LSPA News & Blog

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]


LSPA Requests Nominations for 2022 Contribution to the Practice Awards

The LSP Association requests your nominations for our 2022 "Contribution to the Practice" Awards. If you know of a deserving candidate and wish to nominate the person and/or organization, please complete this form. The deadline for nominations is Friday, August 12, 2022The awards are presented annually in the fall either via live webinar or at the LSPA’s October dinner meeting.
 
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.
The LSPA Board of Directors will review nominations, including 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.

If you know of a deserving candidate and wish to nominate the person and/or organization, please complete this nomination application with the nominee’s name, award category and supporting materials.


LSPA Introduces May 2022 Practice Tip of the Month

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the May 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on May 18, 2022.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 

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“To LSP or Not to LSP" Career Path Considerations in Environmental Consulting

The LSPA's Emerging Professionals Committee (EPC) is dedicated to providing educational & social programs for professionals who are new to environmental consulting in Massachusetts. 

In November 2021, the EPC presented, “To LSP or Not to LSP" Career Path Considerations in Environmental Consulting. During the event, a panel of four speakers discuss various career track options in the Environmental Assessment and Remediation Industry, their backgrounds and how they ended up in their current role. This video will help to provide new professionals and college/grad students an idea of the different types of careers they could pursue within the industry.

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LSPA Emerging Professionals Participate in Charles River Cleanup

Members of the LSP Association's Emerging Professionals Committee participated in a cleanup along the Charles River in Waltham on Earth Day, April 23, 2022.  The event was organized by the SAME Boston Post and also included EBC Young Professionals and NEWEA Young Professionals. 

See TV news coverage here.

     

LSPA Courses Now Offer NY PG (Professional Geologist) Credits

Please note that the LSPA now applies for NY PG (Professional Geologist) credits for all of our appropriate events. When NY PG credit is offered for a course or meeting, there will be a check off option at the bottom of LSPA registration forms. These credits cost an additional $20 per course; the same as our fee for NY PE credits. Please spread the word with your colleagues who may not be LSPA members but require CE credits for their professional geologist license. 

Coming Soon - LSPA Ballot for 2022 Board Election

Voting will open on Tuesday, May 24, 2022 for the 2022-2023 LSPA Board of Directors election. Board positions will take effect July 1, 2022. 
 
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 '23 through FY '25. 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 Tuesday, June 21, 2022, which will be held from 3:45 PM to 5:15 PM as a live webinar.
 
Please note that voting will close on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, at 5 PM.
 
If you have questions or comments, please contact Wendy Rundle, LSPA Executive Director at [email protected].

Thank you,
David E. Leone, LSP
LSP Association President

MA Senate Passes LSPA Bill on Insurance for Home Heating Oil Releases

The LSPA is excited to announce that on April 14, 2022, the Massachusetts Senate passed the LSPA’s bill, An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases, with a unanimous vote. Senator Anne Gobi, the bill’s sponsor, spoke in support of the bill prior to the vote. Read the re-numbered bill here. The LSPA made one important edit before the bill was passed; an explanation of the edit is provided here
 
This is a significant step forward but there is still work to be done. The Senate bill has now been sent to the House Committee on Ways and Means for consideration. The LSPA’s Legislative Committee will be working on moving the bill through the House of Representatives before July 31, 2022. If passed by the House, the bill would go next to the Governor’s desk for his signature before becoming law. We’ll keep you informed on the bill's progress.
 
Special thanks to Senator Anne Gobi for sponsoring and championing this bill for three legislative sessions, through Financial Services, Ways and Means, and finally, the full Senate. Many thanks as well to Senator Michael Rodrigues, whose leadership and commitment saw this bill through the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The media stories and support we received were significant in bringing widespread visibility to this issue; the most recent piece was run by WGBH Boston