LSPA News

LSPA Shares January 2021 Resource Tip

The following LSPA resource tip was presented at the January 2021 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on January 13, 2021.  

ResilientMA.org is the MA Climate Change Clearinghouse, which provides resources and tools for evaluating climate change and community resiliency.  The site also includes multi-model climate forecasts and maps developed by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center at UMass Amherst (NECASC); these forecasts are one focus of the LSPA’s Climate Change Subcommittee’s on-going work.  A video tutorial for using these forecasts is here: Tutorial  

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LSPA's Home Heating Oil Insurance Bill Stalled as Massachusetts Legislature Closes Out This Session

After an unprecedented year, the state legislature closed out its 2019/20 session early Wednesday, January 6, 2021 and began the new session (formally "The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts") later the same day.
Unfortunately the LSPA's home heating oil legislation, S. 594 which would mandate insurance coverage, did not proceed past the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. The LSPA expects that Senator Anne Gobi will again file the legislation in the new session on our behalf; we will begin again to make our case and tap the established strong relationships we have made to date.

Special thanks to Senator Gobi for her efforts as the bill's lead sponsor.
Thank you to former Senator James Welch and Representative James Murphy, Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, for their support at the committee level.
 
We appreciate the support of our environmental partners: MA Rivers Alliance, MA Association of Conservation Commissioners, Charles River Watershed Association, Mystic River Watershed Association, and OARs: For the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers.
 
The LSPA's Legislative Committee extends a sincere thank you to the many individual LSPA members who called, emailed, and wrote their legislators urging them to support this bill. We will call on you again!

We are confident the next legislative session is OUR TIME!


LSPA Urges Covid-19 Vaccine Priority for LSPs

Earlier this week the LSPA sent a letter to the two Massachusetts Department of Public Health officials leading the Massachusetts Covid-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, urging them to consider appropriate Covid-19 vaccine priority for LSPs and other workers who address spills of oil and hazardous materials, and conduct waste site assessment and remediation. These professionals should be prioritized in Phase 2 of the Commonwealth's vaccine distribution timeline, as they are no less essential to public health and safety than sanitation, public works and public health workers, or water and wastewater utility staff.
 
Our letter provides more context and detail. 
 
The LSPA has also heard from MassDEP that the prioritization of LSPs has been discussed amongst MassDEP senior staff.  Our understanding is that while this is still in the process of being sorted out, the Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup has asked that LSPs be considered similar to MassDEP's Emergency Response staff in Phase 2 - just like waste water treatment plant operators and others.

We know that many of you are eager for your vaccine and we will keep LSPA membership apprised as we learn more.


Ethan Mascoop Presented with First LSPA Environmental Justice Award

At our December 15, 2020 member meeting, Ethan Mascoop was honored with the LSPA's first Environmental Justice Award. This 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. Carol Bois, LSPA Past President, presented the award to Mr. Mascoop, MPH, MUA (Master of Urban Affairs). She said that "Ethan has devoted most of his working career to public service; he is a public health trailblazer and activist seeking to bring attention to areas that have historically been overlooked. Ethan was the Director of Public Health in Framingham, MA from 2008 to 2013. In 2011, I began working with Ethan on various environmental issues associated with MCP sites in the Town (now City) of Framingham and have witnessed his dedication to and action on public health issues firsthand, especially his commitment to improving public health for the underserved, such as Environmental Justice communities."
 
Ethan currently works as an independent consultant on housing conditions, indoor air quality, Title V compliance, and other occupational and public health issues; he also teaches graduate public health students as an Adjunct Clinical Professor at Boston University's School of Public Health.

While he was the Director of Public Health in Framingham, Ethan drove the City to become more of an advocate and active participant in decisions affecting local hazardous waste site cleanups under the MCP. The City has continued that legacy through the present day.

As one example out of many, he provided a voice to community health and environmental concerns about decades-long contamination created by operations from General Chemical Corporation, one of the largest hazardous waste sites in Framingham.

Ethan's efforts, supported by the Board of Health and the LSPs working with him, resulted in the company, the City, and MassDEP responding to the community's concerns - after years of the contamination languishing with little or no movement toward cleanup.

For his leadership, Ethan is recognized with the LSPA's 2020 Environmental Justice Award. Congratulations Ethan!

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 AUL Compliance Assistance Letters to be Mailed Soon

MassDEP has asked the LSPA to share the following information.
In December 2020, MassDEP is planning to mail an Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) compliance assistance letter to individuals listed in MassDEP records as owning a property at which a Notice of Activity and Use Limitation has been implemented.  This compliance assistance letter has been sent periodically (previously in 2010 and 2015) to provide property owners with a description of the nature and purpose of an AUL and remind them of their obligation to adhere to the terms of the AUL. 
 
The letter is strictly informational and generic (i.e., it does not reference site-specific AUL conditions) and does not require any response from the property owner to MassDEP.  MassDEP email and telephone contact information will be provided in the letter should the recipient have any additional questions or concerns.  A link to the generic letter is available here.   
 
Note, to avoid confusion, this generic compliance assistance letter will not be sent to those property owners with AULs related to Active Exposure Pathway Mitigation Measures (AEPMMS) that support a Permanent Solution pursuant to 310 CMR 40.1025(7).   Property owners in such cases are required to respond to an annual letter sent by MassDEP to certify the ongoing operation and maintenance of AEPMMs.  MassDEP will be sending the AEPMM annual certification letters in a subsequent mailing.

Action Alert: Urge Your State Senator to Support LSPA's Home Heating Oil Insurance Bill

Now that the Legislature has completed work on the state's FY '21 budget, it will make one last push on passing legislation before the session ends on January 5, 2021.
 
The LSPA's bill S. 594, which would require insurance companies to provide first- and third-party coverage for home heating oil releases, is still under consideration in the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means. We only have four weeks to get this bill a favorable report out of committee and approved by the full Senate before this session ends.
 
We are asking for one last push by our members who are Massachusetts residents. Please consider writing to your state senator to urge their support of the bill. The more requests from constituents, the more likely our bill will be a priority of the Senate. Check here to find your state senator.
If your state senator is a member the Senate Ways & Means Committee and/or a co-sponsor of the bill,
NOW is the time to get their attention. Attached here is a sample email you can send. All senators' email addresses are on their home page.
 
If your senator is not a committee member or a co-sponsor, you should still write to urge her/him to encourage the Senate Ways & Means Committee to issue a favorable report on the bill. Here is a sample email you can send. All senators' email addresses are on their home page.
 
If you have experience with a home heating oil release, especially one in which the homeowner did not have insurance or had a difficult time obtaining coverage, please consider sharing this experience in your letter. Real life examples are most compelling, especially if your client's property is in the district of one of these senators.
 
For more information about the bill, please read the LSPA's letter and fact sheet, as well as a supporting letter from five state environmental organizations.
 
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 Legislative Committee Co-Chairs
Spence Smith, LSP, Jacobs
Tim Clinton, LSP, Fuss & O'Neill
 

EOEEA Environmental Dataset Portal: Drinking Water and PFAS6 in Public Wells

At MassDEP's Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) November 12, 2020 Office Hours meeting, Paul Locke, Assistant Commissioner, shared information on a helpful resource: the Massachusetts EOEEA Data Portal, which is comprised of several Environmental Datasets. Datasets include asbestos projects, enforcement actions, and well drilling; also included is the BWSC's Waste Site & Reportable Releases Lookup page. 
 
The focus for this meeting was on the Drinking Water program dataset where one can search by public water system as well as town, class of well (Non-Transient Non-Community, Non-Community, and Community), contaminant group, and chemical name. Many per-fluoroalkyl substances are included in the searchable list of chemicals including, of particular interest - PFAS6.
 
At this time, private well sampling information is not included in this EOEEA database.
 
A link to this portal is also found on MassDEP's PFAS webpage.
 
The weekly BWSC Office Hour meetings are recorded and posted on this YouTube page
 
The discussion of the EOEEA portal begins at 2:15 minutes into the November 12, 2020 meeting and ends at around 15:30 minutes.

Steve Boynton Presented with LSPA Member Award

At our November 18, 2020 member meeting, Stephen Boynton was honored with the LSPA's 2020 Member Award. This award is presented to an LSPA Member in recognition of leadership, commitment, and contributions to the LSPA organization and membership over the previous year.
 
LSPA President Michele Paul presented the award to Steve, President of Subsurface Environmental Solutions, who has been an LSP since 1997. She said that "Over the years, Steve has developed and presented several courses to LSPA membership for LSP continuing education credits. These courses are typically on two of his favorite topics: NAPL and making use of visual technical tools in site assessment and remediation."

In terms of his demonstrated commitment, Steve has been an active participant in the LSPA's Education Committee; most recently he was instrumental in conceiving of, developing and presenting the LNAPL Regulatory Change, Guidance and Progress course. This course brought together Steve, two other practitioners, and Ken Marra of MassDEP for, by all accounts, a terrific 4-hour course.  

Not one to rest, last year, Steve also served as the Committee Chair for the LSPA's first Sole Practitioners' Group. It was this group that hosted the LSPA's first live webinar - on the Zoom platform. Little did we know how commonplace that would become! We have Steve (and COVID-19) to thank for forcing us to become familiar with this new virtual approach to content delivery.

For his leadership, commitment to innovation, and many contributions over the past year, Steve is recognized with the LSPA's 2020 LSPA Member Award.  

Congratulations Steve! 

Roger Thibault Presented LSPA Lifetime Achievement Award

At our October 28, 2020 member meeting, Roger Thibault was honored with the LSPA's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. This 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.
 
LSPA President Michele Paul presented the award to Roger, who is an LSP at BETA Group, for his distinguished and continued contributions to the field of waste site cleanup and involvement with the LSPA. She said that "Roger has been an LSP since the inception of the program and has demonstrated a strong and continued commitment for nearly 40 years to the environmental industry.
 
Roger is a longtime member and participant in the LSPA's Technical Practices Committee and has been the Committee Chair for the past several years. He has facilitated and helped lead the committee into new initiatives in emerging technical areas including building science and vapor intrusion, climate change and the MCP, and remediation of PFAS sites.
 
A particular contribution of Roger's has been his dedication to mentoring younger colleagues who have gone on to participate in the LSPA and thrive in the industry."

For his work as an LSP, active participation and leadership in the LSPA, and commitment to mentoring young professionals, Roger is recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Congratulations Roger!

LSPA Unveils November 2020 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the November 2020 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on November 18, 2020.  

Compliance Tip

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LSPA Comments on Asbestos Regulation 454 CMR 28.00

On very short turnaround, the LSPA learned of and submitted comments to the MA Department of Labor Standards on their Draft Asbestos Regulation 454 CMR 28.00 regarding the removal, containment, maintenance, or encapsulation of asbestos. Our main concern related to ensuring that LSPs do not also have to be licensed Asbestos Project Designers in order to carry out their MCP work, including signing "Soil Characterization and Management Plans," and conducting "asbestos risk assessment and asbestos management planning."  Read the LSPA's letter

Many thanks to the LSPA's Regulations Committee for spearheading this effort!

LSPA Unveils October 2020 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the October 2020 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on October 28, 2020.  

If you have not earned all of the LSP credits needed for your license renewal, then you may apply to the LSP Board of Registration for a 90-day extension of your renewal date. To apply, you must have already earned at least 36 credits toward the required 48 total credits AND you must remit the license renewal processing fee. Use this form.

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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

Your Input Requested on Survey for Cost-Benefit of Geologic Maps

The LSPA has been contacted by Dr. Stephen Mabee, Director of the Massachusetts Geological Survey, and Massachusetts State Geologist, with a request that we distribute this nationwide survey to our membership. The survey is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Association of American State Geologists to quantify the cost-benefit of geologic maps to the nation. Although it is a national survey, the results will be broken down by state and made available to all of us. This will provide useful data for justifying future funding for production of geologic maps and development of associated derivative products for the consulting community.  

The link to the survey is provided here Please complete it by no later than November 2, 2020.   

Additional information is provided here in a letter from Dr. Mabee. 

We all use geologic maps for our work and the LSPA membership is no exception. Any help is much appreciated. 
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Mabee by email ([email protected]) or phone (413-687-5288). 

Thank you, 
 
Michele Paul, LSP
LSPA President

LSPA Presents Paul Locke, Assistant Commissioner, MassDEP with its Contribution to the Practice Award

Before an audience of over 200 people on a Zoom videoconference, the LSP Association (LSPA) honored (and surprised!) Paul Locke, Assistant Commissioner, Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), with its Contribution to the Practice Award. 

The LSPA presents this award 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.  

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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.
 

LSPA Unveils September 2020 Compliance Tip

The following LSPA compliance tip was presented at the September 2020 Membership Meeting, which was held virtually through the Zoom webinar platform, on September 24, 2020.  

The MCP requires that a sketch plan be attached as an exhibit to an AUL.  Don’t be fooled by the informality of the term “sketch;” specific information must be included in the plan including:

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LSPA Soliciting Your Comments on the State's Climate Resilience Design Standards and Guidelines Project

The LSPA's Climate Change (CC) Subcommittee of the Technical Practices Committee is, among other things, working to identify questions and issues that might be helpful to MassDEP as they develop guidance on proposed climate change regulations as presented in the 2019 Draft MCP Amendments.

The Subcommittee recently became aware of a public comment period on the Resilient MA Action Team's (RMAT's) Climate Resilience Design Standards and Guidelines Project. Click here for more information.

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