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.



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

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

MCP Regulatory Reform Proposal

MassDEP is proposing significant amendments to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP), 310 CMR 40.0000, as part of the agency’s regulatory reform efforts. The MCP sets forth the procedures and standards for notification, assessment, and remediation of disposal sites resulting from the release of oil and/or hazardous materials to the environment.  These regulations govern the response to sudden oil and hazardous material spills, as well as the assessment and cleanup of Brownfields, properties contaminated by past use as industrial or commercial facilities, prior to their redevelopment and productive reuse. Consistent with regulatory reform goals, the proposed MCP amendments enhance regulatory efficiency in a manner that benefits both parties conducting response actions and MassDEP, while maintaining a high standard of environmental protection.

The MassDEP website ( and then scroll down to the MCP revisions) offers the proposed revisions as both a redline/strikeout document and a “clean” (just the new text) version. The spreadsheets documenting changes to the MCP numerical standards are also available to download, as is a 4-page summery of the proposals.

An extended (until May 17, 2013) Public Comment Period will allow reviewers time to develop comments on this substantial package. MassDEP also expects to hold discussion sessions over the next few months to address specific issues in the proposal.

Recent Comments Received on Reg Reform, PCE Toxicity

MassDEP has received comments on the proposed Regulatory Reform initiatives and on the recently released EPA IRIS toxicity values for tetrachloroethylene.  These comments are available on the blog, as comments to the PCE Toxicity Review post and the March SAC Meeting post.

The Department appreciates the thought and effort that went into the comments and strongly encourages all stakeholders to review the material posted on these issues and contribute your thoughts, suggestions, comments and reactions as well.