When to Notify the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention of a Spill or Release Reply

Did you know that you may be required to notify more than one section of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) when you have a spill that requires implementation of your hazardous waste contingency plan?

Spills or releases of hazardous waste – whether inside the facility or outside to the environment – are reportable to the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention at the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office when there is an imminent or actual emergency involving hazardous waste that requires the facility to activate its hazardous waste contingency plan.  This requirement is in addition to notification (if required) to the MassDEP Emergency Response Section per the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 30.400).

The MassDEP hazardous waste regulations require that Large Quantity Generators (LQGs) have a written hazardous waste contingency plan (310 CMR 30.341(1)(b)) that outlines what to do in the event of an emergency involving hazardous waste.  Even if a facility has to activate the hazardous waste contingency plan for something as simple as calling the Emergency Coordinator for a spill of hazardous waste inside the facility, the facility must notify the MassDEP Bureau of Waste Prevention.  The same applies if you have a bulging or leaking drum of hazardous waste that is overpacked by your emergency response team and then shipped off-site for proper disposal.

These reporting requirements are outlined in 310 CMR 30.341(b) and 310 CMR 30.521(e)(7) and apply to LQGs when there is an imminent or actual emergency involving hazardous waste which triggers the need to implement the hazardous waste contingency plan. This applies even if it does not result in a reportable release pursuant to 310 CMR 40.000 (The Massachusetts Contingency Plan requirements).

We recommend developing a methodology of who to report to and when, and including it in your hazardous waste contingency plan so that it is readily available to personnel responsible for reporting.

What to report, when, and to whom, can be confusing.  Please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 extension 119 or lswift@capaccio.com with any questions you may have regarding reporting spills.

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