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 Volume 20/Issue 3                                      May 2014  
Thank you to our 2013/2014 Platinum Corporate Sponsor

In This Issue
Only 6 More Days to Register for LSPA Field Courses
USGS Looking for Boston Blue Clay
Have You Checked the Condition of Your Monitoring Well?
21J Program Introduces Electronic Claim Filing - "eUST"
2013 NOAFs Addressing LNAPL
First WES Grant Awarded
Clean Energy Update
Enforcement Under 21E
Beyond Cleanup: Restoration and Regeneration
Vapor Intrusion Site Management

The President's Message
Looking Forward - The Future of MassDEP?
By: Matthew Hackman, LSP, President, LSPA  

This continues a series of articles about what the next 20 years might look like for LSPs and the LSPA, the Board of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals (the "LSP Board"), and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ("MassDEP") Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup.  My objective is to get LSPA members thinking about what they want that future to look like, so we can begin working toward achieving the changes we would like to accomplish.


The MassDEP website states that, "The Department of Environmental Protection is the state agency responsible for ensuring clean air and water, the safe management of toxics and hazards, the recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, the timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources."  In the coming decades, I expect the current trend of MassDEP having ever more responsibilities and obligations, with similar staffing levels, will continue.  How will MassDEP do this?  What might MassDEP look like 20 years from now?  Provided below are some of my ideas and predictions.


All executive branch agencies have some common features: they are charged with implementing statutes as regulation, enforcing these statutes and regulations, and looking ahead to see what new or changed statutes and regulations may be needed.


Implementation:  As discussed in previous newsletters, I expect to see greater reliance on third-party practitioners, including LSPs, expanding their roles beyond their original areas.  For LSPs this currently means opportunities as third party inspectors for UST systems and recycling at solid waste facilities, but I envision that it could include additional roles outside of BWSC.  In addition to the expansion of LSP roles, I anticipate expanded opportunities for Title V inspectors and Toxics Use Reduction Professionals, as well as others.  The pro-active, preventive measure of licensing Class A and B UST operators is another example of how MassDEP may approach using licensing to "raise the bar" and prevent environmental incidents from occurring.  Licensing of air pollution control equipment operators may follow along the lines of licensing water pollution control operators.  Overall, I look for MassDEP to take more of a supervisory and strategic role by implementing mechanisms, such as licensing third parties, to perform more of the "tactical" field inspection and routine "emergency response" roles.  MassDEP will still be actively involved in major incidents, but will seek to "triage" incidents and regulatory compliance to "off-load" more routine work using expansion of existing privatized and third-party programs, and creation of new privatized programs as needed.


Enforcement:  All regulatory agencies need to have fairness and certainty in enforcement to provide a level playing field and to discourage and/or eliminate scofflaws who receive unfair economic advantage by disregarding the law.  Fair and certain enforcement requires resources and tools, and MassDEP will require increased capabilities, including new technologies, in order to perform this key function.  But the most effective enforcement comes from a community that regulates its own behaviors.  Compliance assistance and incentives ("carrots") are generally more cost-effective than punishment ("sticks") in modifying human behavior.  Several states, including Connecticut, are implementing programs using mentoring concepts, where larger companies with more sophisticated environmental compliance programs mentor smaller companies to help them implement environmental compliance programs appropriate for their industry and size.  This allows the regulatory agency to do more with less.


Research, standards, program and policy development:  MassDEP's Office of Research and Standards (ORS) has been a leader in developing the risk-based cleanup program.  I look for ORS to be one of the growth areas in MassDEP, partnering closely with its colleagues at the Department of Public Health to identify the key human and ecological health risk drivers from releases to the environment, historical or current.  This work is key to prioritizing risks so that our scarce resources can be directed to where they will result in the maximum benefit.  This may lead to greater incentives for using administrative controls, such as Activity and Use Limitations (AULs), to manage contaminants in place, rather than moving contaminated soils to different locations.  The new emphasis on "Green Remediation" and the use of more holistic approaches to dealing with contamination is already leading practitioners to question why we have been reducing or eliminating risk in one location or environmental medium just to create a higher risk in another location or medium.  Excavating contaminated soil and transporting to a landfill or other treatment facility while increasing air pollution is not always a solution. 


Increasing on-site infiltration to reduce stormwater runoff and resulting surface water impacts, at the potential cost of transferring those contaminants to groundwater, is just "pollutant transfer" from one medium to another.  But there are ways of dealing with this.  For example, pervious parking lots can both reduce runoff and incorporate biologically active subgrades that biodegrade incidental petroleum releases from motor vehicles and bind metals to "filter" these pollutants and prevent them from reaching groundwater, while still allowing water infiltration.  Increased concern about managing contamination below regulatory thresholds could increase demand on, and reduce capacity of, sanitary landfills.  But MassDEP is developing guidance and policy now resulting in the creation of new "soil reclamation" facilities that are coming into existence to meet this demand.  These sorts of program and policy initiatives will be critical to achieving overall improvements in Massachusetts' environment.


Technology will play an increasingly pivotal role in all regulatory agencies, and MassDEP will be no exception.  MassDEP has been a leader in implementing improved methods of collecting and managing data, notably with the eDEP program.  I look for this to continue, giving MassDEP, the regulated community, environmental professionals, and the public more and better information to make more informed decisions.  "Big data" is here and will be increasingly incorporated at MassDEP.


I look forward to improvements such as the geolocation of data. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) requires submittals of geolocated data from environmental professionals in their investigation and monitoring reports by having this data entered as Electronic Data Deliverables directly into NYSDEC's Environmental Information Management System (EIMS). The EIMS uses the database software application EQuIS™ from EarthSoft® Inc. This allows NYSDEC to use Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tools to not only see where release sites are, but also to access the environmental data associated with those sites, and see where that data comes from, i.e., the UTM location of every monitoring well, soil boring, etc.


The revised MCP requires that Active Exposure Pathway Mitigation Measures provide real-time status reporting to MassDEP.  As electronic connectivity and access to information improves, and sensing and information transmission technology capabilities increase and costs drop, look for increased automation in sampling, chemical analysis, and data reporting.  Envision a future where a monitoring well network may contain solar-powered fiber-optic or biological chip chemical sensors providing real-time analytical data via wireless internet to consultants and MassDEP.  Envision real-time data transmission from air and water discharges from remedial systems, as well as industrial dischargers, and other data such as UST system tank-tightness monitoring, such that compliance reporting consists of a requirement to review the monthly data on MassDEP's website and electronically certify that the data is correct (or correct it).  The possibilities are effectively limitless. 


This will require massive infrastructure improvements at MassDEP. I hazard a guess that at least $250 million in IT upgrades will be required over the next decade or so, and I'm probably low. The resulting benefits will allow all of us to better understand the status of our environment and develop better and more effective strategies to reduce human health and ecological risk.  Imagine being able to pull up a map and see not only your site, and all its soil and groundwater data, but also the nearby sites and their data, to understand groundwater flow and contaminant distribution over a wider geographic area and how these may be interacting.  Now imagine that you can also see all the industrial waste generators, wastewater and air discharges, stormwater and sanitary sewer lines, underground and aboveground storage tanks and more, all with actual data, available at a click of your mouse (or a touch, or blink...), and presented in three dimensions, to allow you to develop a better conceptual site model.  Environmental professionals a decade or two from now will have a hard time understanding how we were able to do anything with our severely limited data and two-dimensional maps! 


This means that MassDEP, like other regulatory agencies, will evolve into being a "big data" storage, analysis, and data presentation provider.  This will require not only working closely with agencies like MassGIS, but also incorporating new analytical capabilities to discern interrelationships, causes and effects that we can't see now, because our data are fragmented and effectively unavailable.


I believe MassDEP will continue to delegate oversight of certain parts of its programs to private practitioners.  MassDEP was a leader in developing the privatized environmental cleanup program, delegating oversight to LSPs, and was again a leader in Toxics Use Reduction and its delegation to Toxics Use Reduction Professionals (TURPs), as well as implementing Third-Party UST inspectors, and a number of other "privatized" programs.  I expect that this trend will continue, with MassDEP providing the goals and objectives and the regulatory program framework, but relying on the private sector to innovate and continue to develop the "means and methods" to implement the programs.  MassDEP will provide the central data collection and analysis infrastructure, but rely on environmental professionals and the regulated community to input and check the data, and both will use these tools to perform both larger scale and more detailed analyses than either can do alone now. Mass DEP has been a leader in many of these areas, and I fully expect that the agency will continue to lead in the decades to come.  To achieve  the most effective gains, in the most efficient manner, I encourage MassDEP to continue working closely with all of its stakeholders, including, but not limited to, the public, the regulated community, environmental professionals including environmental advocates, and the legislature.  I have faith that MassDEP will do so and that the LSPA will continue to have a key role in ongoing dialogues about the future of the practice.   


Matthew Hackman, P.E., CHMM, LSP, LEP
LSPA President                                            

Only 6 More Days to Register for LSPA Field Courses 

Field courses don't come around often. In order to continue to offer them, the LSPA needs to fill them.

Please consider wrapping up this "school year" with one or both of these.  Get a $100 discount if you register for both. 


Both courses will be held at Hanscom Air Force Base with instructors Wes McCall, Geoprobe Systems, and Dr. Gary Robbins, Ram's Horn Environmental. Live drilling demonstrations generously provided by Crawford Drilling Services.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014:  Expedited Site Assessment Using Real-Time MIP and HPT Logging Technology, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

8 Technical LSP credits. Also approved for LEP credit and NYPE credit. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014:  Direct Push Methods for Groundwater Sampling, to Support High Resolution Site Characterization
, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

8 Technical LSP credits. Also approved for LEP credit and NYPE credit.  


USGS Mapping Project: Looking for Boston Blue Clay in Greater Boston Area

By:  Jim Young, LSP, Senior Geologist, Endpoint LLC, and LSPA Past President

Dr. Byron Stone is Chief of the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) project entitled: Quaternary Glacial Stratigraphic Framework, Eastern U.S.  In the 2014-2015 period, this project will compile the detailed (1:24,000-scale) Quaternary Geologic Map and Geodatabase of Massachusetts.  This map includes the extent, stratigraphy, and geochemistry of the glaciomarine Boston Blue Clay (BBC) and Presumpscot Formation (north of Marblehead), summarizing the previous work of Cliff Kaye and many other researchers.  The USGS' present research goals are to determine the maximum inland extent of the BBC and Presumpscot, particularly in the Charles River and Mystic River valleys where the BBC overlaps slightly older glacial-lake deposits, and to characterize the BBC and Presumpscot with respect to concentrations of selected metals and other analytical parameters.  A preliminary map of the BBC was shown at the LSPA's November 2013 membership meeting. The plan is to include more data on this map to be provided by LSPA members in an informal cooperative project.  Once the map is more complete, we can announce this joint project a bit more formally.


Because many LSPs frequently encounter the BBC and other clays in various MCP-related borings and excavations, Byron hopes that many LSPs will: 1) contribute BBC and Presumpscot boring data, and 2) contact him when they have clay exposed so that he may visit the sites to describe/sample the clay.  With USGS drill rigs, Byron may be able to build upon the LSPA-BSCE-BIG DIG-MassDOT-MWRA  subsurface database.


If you expose BBC in an excavation anywhere in the metro Boston area, if you encounter clay in a boring anywhere in the Charles or Mystic River valleys, or if you have encountered varved (bedded) clays further away from metro Boston, Byron requests that you notify him at the email address below.  He is particularly interested in having access to locations/samples of the BBC containing fossils, which can be used for radio-carbon dating.  It is more helpful when the fossils can be observed in-situ.


Aside from the opportunity to advance the level of geologic knowledge in Massachusetts, LSPs stand to benefit from Byron's work because it will lead to a more accurate and more detailed map and geodatabase of the Boston Blue Clay.  Those of you who have identified elevated concentrations of beryllium, arsenic, and nickel at Boston area sites are probably aware that they may be exempt from MCP notification if they can be attributed with some certainty to the presence of BBC.  A line of evidence to support such a claim would be a detailed and documented map of the extent of the BBC, which would indicate the presence of clay at your particular site.   The LSPA can help the USGS bring this to fruition by providing Byron access to, and information about, the BBC when our members encounter it. 


You can forward your site data, active/planned BBC excavations, and thoughts to Byron at   He will then contact you to arrange to visit your site.  If you have a hot hole or hot tip, you can give Byron a call at 860-291-6755 (office). 


Have You Checked the Condition of Your Monitoring Wells?

By: Wesley E. Stimpson, LSP, Loss Prevention Committee

Since 2006, Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at 28 different sites have had the unacceptable condition of monitoring wells noted during site audits.   At 19 of the sites, the lack of protection and general condition of the wells were of sufficient concern as to have the MassDEP highlight it as an MCP violation and include it in a Notice of Noncompliance (NON) issued to the PRP.

The LSPA's Loss Prevention Committee has completed a review of Notices of Audit Findings (NOAFs) for the seven year period from FY 2007 to FY 2013 searching for NOAFs that discuss the condition of monitoring wells.  The committee found 20 NOAFs from the Western Region (WERO), five from the Central Region (CERO) and three from the Northeast Region (NERO) that identified this issue.  The Southeast Region (SERO) did not identify this issue at any sites over the same period.


The most common concern noted by MassDEP was the lack of well security.  Locks and cover bolts were missing, interior plugs were missing or non-functional.  In addition, ground conditions and grout seals surrounding wells were compromised such that water could easily enter the wells.  Roadway boxes and protective well pipes were missing and in a few cases the wells were completely destroyed and filled with soil.  In many cases these wells were still being sampled to collect long-term data to support monitored natural attenuation as a remedial solution or similar Phase IV activities.


Not all NOAFs identified this issue as a violation.  WERO cited well conditions as a violation in 14 of the 20 NOAFs from that region.  Three of the NONs were written just for the well condition violation.  CERO identified this as a violation in all five of the NONs they issued and NERO noted it in three NOAFs but did not include it as a violation in any NONs.


The most often cited MCP requirement in the NOAFs was Section 40.0028: Well Maintenance and Security.  All of WERO citations were to this section.  CERO referenced 40.0017: Environmental Sample Collection and Analyses at two sites, and 40.0191(2): Response Action Performance Standard (RAPS) and 40.0028: Well Maintenance and Security at one site each (the relevant portions of these sections have not changed in the final amendments to the MCP for 2014.)


In the May 2009 edition of the LSPA News, the LSPA presented the results of a survey seeking information from the membership as to when they were recommending abandoning monitoring wells.  While not conclusive, most respondents indicated that they were recommending closing the wells when the Permanent Solution was submitted or within a few years thereafter.  From this recent exercise, it also appears that PRPs, as well as LSPs, need to ensure that any monitoring wells that remain comply with the requirements of MCP Section 40.0028.  In addition, the LSP should consider routinely informing the PRP of the requirement to properly close out those monitoring wells that are no longer serving their intended purpose, as was concluded in the May 2009 article.


Department of Revenue (DOR) UST Program Launches Electronic Claim Filing System, "eUST"

By: Gordon Bullard, Executive Director, MassDOR Underground Storage Tank Program

The purpose of the Underground Storage Tank (UST) Program, also called the 21 J Fund, is to expedite environmental cleanup actions by providing partial reimbursement to owners or operators of UST systems for costs incurred as a result of UST releases. The Fund is financed by annual tank registration fees and a per-gallon fee imposed on the delivery of petroleum products to USTs. 


The UST Program recently announced the launching of an internet-based software application to allow you to electronically submit and manage Applications for Reimbursement ("claims"), Certificate of Compliance applications, and Applications for Eligibility.   The application is called "eUST."


As a consultant, claim preparer, claimant and/or facility owner, there are many advantages to using this electronic gateway to the system.  Here are just a few:

  • Since it is a web-based application, you can submit applications from anywhere you have internet access.
  • No shipping costs are involved when submitting your application electronically.
  • Using the application avoids the cost of printing large amounts of paper for supporting documents.
  • There is no need to retain and manage copies of your paper applications.  All electronic applications and supporting documents will be stored and accessible to you on the eUST website indefinitely.
  • "Wet" signatures are not required for registered users in eUST. All certification signatures are done electronically. 
  • If you are a facility owner, you can authorize the claim electronically.  There is no need to sign and mail Owner Authorization forms.
  • You have the ability to delegate signature authority to another company. 
  • You can check the status of applications that your organization submitted or, if you are a facility owner, you can check the status of any application filed against your facility.
  • You can manage the employees within your company that have the authority to sign the certification statements and/or submit applications.


For more information about eUST, please visit the 21J website by clicking here.


If you would like to register your organization, please visit the eUST Login page and select "Register"  and you will be redirected to a webpage that will provide instructions on how to enroll. 


For more information about the UST Program contact:

Gordon Bullard, Executive Director, Underground Storage Tank Program

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
100 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 

617.626.2601 Office | 617.626.2619 Fax


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Observations on FY 2013 NOAFs Addressing LNAPL

By: Wes Stimpson, LSP, Loss Prevention Committee

The LSPA's Loss Prevention Committee conducts an annual review of Notice of Audit Findings (NOAFs) issued by MassDEP to identify the issues and concerns of MassDEP auditors.  This article presents the audit findings for Sites where the presence of light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) was indicated to exist or once existed. Fourteen of the 357 NOAFs issued by MassDEP in 2013 were placed in this category.   


Nine of the LNAPL NOAFs were for inspections of remedial systems or systems in use as part of an Immediate Response Action or Release Abatement Measure.  It appears that MassDEP conducted these  audits by completing the MassDEP L2 Audit Pre-Inspection Screening Checklist or the Remedial System Audit Inspection formThe most common systems were skimmers resulting in low or no LNAPL recovery. Notices of Non-Compliance were not issued for any of these inspections even though some of the systems were not operational. MassDEP obtained indoor air samples at one site.

The remaining five NOAFs were for Phase reports and Response Action Outcome Statements (RAOs). Missed submittal deadlines were noted in many of the NOAFs. Most of the audits concluded that there was insufficient information to support the conclusions in the deliverable. Each of these NOAFs received a Notice of Non-Compliance. 

Issues presented in the NOAFs addressing LNAPL included the following:

  • In an NOAF reviewing a 5-year periodic review of a Class C RAO and associated Inspection and Monitoring Reports, MassDEP identified as noncompliance the failure to measure, in two wells presumed to contain LNAPL, the LNAPL thickness over a ten-year period. MassDEP noted that, because concentrations in groundwater had fallen below applicable standards, measuring LNAPL had become an "important metric" for whether progress is being made at the site. 


  • In an NOAF reviewing Comprehensive Response Actions, MassDEP indicated that the operation, maintenance and monitoring plan (OMM Plan) should have been updated to reflect two changes. The first was a change from one-time to repetitive application of ORC® to achieve remedial goals. The second change, made in light of completion of an Immediate Response Action to address the identification of over two feet of LNAPL in a well, was to include the proposed frequency of manual LNAPL recovery and monitoring of the LNAPL condition.


  • In an NOAF reviewing a Class A-2 RAO, MassDEP indicated that the RAO failed to adequately discuss the presence of LNAPL in a particular well. Thirty inches of LNAPL had been observed in a groundwater well, but the accuracy of this observation had been questioned by the LSP. The RAO did not document a determination that this apparent LNAPL measurement had been either discounted or verified, and the RAO did not identify LNAPL as a potential source or describe response actions taken to address it. In the same NOAF, MassDEP indicated that information on the installation date and construction of certain wells should have been provided, and that information on two recovery wells and trenches noted on a diagram should also have been provided. 


  • MassDEP conducted a field inspection and file review of an active remedial system to address hydraulic oil underneath a building, and found no noncompliance. However, MassDEP also reviewed the Class A-2 RAO for a different release of hydraulic oil at the same address. While not identified as noncompliance, MassDEP stated that the source of this release had not been investigated, and may have been related to the hydraulic oil release that is being actively remediated. MassDEP requested that the PRP evaluate whether the RAO remained supportable and that the LSP provide the results of that evaluation in the next status report. 


  • MassDEP conducted a field inspection and file review of an active remedial system to address LNAPL and found no noncompliance. However, MassDEP noted that noncompliance associated with LNAPL that had been identified in a 2008 NOAF remained outstanding. The NOAF identified questions about the adequacy of the work associated with each of the subsequent submittals. MassDEP established an interim deadline by which a Class C-1 RAO and OMM Plan were to be submitted.  


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First WES Grant Awarded

The LSPA is pleased to announce that the first WES Grant has been awarded to Richard Rago and Kristina McCarthy, both of Haley & Aldrich, Boston, MA for their proposal entitled "Background Indoor Air Levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and Air-Phase Petroleum Hydrocarbons (APH) in Office Buildings, Commercial Buildings, and Schools."  This application was awarded $5,000, which is a fraction of the time, materials and services that the applicants will contribute. 


The WES Professional Practice Grant, named to commemorate the exemplary leadership, dedication and service of Wesley E. Stimpson, PE, LSP, was established to advance the professional practice of LSPs. Click here for more information about the WES Grant.  

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Update: Clean Energy Topics 
By: Thomas M. Potter, Clean Energy Development Coordinator, MassDEP Bureau of Waste Site Clean Up
(The LSP Association does not edit any articles submitted on behalf of any government agency or the LSP Board, other than for formatting purposes.)

As those of you following this column know, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's (MassDEP) Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) continues to encourage the application of energy efficient and renewable energy approaches to assessment and remediation of hazardous waste sites, as well as, the development of renewable energy technologies (e.g. solar PV) at such locations.  The following updates on related clean energy topics are provided:


Greener Cleanups

On April 25th, the newly amended MCP was officially published in the Massachusetts Register.  Effective June 20th, the amended MCP includes consideration of green remediation (a.k.a. greener cleanups) elements when conducting MCP response actions.  On November 25, 2013, ASTM International (ASTM) released its long anticipated "Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups E2893-13" (Guide).  The Guide will serve as one of several valuable resources in supporting MassDEP's regulatory objectives for MCP response actions.  ASTM and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently presented an introduction to this standard Guide on April 25th through EPA's Clu-In webinar series.  If you missed the 25thevent, stay tuned for future offerings.  Materials from the April 25th event are available here: Clu-In.


SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificate) II

In support of the Patrick Administrations goal of incentivizing and installing an additional 1,200 megawatts of Solar Photovoltaic's (PV) across the state, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) created a new solar carve-out incentive program, known as SREC II.  The program includes incentives that favor development of solar PV on Brownfield and Eligible Landfill type properties.  Final regulations (225 CMR 14.00) for the new program were officially published by the Massachusetts Register on April 25, 2014.  Information on the regulations can be found here: SRECII Regs


Geothermal Heating and Cooling
For those involved in the application and installation of geothermal heat pumps, MassCEC and the DOER have extended their grant deadline to June 30th 2014 to provide funding assistance for qualifying district energy projects at schools, municipal buildings, greenhouses and not-for-profit organizations. The solicitation can be found here: Geothermal.   



As a reminder, if you are currently involved in a renewable energy project on contaminated land or have been approached by a prospective project developer with such interest and need additional help or support or just want additional information on the CERP, please let me know.  I would be happy to provide additional compliance assistance. 


Thomas M. Potter

Clean Energy Development Coordinator

Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup

MassDEP, One Winter Street, 6th Floor, Boston, MA 02108 

Enforcement Under Chapter 21E:  February 2014 LSPA Member Meeting
By: Theresa Ferrentino, Business Development, Con-Test Analytical Laboratory and Co-Chair, MSP Committee

The LSPA's Loss Prevention Committee (LPC) packed the house at the February 2014 membership meeting with a presentation by Jane Rothchild, Chief Regional Counsel of MassDEP's Western Regional office, and Michelle O'Brien Esq. of Mackie Shea O'Brien, PC, entitled "Enforcement Under Chapter 21E."


Ms. O'Brien introduced the program, which was an outgrowth of LPC discussions, and explained the format: Ms. Rothchild would present and Ms. O'Brien would provide "color commentary" based on her experiences working with clients involved in MassDEP enforcement proceedings.  The purpose of the program was to familiarize LSPs with the enforcement process used by MassDEP to ensure compliance with M.G.L. c. 21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). 


Ms. Rothchild's presentation described:

  • how cases/violations are identified,
  • the enforcement mechanisms available to MassDEP,
  • how decisions are made regarding the appropriate level of enforcement to undertake (low level or high level),
  • how a case goes through the enforcement process,
  • the mechanisms for enforcement actions (e.g., administrative v. judicial), and
  • how penalties are calculated for violations of Chapter 21E and the MCP. 

At several points during this presentation, Ms. O'Brien offered commentary based on real cases. 

Not surprisingly, there were many questions from the audience.  All agreed that the presentation helped to elucidate this sometimes mysterious process.   


To view Ms. Rothchild's complete presentation, please click here.


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Beyond Cleanup: Restoration and Regeneration

By: Lisa Alexander, BWSC Audits & Enforcement Coordinator, MassDEP

(The LSP Association does not edit any articles submitted on behalf of any government agency or the LSP Board, other than for formatting purposes.)

Based on the long roll-out, the training sessions and multiple meetings on the topic for the last couple of years, the biggest news in the Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) is the updated, streamlined, new and (hopefully) improved 2014 Massachusetts Contingency Plan. It was officially released on April 25 and BWSC sent a message to all, as follows:




Great News! As expected, the amended MCP is officially published in today's Massachusetts Register.  The "unofficial" version is available on the DEP website by clicking here.


While most provisions take effect June 20, 2014, there are certain regulations that take effect immediately (April 25, 2014), including: 

    • The Reportable Concentrations for Oil and Hazardous Material in groundwater or soil listed in the Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material List at 310 CMR 40.1600;
    • The elimination of the requirement to submit an initial Tier I Permit Application, formerly 310 CMR 40.0704, from 310 CMR 40.0000; and
    • RPs, PRPs or Other Persons may conduct an initial Tier Classification of a disposal site in accordance with the Tier Classification Process and Basis for Tier Classification in 310 CMR 40.0510 and 310 CMR 40.0520, respectively. 

(These effective dates are spelled out at 310 CMR 40.0005(7) through (10).)


In addition, while the new Method 1 Standards do not take effect until June 20, 2014 (meaning you can still use the "old" Method 1 Standards up to that date), one may (it is an option) use the new values in a Method 2 risk characterization pursuant to the provision at 310 CMR 40.0982(7).


Moving forward, we'll turn our focus to the transition, the closing of parts of the 1993 MCP, what our final rounds of audits under those regulations tell us, then the results as we move into the 2014 MCP, and the problems and benefits as we see them.


But before we do that, let's look something that rarely gets any attention: restoration and regeneration of ecosystems.


So often, "restoration" in this program means restoring the economically beneficial use of a Brownfield site, particularly those in or near urban areas. Sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture - the restoration of ecosystems affected (mostly negatively) by decades of human activities.   


Let's look at a local example. The New Bedford Harbor Superfund site was polluted for decades by polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) discharged directly to the harbor. This contamination affected and limited how the harbor was used - used for commercial activities, enjoyed for recreational activities, and how the natural processes functioned. To this day, the impacts of the PCBs to fish, shellfish and bird species can still be observed in and around the area. The cleanup has been underway for many years and a new additional settlement should expedite the process.

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program has been working for several years to help encourage populations of the roseate and common tern popluations in the islands around New Bedford Harbor. These two bird species were greatly affected by PCBs in the Harbor. 

Recently, DEP/BWSC received a video about one of the many Natural Resource Damages restoration projects in New Bedford Harbor. This is a link to the video about the Sawmill Dam project: The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs with DEP/BWSC, along with partners EPA, NOAA and US Fish and Wildlife have all worked together to support the restoration projects. This video, from one of our award recipients working with NOAA, documents an increase of the river herring and other fish. It's evidence that such restoration projects can achieve dramatic results beyond what remediation alone provides - and it's worth the effort. 


On a larger scale, there recently has been a focus on reducing or eliminating emissions of various climate changing gases, from carbon dioxide to methane to chlorofluorocarbons. It sometimes seems that "fixing" the problem with so many emissions already in the atmosphere seems almost impossible, particularly since every action seems to have unexpected consequences. Yet new possibilities for  mitigation - or even restoration emerge from quite unexpected sources. One example is grazing cattle.


As noted in our last LSPA newsletter article, corn-based ethanol will probably not be the last stop in the search for a cleaner, "greener," octane-boosting gasoline additive. While ethanol is certainly safer on several fronts, it has limitations. The energy inputs versus outputs are just one area of increasing controversy regarding use of corn grain as the feedstock for ethanol.


For starters, plowing and tilling soils, particularly chemically fertilized soils, has been found to have several negative effects and the documentation is piling up for this, such as:

  • Wholesale plowing is leading to losses of topsoil [i]; exposing soils to the atmosphere also releases carbon dioxide from the soils. It doesn't look like a smoke stack, but the effects are similar and now being studied;
  • Bt-corn, genetically modified to be resistant to certain herbicides, requires quite a bit of artificial nitrogen fertilizer and water. When plowed, these soils also release nitrous oxide, with effects 300 times more warming than carbon dioxide, a longer life in the atmosphere (120 years v 100 years) and the ability to damage the protective ozone layer [ii].
  • The widespread and repeated use of herbicides has resulted in loss of biodiversity of native wildflowers, milkweed and grasses that used to grow on the borders and hedgerows of farms, leading to a crash in monarch butterfly populations [iii], bees and other pollinators.
  • At the same time, some of the "weeds" in the corn, soy and cotton are becoming resistant to the most widely used herbicides [iv] leading to even more toxic ones now being proposed, against growing public opposition [v];
  • There are arguments over whether the combined energy inputs to produce corn (grain) based ethanol is net positive or negative relative to the energy produced from it [vi]; many researchers believe that ethanol from other crops, particularly certain grasses, would be superior and will reduce or prevent the nitrous oxide losses [vii]. Several of these grasses, requiring almost no inputs, are now being studied as sources of cellulosic ethanol.

While all this may not bode well for corn-based ethanol, it turns out that quite a few people are also starting to take a fresh look at grazing cattle in a managed way. Meanwhile, there have been many studies showing that corn fed animals raised in large feedlots need more antibiotics, have too little omega-3 and too much omega-6 and saturated fat, making them less healthful for human consumption [viii] than grass-fed, free-range animals. Now, it turns out that grazing cattle on grasslands might not only reduce climate change gases entering the atmosphere, it may be the best, fastest way to also to capture carbon from the atmosphere and put it back into the soils from whence it came.


These methods are based on the work of Allan Savory, one of the first to understand that ruminating animals were not the cause of desertification and biodiversity decline, but rather, the antidote, and when properly done, could restore even the most degraded environments. One of the many videos about the work Allan Savory has done, mostly in Africa, can be found by clicking here.


It seems to contradict the arguments that everyone should save the planet by going vegan, but evidence is mounting. People are starting to demonstrate that the best way to reverse desertification, replenish topsoil, and not only reduce carbon emissions but remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere [ix], keep nitrous oxide in the ground, and restore biodiversity of both plant and animal species, is to put ruminating animals back on the prairies [x]. As the animals stomp the plants and manure into the ground, microbes quickly digest and restore the nutrients to the topsoil, building as much as six inches of topsoil in a few years time. Now researchers are starting to look for ways to quantify these results.


One of the newest videos on the topic, by Peter Byck,, shows ranchers in Canada and North Dakota, Soil Carbon Cowboys, describing how their ranching methods have changed, saving money in fertilizers, antibiotics and seed, and resulting in easier herd management and healthier animal and prairies. (While not a BWSC focus, there is a conference on this topic in the Boston area; information can be found at


Perhaps one day there will be a sea change in the way we think about the environment. Maybe it will turn out that using more of nature's methods, and less industrial ones (with the attendant toxic chemicals), will be the best solution for people and the planet.


[i] article indicates it takes "hundreds" of years to rebuild 1-2 inches of topsoil, however, some no-till cattle ranchers have seen build up of as much as 6 inches of topsoil in a few years (see reference).


[ii] information on nitrous oxide emissions from modern "traditional" farming methods, problems, etc.


[iii] notes use of herbicides in the corn belt in US and other factors.


[vi] compares several different potential feedstocks for ethanol.


[viii] compares and contrasts grass-fed and grain-fed beef.


[ix] also notes that utilities in Canada are buying into this idea, supporting no-till farmers to offset carbon produced by their power plants. 


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Vapor Intrusion Site Management: A Summary of the March 2014 LSPA Monthly Meeting

By: David Thompson, LSP, Project Manager, National Grid, and Member Services/Program Committee

The topic for the March 2014 LSPA Monthly Membership meeting was Vapor Intrusion Site Management - always a timely topic.  The presentation was organized into three  vapor intrusion-related topics: upcoming Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP)  regulatory changes, implications in real estate transactions, and a case study of several properties.


The first topic, Key MCP Vapor Intrusion Changes, was presented by Lisa Campe, LSP, of Woodard & Curran. Ms. Campe's presentation consisted of a brief overview of the Regulatory Reform changes relevant to vapor intrusion (VI) sites; chief among these are changes concerning notification, assessment, risk characterization, mitigation, site closure, and post-closure requirements. She also discussed relevant updates to the definition of the Condition of Substantial Release Migration (SRM) and reinforced that assessment methodologies should generally follow those presented in the MassDEP December 2011 and March 2013 Interim Final Vapor Intrusion Guidance. Ms. Campe also included a discussion of regulatory changes concerning PCE and TCE, and the rollout of a new acronym:  EPMMs, for Exposure Pathway Mitigation Measures.


The second topic, Chlorinated Solvent Issues in Property Transactions, focused on considerations at properties with chlorinated solvent contamination and vapor intrusion issues. Christopher Foster, Esq., of Robinson & Cole, discussed several implications of the pending VI regulations on real estate transactions that will impact sellers, buyers, and lenders.  Mr.  Foster also discussed the liability issues and risks for developers, chief among these are the maintenance of EPMMs as well as considerations associated with maintaining compliance with Activity and Use Limitations (AULs).


The evening's third and final presentation, Vapor Intrusion Mitigation, was given by Lucas Hellerich, LEP, of AECOM Environment. Mr. Hellerich provided an overview of the numerous VI guidance documents that have been issued by various entities over the past 25 years. He noted that these have all seemed to culminate in the recent guidance issued by MassDEP. He then discussed the design, installation, performance, and selection factors for sub-slab depressurization systems (SSDS), as well as the implementation of vapor intrusion control methods (active and passive). Mr. Hellerich then presented a compelling case study of over 100 single family homes and three larger buildings where VI issues are present and are being successfully mitigated. 


The evening program then concluded with a brief panel discussion and question/answer period.  Click here to view the slides from all three presentation topics.  


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