TURA 2009 Information Release Reply

Please be advised, the TURA 2009 Information Release is now available on line at the following site:

 http://www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/tura/turadata.htm

The data show that even after accounting for changes in production levels,Massachusetts is continuing to make progress in Toxics Use Reduction!

Please remember that the final step in TURA filing is submitting your payment to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).  Toxics Use Fees are due to MassDEP by September 1st.  This is different from the information on the Toxics Use Fee Worksheet.  No bills will be sent out this year.  If payment is not received by September 1st , a bill will be send out with a $1,000 late fee. For more information please contact Travis Wheeler at 508.970.0033 ext. 115 or twheeler@capaccio.com.

MassDEP to Finalize UST Operator Training Requirements Regulations 310 CMR 80.00 Reply

Federal regulations for owners and operators of Underground Storage Tanks (UST’s) require that facilities must have certified operators for their UST systems by August 8th, 2012.  To satisfy the federal regulation, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has developed an emergency regulation, 310 CMR 80.00 Operator Training, which outlines the requirements of owner and operators of UST’s and the MassDEP requirements. 

Facilities will be allowed to train operators internally to meet the training requirements and will also be required to have a Class A, B, and C Operator on staff at the facility.  In addition to the internal training, Class A and B Operators will be required to pass an exam administered by the MassDEP and pay the associated registration fees.  It is important to note that one person may serve as the Class A, B and C Operator for a facility, but certification must be obtained by the August 2012 deadline.  

For more information regarding this emergency regulation, the public comment period, or the requirements for each class of operator please see the links below or contact Josh Fawson at 508.970.0033 x120 or jfawson@capaccio.com..

Proposed Regulation 310 CMR 80.00

http://www.mass.gov/dep/toxics/laws/ustotreg.doc

New Regulatory Vapor Intrusion Guidance Reply

ThroughoutMassachusetts, releases of materials containing volatile organic compounds (e.g., petroleum products, dry cleaning fluids, industrial solvents) have impacted soil and/or groundwater.  When these releases occur near buildings, volatilization of contaminants in the subsurface can result in the intrusion of vapor-phase contaminants into indoor air spaces and can pose a risk to workers and other building occupants.

In June 2010, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) updated its Standard Practice for Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions (E2600-10).  This guide defines a procedure to identify, during a Phase I property assessment, whether a vapor intrusion condition exists, likely exists, cannot be ruled out, or can be ruled out because a vapor intrusion condition does not or is not likely to exist.

In response to the regulated community’s questions and concerns, in December 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) issued an Interim Draft Vapor Intrusion Guidance document to provide regulatory guidance on assessing and mitigating vapor intrusion pathways at sites regulated by the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). This document addresses approaches to the assessment and remediation of vapor intrusion in order to maintain compliance and eventual site closure within the MCP.

Both the ASTM guide and the MassDEP guidance documents can be applied to property with existing structures, property with structures that will be substantially rehabilitated, property without existing structures but having planned structures (e.g.,, property in development), or property without existing structures and with no planned structures (e.g.,, undeveloped property with no planned development).

Following receipt of public comments, due by March 1, 2011, the MassDEP will finalize the Vapor Intrusion Guidance document.  If you have a concern about the potential for your existing or planned property to have a vapor intrusion impact, call Dawn Horter at 508.970.0033 ext. 118.

Massachusetts Contingency Plan – Requirements for Chemical Releases to the Air Reply

As we are more than half-way through 2010, it is a good time to review requirements relating to chemical releases to the air from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) perspective.  As opposed to releases to soil or water, reporting of releases to air is often unclear or overlooked.  This is typically because, due to the nature of an air release, the highest priority becomes coordinating and conducting the necessary rapid remedial response. 

Most chemical releases to the air require MassDEP notification as soon as possible, but not more than 2 hours after obtaining knowledge that the release or threat of release meets one or more of the following:

  • A sudden, continuous or intermittent release or a threat of release to the environment of a hazardous material when:
    • the quantity of the release is or is likely to be equal to or greater than the applicable Reportable Quantity, and
    • it is likely that the release occurred within any period of 24 consecutive hours or less
  • A threat of release to the environment of a hazardous material when:
    • a release or threat of release of a hazardous material, in any quantity or concentration, that poses or could pose an Imminent Hazard
  • A release to the environment which results in the presence of hazardous material vapors within buildings, structures, or underground utility conduits at a concentration equal to or greater than 10% of the Lower Explosive Limit
  • A release to the environment of reactive or explosive hazardous material which threatens human health or safety
  • A release to a roadway that endangers public safety
  • A release to the environment that poses a significant risk to human health when present for even a short period of time
  • A release to the environment which produces readily apparent effects to human health, including respiratory distress or dermal irritation.

The MCP does allow for a delay in notification if one of the following extenuating circumstances can be established by a preponderance of evidence in which case notification must be made as soon as possible:

  • A lack of reasonably-available communication equipment at the site of the release or threat of release
  • A need to take actions prior to notification in order to mitigate or prevent an Imminent Hazard and/or threat to public safety, and/or
  • physical injury to the person responsible for notifying caused by or associated with the release or threat of release, when the injury reasonably prevents that person from notifying

In recent years, the MassDEP has been placing a priority on issuing penalties for violations for failure to notify in a timely manner.  The MassDEP does have a provision for retracting a release notification within 60 days if it is determined that the released amount is below the applicable MassDEP Reportable Quantity.  Therefore, in order to avoid a violation, it is better to report a release of unknown quantity than delay notification until the released quantity is confirmed.

For more information please call Dawn Horter (508) 970-0033 ext. 118 or email dhorter@capaccio.com.