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.

The MassDEP Extends “Qualifying Period” Under The Permit Extension Act Reply

In 2010, the Massachusetts legislature passed the Permit Extension Act (Act) that established an automatic two-year extension to certain permits and licenses that were issued concerning the use or development of real property. The 2010 Act applied to permits and licenses that were issued during the “qualifying period” of August 15, 2008 through August 15, 2010.  This qualifying period was just recently expanded by an additional two years to cover permits or licenses issued through August 15, 2012.  With limited exceptions, the Act automatically extends, for four years beyond its otherwise applicable expiration date, any permit or approval that was “in effect or existence” during the qualifying period.  As an example; a covered permit or license that expired on September 1, 2009 would be automatically revived (i.e., put back into force) and the new expiration date would be September 1, 2013.  This example and other frequently asked questions can be found on the MassDEP website.

The list of potential permits or licenses affected by the Act is extensive as it applies to any permit, certificate, order (excluding enforcement orders), license, certification, determination, exemption, variance, waiver, building permit, or other approval or determination of rights from any municipal, regional or state governmental entity, concerning the use or development of real property.  The potential list includes permits or licenses issued under the following chapters of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws: Chapter 21, Chapter 21A (Except for section 16: Civil and Administrative Penalties), Chapter 21D, Chapter 30 (Sections 61 to 61H inclusive), Chapter 30A, Chapter 40, Chapter 40A, Chapter 40B, Chapter 40C, Chapter 40R, Chapter 41, Chapter 43D, Chapter 81 (Section 21), Chapter 91, Chapter 131, Chapter 131A, Chapter 143, Chapter 249 (Sections 4 and 5), and Chapter 258.

If you have any questions regarding the extension and whether your permits or licenses may be covered, please contact Chris Walton, PE, at 508.970.0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com.

Massachusetts Facilities: Have you consolidated your air plan approvals? Reply

Has your facility been in business for a number of years and is it operating under a variety of air plan approvals issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)?  Do you have more than one air plan approval for a process or piece of equipment that contains different emission limits or restrictions?  Are you confused as to what plan approval you should be following? If so, the MassDEP offers a simplified approach, which is to consolidate your current air plan approvals into one.

The MassDEP has posted a consolidation form on its website to assist companies with streamlining their emission limits, restrictions, monitoring, and reporting requirements:


When you access this link, scroll down to: LPA/CPA Consolidation of Previously Issued Plan Approvals (August 2011).

The form enables a facility to combine permit limits and restrictions into one air plan approval along with all generally applicable requirements listed in 310 CMR 7.00.  Currently, there is no application fee for consolidation. If you want to consolidate your facility’s air plan approvals and also have a new process that needs to be permitted, the MassDEP is requiring that facilities first apply for a plan approval for the new process, and then submit the consolidation form. The new consolidated plan approval will supersede all prior approvals that have been combined into the consolidated approval.   

Why should you consolidate your air plan approvals?

  • You will save time as you will no longer need to try and keep up with your various air plan approval requirements.
  • Your consolidated air plan approval will be easier to understand as it will list all requirements that are applicable to your processes in one document.
  • With only one document to review, you will reduce risk. Having numerous air plan approvals can lead to requirements being overlooked, which can lead to potential fines.

CAPACCIO’s air permit experts can assist in consolidating your air plan approvals.  We have more than twenty years of experience filing air plan approvals and have worked closely with MassDEP permit engineers to ensure the process goes smoothly.

If you have any questions, or need assistance, please contact Lynn Sheridan at 507.970.0033 extension 122 or lsheridan@capaccio.com.



MassDEP Rideshare Program Stakeholder/Regulated Facilities under the Massachusetts Rideshare Regulation (310 CMR 7.16) Reply

In April 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) held a meeting with rideshare program stakeholders to discuss opportunities to streamline the program’s reporting and survey requirements.  The MassDEP is planning to implement the following ten recommendations to streamline the survey and reporting requirements this year: 

  1. The reporting forms will be automated and converted into Excel spreadsheets.
  2. The current rideshare guidance will be revised in order to simplify the instructions and provide more relevant examples.
  3. The “vehicle use” question will be revised in the reporting forms and the guidance document for employers to determine the number of applicable commuters.
  4. The rideshare guidance will be revised to allow employers to use direct counts of commuters parking in garages/lots as drive alone commute trips.
  5. The MassDEP will allow flexibility on how employers conduct their surveys and capture other modes of commuting that may be otherwise missed during a specific target week. 
  6. The MassDEP will offer a series of workshops in October, November and December to help employers complete the rideshare reports.    
  7. The MassDEP will attempt to provide earlier notification of deficient reports. In addition, MassDEP will include a checklist in the report that outlines all key information and documents that are required for submittal.
  8. MassDEP will link to environmental calculators on the Rideshare web page that can be used as an optional tool to estimate environmental benefits from reduced drive alone commuter trips.
  9. MassDEP will allow employers to use the entire population of employees who typically commute during the work week or employers may continue to use the current methodology to identify applicable commuters. 
  10. MassDEP will provide a spreadsheet that will help employers estimate changes in mode shares.  The guidance will be revised to more clearly explain how the increase/shift in commuting modes can be reported in the reports.  

The meeting and changes were part of the MassDEP’s Regulatory Reform Initiative (http://www.mass.gov/dep/about/priorities/regreform/actionplan_final.htm). MassDEP anticipates that the changes will be fully implemented and made available on MassDEP’s Rideshare webpage (http://www.mass.gov/dep/air/approvals/ridesh02.htm) by October 2012 for the 2012 reporting year.   

If you have any questions, please contact Linda Swift at 508.970.0033 ext. 119 or lswift@capaccio.com, or Dan Forsythe at 508.970.0033 ext. 135 or dforsythe@capaccio.com.