Cleaning up contaminated sites can be complicated! Hopefully, using this web site, and getting the information you need, will not be as difficult.
Listed below are a series of links to other locations on our web site, as well as other web sites of interest. After reviewing this material, if you need more information, or just want to talk to a real person, Contact MassDEP .
Reporting Sudden Spills and/or Historical Contamination
If you need to report a sudden spill of oil or hazardous materials, click on File an Environmental Complaint to get information and details on notification procedures. If you are not sure whether something requires reporting, a good synopsis of reporting requirements for petroleum spills is provided in the MassDEP Policy Underground Storage Tank Closure Assessment Manual (publication WSC-402-96), available for downloading from the Policies page of the BWSC Publications site. For complete details on all notification obligations (and exemptions), consult Section 40.0300 of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.
Sudden Spill Emergency Response Services Contractor List
MassDEP maintains a list of companies licensed as hazardous waste transporters who provide emergency response services. The list is intended to assist parties responsible for releases of oil and/or hazardous materials which pose an Imminent Hazard or Public Safety Threat, or for other situations that require the immediate retention of an emergency response contractor. The list is compiled from MassDEP's database of Hazardous Waste Transporters and Generators and will be updated as needed and at least annually. The inclusion of a company's name on this list does not constitute an endorsement of that company by MassDEP. MassDEP does not recommend nor endorse any particular company.
List of Companies licensed as Hazardous Waste (HW) Transporters who provide Emergency Response Services (June 2013):
Program Information, Publications, and Documents
To learn more about the Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup, the MassDEP cleanup program, and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP), check out the overview of the BWSC program . All program regulations, policies, and guidance materials are available for downloading from the Site Cleanup Home Page. The state regulations which govern this program are the Massachusetts Contingency Plan or MCP, codified as 310 CMR 40.0000. You can either download this (voluminous) document from the BWSC Regulations page , or order an official copy from the Massachusetts State Bookstore .
If you have a specific technical or regulatory matter or question not addressed on this web site, try our email-based inquiry system .
Information on Contaminated Sites
If you are a researcher, municipal official, concerned citizen, or anyone else interested in finding out about contaminated sites in your neighborhood, town, or region, getting the information you want may take a little digging. Start off with our Online Searchable Sites List .
Reviewing BWSC Files
Most files may be reviewed Online or in person at DEP's Regional Service Centers. Click here to find out which Service Center contains files for sites in specific towns and for links to individual Service Center pages where you can learn about file review procedures. The exception is that files on the Federal "Superfund" (CERCLA) sites are generally kept at the MassDEP/Boston Office. To review these files, contact the BWSC/Boston project manager.
The Cleanup Process
For a thumbnail sketch of the process that must be followed to report, assess, and close out contaminated sites, see Overview of Cleanup Process .
Are you concerned about a contaminated site(s) within your neighborhood or community? Worried about whether the water from your well is safe? Or why it seems like you can't get straight answers to your questions? Click on Community Concerns for more discussion of these issues.
Opportunities for Public Involvement
There are a number of ways in which the public may become more active in the assessment and cleanup of contaminated sites in their communities. Check out Public Involvement for details.
Homeowners and Small Businesses
Homeowners and small businesses can be especially overwhelmed by the site assessment and cleanup process. For some real-life and practical advice, check out our Homeowners pages.
Underground Storage Tanks
In Massachusetts, the Department of Public Safety (EOPS) and the Division of Fire Services, through local fire departments, oversees the installation and removal of underground storage tanks. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) manages registration and inspection of underground storage tanks and also gets involved when these tanks have leaked oil or hazardous materials into the environment, or where a leak is threatened. However, the first point of contact in a leak situations should always be the local fire department.
The Massachusetts regulations for underground storage tanks, 527 CMR 9.00, are available through the State Book Store. For information on underground tank registration and inspection requirements see the site. For information on the remediation reimbursement program, see the Massachusetts Leaking Underground Storage Tank Program site. And if you are removing or closing a tank, consult the Underground Storage Tank Closure Assessment Manual for details and recommendations, including requirements for conducting the closure assessment evaluation required by federal regulations. If you are a homeowner with a small heating fuel tank, see the Homeowners web pages.
A number of pages have been devoted to technical and program issues that should be of particular interest to Licensed Site Professional (LSPs):
- Audit Program - The home page of the BWSC Audits Section. Links to information are provided on the auditing process, issues of current interest, and the latest BWSC audit findings of significance.
- Public Involvement - One of the biggest areas of non-compliance observed by BWSC is the lack of appropriate notice to local officials. To make this as painless as possible, learn about and download a synopsis of these requirements, as well as other guidelines on Public Involvement Issues, including directions on preparing a Public Involvement Plan.
All significant milestones in the site notification, assessment, remediation and closure process must be memorialized by the filing of specified forms that have been developed by MassDEP. While nobody particularly likes using forms, it is the only way the agency can reasonably interpret and track actions that are occurring at thousands of sites that are not being overseen by MassDEP staff. All forms are available electronically on the Transmittal Forms page. For tips on filling out and submitting these forms, see Site RTNs/Status/Forms .
Don't know a UCL from a DPS? Help is at hand, by downloading List of Common Environmental Regulation Acronyms . For an explanation of MassDEP's naming/numbering convention for spills, sites, and releases, see Everything You Always Wanted to Know About RTNs .