members who shared their feedback on the Working Draft regulation.

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].  


3 Minute Update: 9/27/18 MassDEP Advisory Committee Meeting

LSPA Regulations Committee

3-Minute Update

Here is a 3-minute update on the September 27, 2018 BWSC Advisory Committee meeting, from the LSPA Regulations Committee Co-Chair, Joe Roman. For a more detailed five page summary of the meeting, please click here.



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.

Top Takeaways from MassDEP WSCAC Meeting

Top Takeaways from October 27, 2016 MassDEP WSCAC Meeting Planned Nov. 16th Meeting on Imminent Hazard Approach

LSPA Regulations Committee members were in attendance at the recent Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee (WSCAC) meeting held on October 27, 2016. The meeting was moderated by Paul Locke, and included presentations by Gerard Martin and Liz Callahan. A video of the meeting is available here and slides are available here

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LSPA Soliciting Issues for MassDEP's

MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup is developing a "trailer package" to the 2014 MCP amendments; this package is intended to be a combination of new items that have become apparent since the previous MCP update, items held over from the previous regulatory reform discussion, and corrections to issues that have arisen under the new regulations. 
 
If you have items you'd like considered for MassDEP's trailer package, please reach out to us with an explanation of the issue and what you think needs refining. 
 
The LSPA Regulations Committee will be preparing a submittal for the LSPA Board to review and then submit to MassDEP. This document will comment on topics that MassDEP plans to present for inclusion in the trailer package as well as propose additional topics that the LSPA believes MassDEP should include. 
 
Comments should be sent to us by Wednesday, August 31.  
 
We appreciate your input.
David E. Leone, LSP, Senior Project Manager, GZA, [email protected]
David Foss, LSP, Principal Hydrogeologist, Wilcox & Barton, [email protected]
 
LSPA Regulations Committee Co-Chairs
 

LSPA Requests Your Comments on Draft Technical Update

LSPA Requests Your Comments on Draft Technical Update 

MassDEP has recently released the Historic Fill / Anthropogenic Background Public Comment DRAFT Technical Update. A copy is available here on the MassDEP website. The LSPA Regulations Committee is assembling comments on this 12-page draft guidance document and would like your input. Please send your comments, suggestions, and revisions to the LSPA Regulations Committee Co-Chairs by Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Click here for more information about how to do this.