MassDEP Regulatory Reform Initiative #18 – Site Cleanup:  Eliminate Tier I Permits and/or Streamline Tier Classification, Revise Numerical Ranking System (NRS)

MassDEP proposes to streamline or potentially eliminate the numeric ranking system, Tier Classification and permitting processes.  Reducing time spent processing tier classifications/permits or NRS scores can help MassDEP focus on priority cleanup sites while improving efficiencies for the Potentially Responsible Parties which could help speed cleanup efforts.  MassDEP believes that other mechanisms are already in place to address the relative priority or significance of sites (e.g. by focusing on exposure pathways, imminent hazards, etc.) without need for tier classifications/permits.  DEP will therefore explore whether elements of this process can be streamlined or eliminated where functionally duplicative of other aspects of the regulatory-mandated site cleanup process (known as the Massachusetts Contingency Plan [MCP]).

Contact:  Paul Locke (

March 20, 2012 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.

Meeting: Wednesday, February 8, 2012.

Agenda: Philosophical and practical discussion of this particular Reg Reform project based up these thought-provoking questions. And other ides you bring to the table. Please contribute your thoughts, ideas & discussion items via the Reply section below the Questions post.

Summary: Notes from the Feb. 8th discussion.

Historical Perspective:  Documents describing the original intent of the Permit, Tier Classification and NRS regulations.

Applicable Law:  Relevant Sections from M.G.L. Chapter 21E.

Applicable Regulations: Relevant Sections from the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000).

  • Subpart A – General Provisions
  • Subpart E – Tier Classification and Deadlines – 310 CMR 40.0500
  • Subpart G – Tier I Permits – 310 CMR 40.0700
  • Subpart O – The Numerical Ranking System and Scoring Instructions – 310 CMR 40.1500

Applicable Forms:  Relevant Forms and eDEP Submittals.

  • Permit Applications – including modifications, transfers, and Special Projects
  • Transmittal Forms – including Tier Classification (BWSC107) and NRS Scoresheet (BWSC107A), etc.

2 Responses

  1. First impression (and not the last!) from yesterday’s discussion:

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