The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) seeks input from the public - including individuals, communities and groups - before it issues certain types of hazardous waste management permits or approvals. As part of this process, the agency requires distribution of a public notice either when it receives a permit application or before it makes a final decision, and accepts public comment for a specific period of time. In some cases, MassDEP also schedules a public hearing or meeting, which allows the agency to provide additional information about a proposed project and to receive feedback from the public. The information on this page is intended to help you understand how and when you can be part of the review and decision-making process for certain hazardous waste management permits or approvals. To learn about current opportunities for you to participate, see: Public Hearings and Comments
 

Hazardous Waste Facilities & Processes
Hazardous Waste Transportation

Hazardous Waste Facilities & Processes

  • Permit Category:

    Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage or Disposal Facility License or Renewal

    Explanation: A proposal for a new hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility in Massachusetts must undergo extensive review by several state and local agencies. Steps in the process include: 

    • Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs;
    • Site Assignment reviews and determinations by the local Board of Health and the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Site Safety Council (currently represented by MassDEP);
    • Development of a Siting Agreement between the facility developer and the “Local Assessment Committee” of the host municipality; and
    • Issuance of a Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage or Disposal Facility License by MassDEP.

    There are opportunities for public involvement at every step of this process. As part of its review of a new facility license application, MassDEP provides opportunities for the public to comment on a draft license or proposed license denial. The agency considers public comments before making a final determination. There also are opportunities for the public to comment when new facility proposals undergo MEPA and Site Assignment review, in each case provided by the state or municipal reviewing agency.  

    MassDEP hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility licenses are issued for terms of five years. A facility owner/operator must apply to renew an existing license for another five years before the initial term expires. Unless the renewal involves expansion of the facility, neither MEPA nor Site Assignment review are required. Similarly, if the renewal does not require changes in the initial Siting Agreement between the facility developer and the host community's Local Assessment Committee, the initial Siting Agreement remains in place. Follow the links below for additional information and definitions.

    Public Notice/Comment Period: 45 days

    Public Hearing: A informal public hearing may be scheduled at MassDEP discretion or upon request through the Hazardous Waste Management Program in Boston (617-654-6585).

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  • Permit Category:

    Treatment, Storage or Disposal Facility Class II or III Modification

    Explanation: During the five-year period of its MassDEP license, a hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility may need to revise the license to allow for changes in the business. If the facility intends to significantly change its hazardous waste operations - by accepting different types of wastes or install new processing equipment or storage tanks, for example - it must apply for a Class II or Class III Modification approval from MassDEP. Follow the links below for additional information and definitions. Please Note: Class I Modifications, used to inform MassDEP of minor revisions such as updated emergency contact names, are not subject to agency review or public comment.

    Public Notice/Comment Period: 60 days

    Public Hearing: An informal public hearing is required for both modification categories.

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  • Permit Category:

    Level II or III Hazardous Waste or Precious Metals Recycling

    Explanation: These permits authorize and set conditions for recycling of certain hazardous wastes as an alternative to disposal. Follow the link below for additional information and definitions.

    Public Notice/Comment Period: At least 30 days

    Public Hearing: Scheduled at MassDEP discretion in most cases, although required under certain circumstances. See Section 30.296(3)(g) of the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste regulations cited below.

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Hazardous Waste Transportation

  • Permit Category:

    Hazardous Waste Transporter License

    Precious Metals Transporter License

    Explanation: The Hazardous Waste Transporter  license authorizes qualified parties to transport hazardous waste or waste oil from the businesses generating them to authorized treatment, storage and disposal facilities. The Precious Metals Transporter license allows the transport of regulated recyclable precious metals from the businesses generating them to appropriate recycling facilities. These licenses protect public health, safety and the environment by ensuring that companies are qualified and competent to transport these materials. MassDEP licensing review includes assessments of insurance coverage, driver training and emergency response preparedness. Follow the links below for additional information and definitions.

    Public Notice/Comment Period: 41 days

    Public Hearing: Scheduled at MassDEP discretion and may be requested through the Hazardous Waste Transporter Program in Boston (617-292-5576).

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  • Permit Category:

    Modification of Transporter License

    Explanation: An already-licensed hazardous waste and/or regulated recyclable precious metals transporter can make changes to facility name, address or contact information, or make other administrative changes to its existing license, with this application and not have to apply for a new license. Follow the links below for additional information and definitions.

    Public Notice/Comment Period: 21 days

    Public Hearing: Scheduled at MassDEP discretion and may be requested through the Hazardous Waste Transporter Program in Boston (617-292-5576).

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