MassDEP

News & Analysis as of

DEP Is Trying to Implement Kain. How Are They Doing?

When the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Kain that § 3(d) of the Global Warming Solutions act requires MassDEP to promulgate emission limits for multiple source categories, requiring declining annual emissions enforceable in...more

Massachusetts Environmental and Land Use Alert

Off to Court We Go: Petitioners Challenge EPA’s Small MS4 General Permit for Massachusetts - The storm of debate and criticism over the terms and conditions of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) General...more

MassDEP: The Rising Tide May Steal Your Development Rights

Does a pile field exist if it’s covered at high tide? MassDEP seems to think not. Through the Commonwealth’s Chapter 91 program, MassDEP regulates what can be built over tidelands. In last week’s Environmental...more

Governor Baker’s Executive Order on Change: Good News; Still Work To Be Done By MassDEP

Last Friday, Governor Baker issued Executive Order 569, “Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth.” EO 569 will advance climate policy in Massachusetts in a number of important ways. It also...more

Delay in Massachusetts Efforts to Assume Control of CWA Program

As we reported in our recent Massachusetts Environmental and Land Use Alert, Massachusetts is in the first stages of seeking delegation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the Clean Water Act program. ...more

Updates on the Site Cleanup Program in Massachusetts – TCE, Urban Fill and More

Trichloroethylene - A new MassDEP Technical Support Document confirms that the agency has screened almost 1,000 closed TCE sites and anticipates that about 200 sites require follow up due to the potential for human...more

Gasoline with Lead is not Subject to the Petroleum Exemption in Massachusetts Clean-Up Statute Says Top Mass. Court

In a decision that has broad implications, gasoline with additives such as lead is not included in the exemption under the Massachusetts remediation statute, Chapter 21E, for oil releases located in certain drinking water...more

Supreme Judicial Court Orders the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to Expand Greenhouse Gas Regulation

More greenhouse gas regulation is on the horizon as a result of the Massachusetts’ top court’s decision in Kain v. MassDEP. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ordered the Massachusetts Department of Environmental...more

Massachusetts Moves To Assume Control of CWA Program as EPA issues Disputed MS4 Permit

Massachusetts’ status as one of only four states not in control of the Clean Water Act program within its boundaries may change as the state begins the process of applying to U.S. EPA for delegation of that program. ...more

In Massachusetts, Oil Exemption Is Not Like CERLA Petroleum Exclusion

On June 6, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts released an opinion of considerable importance to petroleum retailers in Massachusetts. In Peterborough Oil Company, LLC v. Department of Environmental Protection, the...more

One Final Word on Peterborough Oil: Yes, MTBE Is An Additive

The final answer to the critical issue raised by the recent Peterborough Oil Company decision is that MTBE is an additive and is not, in MassDEP’s view, subject to the “oil exemption” under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan....more

More on the Peterborough Oil Case: Is MTBE An “Additive”?

Since yesterday’s post on the Peterborough Oil case, a little birdie told me that MassDEP may be taking the position that MTBE is covered by the “oil exemption”, because it is a hydrocarbon. If so, that would be good news...more

When Is Gasoline Not Oil (At Least In Massachusetts)? When It’s Leaded, Of Course.

Unlike CERCLA, the Massachusetts Superfund law, Chapter 21E, does include oil within its ambit. However, oil is not treated exactly the same as hazardous materials. One difference is that, in 2007, MassDEP revised the...more

Things Getting Hot for Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

On May 17, 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, in Isabel Kain & Others v. Department of Environmental Protection, held that the various existing greenhouse gas rules and initiatives promulgated by the...more

The Global Warming Solutions Act Requires MassDEP to Promulgate Declining Annual GHG Emissions Limits for Multiple Sources: ...

On Tuesday, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that MassDEP had violated the Global Warming Solutions Act by failing "To promulgate regulations that address multiple sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gas emissions,...more

MassDEP and CZM Propose Changes to Chapter 91 Regulations

MassDEP and the Commonwealth’s office of Coastal Zone Management recently proposed draft changes to the Designated Port Area and Facility of Public Accommodation regulations under the Chapter 91 program. Comments are due by...more

EPA Releases Long-Awaited MS4 Permit for Massachusetts

As announced in the Federal Register this week, EPA finally released the General Permit for small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems in Massachusetts (say that three times fast!) This permit has been in the works for...more

Massachusetts Considering Taking Control of Clean Water Permitting

Summary: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is considering a move that would place Clean Water Act permitting in the hands of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)....more

About those calls from MassDEP…

Last month, we wrote about MassDEP’s trichloroethylene (TCE) site reevaluation initiative. MassDEP has begun the process of screening sites previously closed under the MCP to look for sites where TCE might exceed the new...more

MassDEP Issues Final LNAPL Guidance

MassDEP issued its long-awaited final policy on how to close LNAPL sites under revised 2014 regulations on February 19, 2016. The final policy, “Light Nonaqueous Phase Liquid and the MCP: Guidance on Site Assessment and...more

An Update on Reopening TCE Sites in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection plans to begin contacting some owners of properties with closed trichloroethylene (TCE) remediation sites and requiring them to conduct testing, following a review of...more

Local Wetlands Bylaw Decision Survives Pre-emption Challenge

The Massachusetts Appeals Court has again upheld the validity of a local conservation commission’s ruling under a local wetlands bylaw notwithstanding that the commission’s partial reliance on the State Wetland Protection Act...more

Accutest Laboratories New England Notifies Clients of Potential Data Concerns

Notification of potential data quality issues by a Massachusetts laboratory is raising concerns about the possible impact on current and closed remediation sites in Massachusetts that relied on that data. Accutest...more

MassDEP Releases Long-Awaited LNAPL Guidance

MassDEP recently published its final guidance for Light Nonaqueous Phase Liquids (LNAPL). The document provides guidance on investigating and assessing the presence and migration of LNAPL at disposal sights regulated under...more

EPA Proposes to Add Vapor Intrusion Pathway Assessment to Superfund Listing System

Last week, we wrote about an audit that MassDEP is conducting of previously closed sites to look for high concentrations of TCE in soils and groundwater. The intent of the audit is to address potential vapor intrusion. The...more

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