Release-Based Working Group Additional Issues for Review

While the Working Group is meeting with DEEP and DECD and providing DEEP with advice and feedback on regulations for the implementation of a release-based cleanup program, issues arise that may be out of the scope of what is typically contained in regulations or which may need to be addressed at a later stage in the regulatory conceptualization process. This webpage captures such issues and consolidates public and DEEP feedback on advice and feedback provided by the Working Group.

This webpage will continue to be updated by DEEP as new issues are introduced, as additional DEEP or public comments are provided and as issues are addressed.

DEEP Feedback

In July 2021, DEEP provided written feedback on the First Phase Subcommittee Concept Papers. The following document contains DEEP’s initial response to those concepts.

DEEP Initial Response to Concept Papers

In January 2022, in response to discussions regarding the need for LEP-implemented risk assessments similar to what is offered in Massachusetts and is known as Method 3, DEEP provided its feedback on this approach. DEEP is not opposed to discussing how aspects of a Method 3-type closure would fit into the future release-based cleanup program. However, the charge of Subcommittee 7 does not include topics related to modifying the toxicological information for certain compounds and does not include modifying cancer slope factors. If the Working Group wishes to engage in this discussion, DEEP suggests that we do so after Subcommittee 7 completes its work. DEEP believes that many approaches that are available under Massachusetts’ Method 3 are contained within the RSRs or are being discussed at Subcommittee 7 and are in line with the charge for that subcommittee.

DEEP believes that many elements that are available under Massachusetts’ Method 3 are contained within the RSRs or are being discussed at Subcommittee 7 and are in line with the charge for that subcommittee. Any additional Method 3-type elements that are suggested to be added to the release-based regulations should take into consideration DEEP’s jurisdiction as it relates to risk assessment.

Method 3 DEEP Response

Public Feedback

Concept Paper Public Comments Summary

Future and Transition Issues

Summary of Common Themes Voiced to DEEP and DECD

DEEP will need to align resources to reflect needs of new program.  As the program takes shape, further discussion of how best to align new or existing resources may be necessary.

Overlapping regulatory framework
If certain releases will not be subject to the release-based cleanup program upon adoption of the Release-Based Cleanup Regulations, there will be a need to clarify the regulatory framework for any such releases.  This information will be vital for DEEP, LEPs, responsible parties, and other interested parties. 

Special Paths/Exemptions
Members of the Working Group have requested DEEP consider providing special paths or exemptions for:
  • Naturally occurring chemicals of concern (i.e., metals) by providing ranges of concentrations which can be presumed to be background levels.
  • Urban Soils/anthropogenic conditions that can be considered background conditions (depending on concentrations).
  • Limits on the extent of characterization required to determine a condition is naturally occurring or urban soil/anthropogenic condition eligible for exemption or special path.
Releases on Residential Properties

There has been a request for special tools or approaches to reduce the cost of investigating, characterizing and remediating releases of heating oil on certain residential properties,  and, if possible, the identification of a source of funds to facilitate cleanup.    In addition, there has been a general discussion about developing a program that limits the impact on residential properties, while still addressing risks.

Significant Environmental Hazard

While there is broad agreement that a Significant Environmental Hazard-like framework is needed, whether and how that framework moves into Release-Based Cleanup Regulations may require additional discussion.  

Guidance & Forms 

DEEP is collaborating with the working group to launch an Ad Hoc team to list guidance documents that might need to be revised or created and a list of forms that will be needed upon promulgation of the Release-Based Cleanup Regulations.

LEP Regulations

How will the requirements of the new Release-Based Cleanup Regulations dovetail with the requirement that LEPs hold human health and the environment paramount?  Will adjustment of the LEP Regulations be necessary to clarify their relationship to the new program?

Content Last Updated February 4, 2022