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Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) Amendments Announced

April 25, 2014

Boston, MA – In a highly-anticipated move by the real estate development community and environmental professionals, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today announced the promulgation of 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 presence of oil and/or hazardous materials in or to the environment. These regulations govern the response to sudden or on-going oil and hazardous material releases, as well as the assessment and cleanup of Brownfields, properties affected by past use as industrial or commercial facilities, prior to their redevelopment and productive reuse. Consistent with regulatory reform goals, the proposed MCP amendments are intended to enhance regulatory efficiency in a manner that benefits parties conducting response actions as well as the Commonwealth.

The proposed MCP amendments, the most significant since the privatization of the MCP process in 1993, were developed after significant outreach to program stakeholders at Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee meetings and during a series of meetings focused on specific MCP reform topics held in the spring of 2013. Those discussions culminated in proposals that eliminate unnecessary permits, streamline site classification and deed notice requirements, increase opportunities for achieving site regulatory compliance and closure and update cleanup standards based on most recent available science.

Key amendments that are considered favorable to many of our clients engaged in real property development is the potential allowance for achieving regulatory closure at sites containing non-aqueous phase liquid (or NAPL) and sites with active sub-slab depressurization systems (or SSDSs) in place. Allowing sites to achieve regulatory closure under these conditions will undoubtedly present additional financing alternatives and encourage Brownfields redevelopment, and at the same time achieving a condition of No Significant Risk of harm to human health and the environmental. In addition, procedural improvements to the Tier Classification and Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) processes will reduce the time and effort requirements. We look forward to working with the development community on implementing these welcome changes.

Links to the latest information regarding the amendments are below:

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