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.


Save the Dates!

The DRAFT revisions to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.000) will be available for public review and comment shortly (within the next week).  Check back here (or the MassDEP website, to download a copy when it becomes available.

Public Hearings for the proposed revisions will be conducted under the provisions of M.G.L. Chapter 30A on the following dates:

  1. Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM
    Department of Environmental Protection
    627 Main Street
    Worcester, MA
  2. Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 9:30 AM
    Department of Environmental Protection
    One Winter Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room
    Boston, MA
  3. Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM
    Department of Environmental Protection
    20 Riverside Drive
    Lakeville, MA
  4. Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM
    Department of Environmental Protection
    436 Dwight Street
    Springfield, MA

Testimony may be presented orally or in writing at the public hearings. Written comments will also be accepted until 5:00 PM on Friday, May 17, 2013. Written testimony must be submitted to:

Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup
One Winter Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Attn: Elizabeth Callahan

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.

STRAWMAN PROPOSAL: MCP Closures – Temporary & Permanent Solutions

The proposal below (MS Word or PDF download) outlines possible changes to the MCP that are being considered. This is a “strawman” proposal, intended to stimulate discussion and generate creative ideas – as discussed at the March 22, 2012 Advisory Committee meeting (audio, PowerPoint). The proposal is not a commitment to any specific concept. MassDEP is currently developing draft regulations loosely based on the concepts described below. Any comments – the earlier the better – are welcome.  Please post them to the MassDEP Reg Reform blog below (“Leave a Comment”) or email to  There will be a formal public comment period where additional comments will be solicited.


March 22, 2012 Advisory Committee Meeting

The presentations and audio from the March 22, 2012 MassDEP Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee meeting are now available.



Comments on the Reg Reform Proposals are welcome, preferably through the “Leave a Comment” link below so everyone benefits from your insights.

NRS/Tier Classification/Permit “Strawman” Proposal

A CONCEPTUAL overview of possible changes to the NRS, Tier Classification and Permits, based on the discussions to date. Please keep in mind that this is for discussion purposes ONLY and does not represent a final regulatory proposal. This material will be discussed at the March 22, 2012 Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee meeting.

PCE Toxicity Value Review

On February 10, 2012, U.S. EPA published a final Health Assessment for Tetrachloroethylene (Perchloroethylene, or “Perc” or PCE) on the IRIS database ( In the new Health Assessment, EPA provides revised toxicity values for oral exposures (a reference dose [RfD] for non-cancer and a cancer slope factor [CSF] for cancer risk) and for inhalation exposures (a reference concentration [RfC]for non-cancer and an inhalation unit risk factor [URF] for cancer).

Several years ago, while EPA’s Health Assessment was still in progress, assessment of tetracholorethylene in indoor air arose as a critical issue for a number of MCP sites.  The Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC) requested that the Office of Research and Standards (ORS) review the inhalation unit risk factor (URF, for evaluating cancer risk from exposure to air contaminants) in use at the time.  ORS toxicologists conducted the review of the scientific literature available at the time, obtained a peer-review of the ORS assessment, and published a revised inhalation unit risk value in 2008 (

In addition to the URF published in 2008, ORS has recently reviewed and updated the RfC used to calculate MassDEP’s Threshold Effects Limits (non-cancer) for tetrachloroethylene (  This review considered all of the toxicological data currently available.

Some of the toxicity values published in EPA’s Health Assessment differ significantly from those developed by MassDEP.  ORS plans to review the basis for the values provided by EPA before adopting final values.  MassDEP expects to complete the review by the end of March. Until then, MassDEP recommends the continued use of the MassDEP cancer slope factor of 5 x 10-2 (mg/kg/day)-1 and the inhalation unit risk of 1 x 10-5 (µg/m3)-1 for site-specific risk assessments conducted under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000).

Any questions may be directed to