Varying levels of public notice and involvement are possible under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, depending upon the regulatory status of the site, and the level of interest within the community.
At all sites, notices must be sent to local officials to communicate milestones in the site assessment and cleanup process. Some milestones must also be published as legal notices in local newspapers. Of course, all relevant site materials, reports, and correspondences are kept within the DEP files available online or in our Regional Offices, which are available for public inspection. Most site materials may also be found online .
Beyond that, it's up to the potentially impacted community(ies) to decide if they want to be more involved. Upon written petition of 10 or more residents within the community, a Tier I or Tier II site will be designated a Public Involvement Plan (PIP) site [see Overview of Cleanup Process for an explanation of Tier I and Tier II]. This designation requires that the parties responsible for site cleanup undertake a series of actions to better involve the public in the decision-making process, including preparing a Public Involvement Plan, holding at least one public meeting, and establishing a local information repository (usually at the public library). There are also opportunities for more limited involvement in shorter term actions at a site that has not yet been classified as Tier I or Tier II.
Fact sheets on the Public Involvement Process, including a "Cheat Sheet" on public notice requirements, may be downloaded from the BWSC Public Involvement page.
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