MassDEP Issues Vapor Intrusion Guidance: Don't Worry; It's Only Guidance


Last week, MassDEP finally issued its long-awaited vapor intrusion guidance. Including appendices, it is 148 pages. There is a separate 52-page response to comments on the draft guidance. MassDEP has certainly learned that guidance must at least be described as guidance. The disclaimer runs a full page, and includes the following text:

“MassDEP generally does not intend the guidance to be overly prescriptive. Use of such words as “shall,” “must,” or “require,” however, indicates that the text is referring to a specific regulatory and/or statutory requirement, rather than a suggested approach and/or optional measure. Use of the words “should” or “recommend” indicates aspects of a method or approach that are considered appropriate and protective, based on MassDEP’s experience and/or sound technical practices, but do not correspond to a specific regulatory and/or statutory requirement..."

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