LSPA News & Blog

Updates: New Legislative Session

New Legislative Session Begins

The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, aka the Massachusetts State Legislature, began a new two-year session in early 2023. Committee leadership has been appointed, and hearings have begun. The LSPA recently submitted two letters of written testimony.

We wrote a letter of support for S. 1765 and H. 2913 “An Act to extend the Brownfields tax credit” to the Joint Committee on Revenue.  These two identical bills propose to extend the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit program for five years, thereby ensuring liability relief and financial incentives to clean up and redevelop contaminated properties. 

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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 enhance public participation in assessment and cleanup activities at oil or hazardous material disposal sites. TAGs may be used to obtain expert advice and technical assistance and promote community education for qualifying projects.  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 informational meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 7:00 PM via Zoom. You may access the meeting via MassDEP’s TAG webpage.

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NEWMOA Invites Comments on Draft Model Legislation Aimed to Reduce the Use of PFAS in Consumer Products, Implement Source Reduction Programs, and More

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association, Inc. (NEWMOA) is inviting interested parties to submit comments on the Draft PFAS Prevention Model Act, for advancing reduction of the use of per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS. The public comment period for the Draft Model Legislation is open until June 29, 2023 midnight Eastern time.  

The goals of this draft Model Legislation are to:

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Coming Soon - LSPA Ballot for 2023 Board Election

Voting will open on Thursday, May 25, 2023 for the 2023-2024 LSPA Board of Directors election. Board positions will take effect July 1, 2023. 

Ballots will be sent by email to all LSPA members, both Full and Associate. We encourage all members to vote.

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LSPA Seeks Your Comments on US EPA’s Proposed PFAS Drinking Water MCL

On March 14, 2023, EPA announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS including PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, HFPO-DA (commonly known as GenX Chemicals), PFHxS, and PFBS. EPA anticipates finalizing the regulation by the end of 2023. For more details click here.

The LSPA will review the proposed regulation and provide comments to EPA during the public comment period, which ends on May 30, 2023. If you have comments you would like the LSPA to consider, please send them to [email protected] by April 28, 2023.

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LSPA Introduces April 2023 Practice Tip

The following LSPA practice tip was introduced at the April 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held at the Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel & Trade Center in Marlborough, MA, on April 4, 2023.  

Each state agency has responsibility for trouble-shooting its own eDEP forms.  While MassDEP suggests contacting [email protected] for help with a BWSC form, doing so will only result in a referral to [email protected].  For more immediate assistance with BWSC forms on eDEP, LSPs should contact [email protected] directly. For time sensitive filings you can call the online filing help desk at 617-626-1111.  

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LSPA Scholarship Fund Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

The LSP Association Scholarship Fund is now accepting applications for educational scholarships for the 2023-2024 academic year. Deadline for submission is Friday, May 26, 2023.

The scholarship program supports continued education within environmental fields of study at colleges and universities throughout New England.

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US EPA Announces Proposed PFAS Drinking Water MCL

On March 14, 2023, EPA announced the proposed National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) for six PFAS including PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, HFPO-DA (commonly known as GenX Chemicals), PFHxS, and PFBS. The proposed PFAS NPDWR does not require any actions until it is finalized. EPA anticipates finalizing the regulation by the end of 2023. For more details click here.

EPA is requesting public comment on the proposed regulation. The public comment period will open following the proposed rule publishing in the Federal Register. Public comments can be provided at that time at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2022-0114.

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LSPA Introduces March 2023 Practice Tip

The following LSPA practice tip was introduced at the March 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually on March 14,  2023.  

Among other provisions, the health/safety requirements for MCP response actions set forth at 310 CMR 40.0018 specify that a worker health/safety plan must be implemented to the extent required by OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, 29 U.S.C. 651 et seq., and any other applicable federal, state, or local law.

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LSPA Introduces February 2023 Practice Tip

The following LSPA practice tip was introduced at the February 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually on February 15,  2023.  

Practice Tip of the Month: 
Administrative issues with Activity and Use Limitations (AULs) commonly result in the issuance of Notices of Noncompliance. One helpful tool for reviewing an AUL and its exhibits and assessing whether all requirements for submitting an AUL have been met, is the AUL Compliance Assistance Checklist available in Appendix I of MassDEP’s 2014 Draft Guidance on Implementing AULs.

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LSPA Provides Comments on EEA's Environmental Justice Strategy

Last week, the LSPA sent this letter to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs ("EEA") as part of its public comment period on the secretariat-wide draft Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy. The comment period ends on Friday, February 17, 2023. The effort to develop the report was led by EEA’s Environmental Justice Task Force and convened by EEA’s Director of Environmental Justice in September 2020.

In its materials, EEA noted that it seeks the public review to “elaborate on approaches that are likely to be successful, identify strategies that were missed, and highlight practices that may fall short of our mutual goals to establish a more just and equitable commonwealth.”  The strategy is intended to improve the internal management of EEA agencies and the intended audience is EEA staff in their efforts to engage the public. In addition to an overview of the EJ Policy, the report is organized into 13 sections, one for each EEA agency, that outline how each specific agency intends to implement actions for promoting and integrating EJ considerations across its programs, policies, activities, and other strategies. 

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LSPA Introduces January 2023 Compliance Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the January 2023 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on January 26, 2023.  

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Pursuant to 310 CMR 40.1403(3)(a), notification to the Chief Municipal Officer and Board of Health of a community in which a Disposal Site is located is required when respirators or other protective clothing (Level A, B, or C Personal Protective Equipment) is used at a Disposal Site. This notification is required at least three days prior to the commencement of such field work or, if the level of protection is upgraded to Level C or above during the course of the work, as soon as practicable.

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Top Takeaways for EPA's New DRGP Permit, with New Deadlines

The U. S. EPA and EPA Region 1 have issued the Final National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) general permits for discharges of pollutants to Waters of the U. S. in waste waters from certain dewatering and remediation-related activities. This Dewatering and Remediation General Permit (DRGP) covers discharges to certain waters in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the State of New Hampshire, sites in Connecticut and Rhode Island located on Indian Country lands, and federal facilities in Vermont.

This DRGP is a combined reissuance of the Remediation General Permit (RGP) that became effective on April 8, 2017, and expired on April 8, 2022, and the Dewatering General Permit (DGP) that became effective on April 25, 2015, and expired on April 7, 2022. The new general permit combines the former Discharge General Permit (DGP) for non-remediation construction projects with the Remediation General Permit (RGP). The DRGP authorizes discharges of groundwater, surface water, potable water, and storm water associated with following activities: site remediation, site dewatering, infrastructure dewatering and remediation activities, and material dewatering.

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LSPA Introduces December 2022 Compliance Tip of the Month

The following LSPA practice tip was presented at the December 2022 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on December 14, 2022.  

Compliance Tip of the Month: 
Consistent with 310 CMR 40.1003(7), if all other MCP closure requirements are met, a site with NAPL may be closed with a Permanent Solution With Conditions (PSWC) following complete evaluation of the nature and extent of the NAPL, including demonstration of the following consistent with Policy #WSC-16-450:

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Action Alert: Final Days for Action on LSPA's S. 2830 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, remains under consideration by the Massachusetts House Committee on Ways and Means. We need your help this coming week. 

We are focusing all our attention on urging House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) and House Speaker Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy) to move this bill to a vote before the legislative session ends on January 3, 2023. 

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Notice of Listening Sessions and Opportunity for Public Comments on EOEEA Draft Environmental Justice Strategy

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) recently announced the release of its draft EEA secretariat-wide Environmental Justice (EJ) Strategy.

The EJ Strategy was developed by a Secretariat-wide EJ Task Force comprised of representatives of each of EEA’s agencies, major offices, and affiliated organizations.  The draft strategy contains chapters that pertain to each of these agencies and offices, and is tailored to the unique mandate of each entity. It also provides a consistent approach to common issues, such as the development of EJ metrics to measure progress, staff training for awareness of EJ issues, commitment to diversity in hiring, inclusion of EJ criteria in grant disbursement and commitment to provision of languages services. 

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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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