Third-Party Verification Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reports No Longer Required By The MassDEP Reply

On August 26, 2015, the MassDEP issued an e-mail to Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reporting facilities that it will no longer require verification of GHG reports by an approved verification body once every three years as stated in 310 CMR 7.71(7).  This decision applies to reports for reporting year 2014 and future years thereafter.  Verification of emission reports for years prior to 2014 must still be completed and submitted to MassDEP.

The reason for the change is that MassDEP believes the third party verification program has been successful in improving the quality of reported GHG emissions data to-date.  Each reporting facility in the state has completed verification for at least one emission year.  MassDEP believes the reviews have resulted in significant changes to many reports and that going forward, facilities will continue to implement these changes in future years as part of their own internal verification processes.

MassDEP intends to publish a draft report on the verification requirement in the near future which will include supporting data that was considered in deciding to no longer require the third-party verification.   MassDEP  will likely be proposing amendments to 310 CMR 7.71(7) to replace the current verification requirement with other verification options such as self-certification of reported emissions.

Despite the removal of the third party verification requirement, the accuracy and consistency of data should remain a priority that needs to be addressed by alternate means such as a periodic peer review or GHG emissions audit.

CAPACCIO works closely with companies in assisting with the tracking of GHG emissions and in the preparation and submission of GHG reports to both the MassDEP and the Federal EPA.  CAPACCIO will continue to provide GHG program audits and peer reviews of GHG tracking systems, programs, and reporting.

CAPACCIO will continue to follow any developments from the MassDEP and our air quality experts can help with all your compliance needs.  If you have questions or require assistance, please contact Bob King at 508-970-0033 ext. 113 or bking@capaccio.com or John Baycroft at 508-970-0033 ext. 144 or jbaycroft@capaccio.com.

TUR Fee due September 1 Reply

If you filed a Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) report in 2015 for chemical use during 2014, there is a TUR fee due to the MassDEP by September 1.

Companies subject to TURA are required to pay annual toxics use fees. These are based on a formula that takes into account the number of people the company employs and the number of listed chemicals it manufactures, processes or otherwise uses in excess of applicable thresholds. A company calculates its fee using a worksheet/invoice that the facility submits along with its annual TUR report.

This worksheet/invoice serves as the company’s first notice of payment due. The fee must be paid in full by September 1 of the filing year. (http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/toxics/tur/about-tura-reporting-and-fees.html#ToxicsUseFees )

The last sheet of your facility’s TUR reporting package includes the fee calculation worksheet and serves as the invoice for the fee.  No additional notice is sent by MassDEP regarding this fee.

Print the Worksheet/Invoice page as documentation and send a copy with your check to:

MassDEP, PO Box 4062, Boston MA 02211

Payment is due by September 1, 2015. If your payment is not received by September 1, a second invoice including the $1000 late fee mandated by MGL 21I will be sent to the facility.

If you need assistance determining or submitting your TUR invoice, please contact your project manager at CAPACCIO, or Jill Vernes at jvernes@capaccio.com.

Annual Rideshare Reports Due December 31, 2015 Reply

As you may be aware, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP’s) Rideshare Regulation (310 CMR 7.16) requires facilities that meet certain criteria to complete and submit an annual Rideshare Report summarizing their rideshare program.

The criteria that must be met to be applicable to these requirements includes:

  • Businesses with 250 or more applicable commuters that are subject to the MassDEP Air Operating Permit Program (310 CMR 7.00, Appendix C) or
  • Businesses with 1,000 or more applicable commuters
  • Educational institutions with 1,000 or more applicable students or applicable commuters combined

The definition of “applicable commuters” is employees that work 17 hours or more per week for 20 or more weeks per year; that commute to work between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and use their vehicle for work purposes during work hours less than 5 times per month. “Applicable students” are students that are full-time commuting students and live off campus; are scheduled to begin and complete classes between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.; and need their vehicle for class assignments or for after-school work less than five times per month.

For further details, please visit:
http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/air/programs/the-massachusetts-rideshare-program.html

If you meet the rideshare requirements, your annual report is due December 31, 2015.

What must you do if your business/educational facility meets the requirements?

  • Collect data by surveying your employees/students current commuting patterns*
  • Identify available commuting options
  • Set goals and develop a plan for reducing drive-alone commute trips by 25 percent
  • Offer options and incentives to reduce drive-alone commute trips
  • Review how commuting patterns will change as a result

*For the majority of businesses and educational institutions this year is a short form year so a survey is not required; however, many companies choose to conduct a survey each year.

Many facilities find collecting rideshare data from employees a challenge. CAPACCIO has been helping clients make the process easier and more efficient. Using web-based forms we developed, CAPACCIO can host your custom commuter survey online and collect data in a database for easy analysis. The findings can be shared with employees online and also be tailored to report commuter trends for your environmental management system (EMS) objectives and targets and help facilitate the completion of your rideshare report. The tool may also be tailored to your facility’s internal programs where employee transportation has been identified as a significant environmental aspect in your EMS goals and targets. Please see CAPACCIO’s rideshare service sheet for more details or visit our website for our entire suite of services.

For more information on CAPACCIO’s rideshare services, please contact Dan Forsythe at (508) 970-0033 ext. 135 or dforsythe@capaccio.com.

Starting August 1, 2015: MassDEP’s New Online UST Data Management System Goes Into Effect Reply

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is rolling out a new on-line data management system for Underground Storage Tank (UST) Registrations and Third-Party Inspections. Beginning August 1, 2015, MassDEP will no longer accept paper UST forms. With the roll-out of this electronic system, MassDEP will also be initiating its Owner Compliance Certification program. In addition to ensuring that third-party inspections are completed, owners will be required to certify compliance through the online system. The letter from Tom DeNormandie, Branch Chief at MassDEP, is copied below, for your convenience.

If you require assistance with third-party inspections or compliance certifications, please contact Christopher Walton at 508.970.0033 ext. 139 or cwalton@capaccio.com.

*******

Dear Class A, A/B and B Operators and Third-Party Inspectors:

Beginning in July, MassDEP is transitioning from the current paper based Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program registration and reporting forms (FP-290, FP-290R and FP-289), to a new online data management system that provides UST system owners and operators a more convenient, electronic way to update facility registration information and submit applicable reporting documents.

The new data management system will be available for user registration by mid-July.  MassDEP will notify all Class A, A/B and B operators and third-party inspectors when the data management system is ready for use.

UST Program Reporting Transition Schedule

  1. Effective July 31, 2015, MassDEP will no longer accept FP-290, FP-290R and FP-289 documents for purposes of compliance with UST registration and third-party inspection reporting requirements under 310 CMR 80.00.
  2. Effective August 1, 2015:
    1. All new and updated UST registration submittals shall be made electronically through MassDEP’s new online UST data management system.  Registration information may be submitted as a paper document, if accompanied by a hardship request.
    2. All third-party inspection results shall be reported electronically by third-party inspectors using the new Third-Party Inspection (TPI) Report provided through the new online data management system.  The third-party inspector will then electronically forward the TPI Report to the UST system owner or operator for signature and submittal to MassDEP.

Compliance with Third-Party Inspection Reporting Requirements
To provide UST system owners, operators and third-party inspectors time to register as users in the data management system and become familiar with the system and new Program requirements, TPI Reports due between August 1, 2015 and October 31, 2015 will be allowed up to October 31, 2015 to submit their required TPI Report using the new online data management system.

All TPI Reports for this period received after October 31, 2015 may be subject to enforcement.

Compliance Certification Submittals
The Compliance Certification submittal requirement goes into effect November 1, 2015. MassDEP will issue 90-Day Reminder notifications in July to UST system owners and operators with  Compliance Certifications due in November 2015.

Data Management System Training for UST Owners, Operators, and Third-Party Inspectors

  1. Third-Party Inspector Online Webinar Training
    Data management system overview:
  • Registering as a user
  • Data management system navigation
  • Initiating a TPI and “sharing” a TPI Report with a UST system owner or operator.

Webinar Training Dates
No pre-registration is required to participate. Further information on webinar call-in number and conferencing service will be emailed to all TPIs prior to date of scheduled training and posted on MassDEP’s UST webpage.

  • July 15, 1 – 3pm
  • July 22, 1 – 3pm
  • July 30, 1 – 3pm
  • Aug 27, 1 – 3pm
  1. UST System Owners and Operators Training

This is “hands on” training for UST systems owners, operators and staff responsible for preparing and/or submitting UST registration documents, TPI Reports and Compliance Certifications.

Space is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis (system owners and operators with most imminent submittal due dates will receive priority). Additional sessions will be added as demand requires.

To reserve space, please submit your name, company, and preferred date and session to: dep.ust@state.ma.us.

Date July 17, 2015 July 21, 2015 July 27, 2015 July 28, 2015
Facility Bristol CC Holyoke CC Worcester State University North Shore CC
City/Town Fall River, MA Holyoke, MA Worcester, MA Danvers, MA
Room Capacity 28 23 25 18
Session #1 10am – Noon 10am – Noon 10am – Noon 10am – Noon
Session #2 1pm – 3pm 1pm – 3pm 1pm – 3pm 1pm – 3pm

Data Management System Training Materials on MassDEP’s Webpage
The following materials will be posted on MassDEP’s UST webpage (http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/toxics/ust/) at the time the UST Data Management System goes “live”.

  1. Data Management System User Guide
  2. “What Do You Want To Do” Guide
  3. Required Data Elements of Data Management System
  4. Audio Power Point Presentations
  5. DEP Hotline #

If you have any questions concerning the introduction of the new UST online Data Management System, please email the Program at: dep.ust@state.ma.us, or call the MassDEP UST Program Hotline at (617) 556-1035 Ext. 2.

Tom DeNormandie, Branch Chief
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Underground Storage Tank/Stage I & II Vapor Recovery Programs
One Winter Street – 7th floor
Boston, MA  02108
Phone: 617-292-5763
Fax: 617-556-1063