MCP Regulatory Reform Project Complete

The Regulatory Reform revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan are effective June 20, 2014 (with some provisions in effect as of April 25, 2014).

This concludes BWSC “Reg Reform” project, although the program is committed to continually evaluating and improving the regulations, policy and guidance as appropriate.  Please check the MassDEP Waste Site Cleanup web page for any new projects or initiatives.



NAPL, LNAPL and OHM Source/Migration Control

A topic-specific discussion of the proposed amendments related to NAPL, LNAPL and OHM Source/Migration Control was held at MassDEP on Tuesday, July 30, 2013. The audio of the discussion is available online at, broken into five 20 minute long segments.  The discussion covered:

  •  Definitions of NAPL and LNAPL and their implications for:

–         Notification
–         SRM
–         Removal to the extent feasible
–         AULs

  •  Wide range of comments related to the proposed definition of Source of OHM and the requirements for “Source” Control

–         Definition of Source of OHM and its relationship to performance standards for plume/migration control
*  “leading edge of a plume” provision; dissolved phase/soil gas not a source
*  plume/migration control provisions

 –         LNAPL “removal to the extent feasible” implies active remediation is required to demonstrate source has been controlled

–         1% Solubility Limit criterion for DNAPL constituents has limitations, particularly as a bright line “Source Control” standard

  • Implementation of the proposed amendments will require timely release of technical guidance related to NAPL – discussion of guidance development scope and goals, including ensuring guidance for MCP users with varying degrees and types of expertise in this area.

Notes from the Archive

In 1986, the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group (MassPIRG) proposed and helped pass into law ballot initiative Question 4 (Q4), the Hazardous waste Cleanup Initiative, which was approved by 74 percent of voters on November 6, 1986.

On December 15th of that year, MassPIRG hosted a seminar on the new cleanup law and eventually put together a collection of backup material from the seminar.

While we work on finalizing the 2013 MCP Regulatory Reform initiative, it is interesting to look back 27 years to these earlier reforms. The PDF of the seminar background material can be downloaded here:  1987-09-21_MassPIRG_Q4_Seminar_Material.pdf

Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee Meeting & Topic-Specific Discussion

[Edited/updated July 1, 2013.]

There was a Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, June 27th from 9:30 am to noon at MassDEP’s Boston Office, One Winter Street, 2nd floor conference rooms A & B.

The first part of the meeting provided general program updates.

We then held a discussion on the public comment received on the Active Pathway Elimination Measure proposal (the proposed changes that provide for a Permanent Solution with Conditions where a sub-slab depressurization system is operated as to prevent vapor intrusion impacts to a building as part of a permanent solution).  This portion of the meeting was intended to assist MassDEP in developing the final amendments for this closure option through more focused discussion of the different procedural and technical requirements proposed in the public hearing draft.



9:30 am           Welcome and General Program Updates

10:00                Topic Specific Discussion of Proposed Amendments related to
Active Exposure Pathway Elimination Measures
as a Permanent Solution with Conditions

Below is a list of discussion topics to be covered:

  • While all systems must achieve No Significant Risk, not all systems completely eliminate the pathway.  Should we refer to these as “mitigation” rather than “elimination” measures?
  •  Regulatory vehicle to be used to implement the Active Exposure Pathway Elimination Measure as  a Permanent Solution with Conditions
  • Permit with AUL, Permit only, AUL only, AUL only with a standardized AUL conditions for operating/maintaining system
  • Appropriate threshold conditions/requirements for filing this Permanent Solution with Conditions with an Active Pathway Elimination Measure
  • Current proposal (310 CMR 40.0701(4)) does not allow AEPEM as part of a Permanent Solution with Conditions if shutdown for 60 days would constitute an IH condition
  • Remote telemetry requirement and related notices to property owners, MassDEP and building occupants
  • Appropriate approach to provide parties with notice, deal with multi-unit building notices and avoid alarming building occupants unnecessarily in the case of insignificant events
  • Annual certification that system is still running
  • Financial assurance requirements
    • Costs to be covered
    • What forms can it take?
  • Discontinuing system operation – requirements/documentation to demonstrate system is no longer necessary

12:00               Adjourn

June 7, 2013 Numerical Standards Meeting

MassDEP held a meeting for parties wishing to expand upon the information and reasoning underlying the comments submitted on the proposed changes to the MCP numerical standards on June 7, 2013.

We appreciate the thoughtful comments on the proposed MCP standards and the risk assessment-related revisions that many of you have contributed.  We will be making revisions and preparing responses to comments throughout the summer.

Material from the meeting:

Public Comments on MCP Reg Reform Proposals

The following documents were received as part of the public comment on the MCP Regulatory Reform Proposals. The documents are in PDF unless otherwise noted. Comments received in other formats (such as email correspondence or oral testimony) may be subsequently added to this list in the future and will be labelled as “new”.

Cardno ATC
CDM Smith
EPA UIC Program
GoodwinProcter + GEI
LSPA_Cover Letter
National Grid
New Bedford, City of
Roundtable Comments (no name)
Shapiro_PTS Mobility Screening Method
Worcester, City of

Audio from Public Hearings – NEW (6/3/13)

Support Material for Revised MCP Method 1 Standards

As part of the MCP Reg Reform package, MassDEP has proposed revisions to the MCP Method 1 Standards. The following files contain support documentation and references that reviewers may find useful while preparing comments on the proposal.  Questions about this material may be addressed to Nancy Bettinger in the MassDEP Office of Research and Standards at

Method 1 Standards Documentation and References

Chemical-Specific Toxicity Information

Information for the GW-3 Standards

Indoor Air Background

Relative Absorption Factors (RAFs)

Toxicity Value References