Permit Fact Sheet
What is the purpose of this report?
The purpose of the site assignment process is to determine if a parcel of land is suitable to use as a site for a solid waste management facility. Site assignments are granted by the local board of health following MassDEP review of the site assignment application. This review determines if the site meets all the criteria established in the Site Assignment Regulations. Suitability criteria are intended to protect public health, safety and the environment by requiring that minimum distances be maintained from drinking water supplies, residences, hospitals, schools and other sensitive receptors. Suitability criteria are also intended to address concerns over traffic, rare and endangered species, air quality, agricultural lands, Areas of Critical Environmental Concern and potential nuisances.
The purpose of the Major Modification of a Suitability Report is to allow the Major Modification of an existing Solid Waste Site Assignment. What constitutes a Major modification is defined in the Solid Waste Site Assignment regulations at 310 CMR 16.22(2).
Legislative authority is stated in MGL c. 21A, ss. 2 & 8 and c. 111, ss. 150A and 150A½. Regulatory authority is found in 310 CMR 16.00: Site Assignment Regulations for Solid Waste Facilities.
Who must apply?
SW01: Any individual, business or organization that is seeking to expand a solid waste management facility or establish a new solid waste management facility at an unassigned site must apply for a site assignment.
SW38: Any individual, business or organization that is seeking to make a Major Modification to an existing site assignment. What constitutes a Major modification is defined in the Solid Waste Site Assignment regulations at 310 CMR 16.22(2).
A Solid Waste Management Facility is an established site or works, and other appurtenances thereto, which is, has been, or will be used for the storage, transfer, processing, treatment or disposal of solid waste including all land, structures and improvements which are directly related to solid waste management activities.
- What other requirements should be considered when applying?
Pursuant to 310 CMR 16.30, a separate application fee to the local board of health that includes a technical fee and a public hearing fee, is required to cover the board's expenses in receiving information and conducting a hearing relative to the site assignment or site assignment major modification.
Permits of this type will often require MEPA review. Please carefully examine 301 CMR 11.00, the Massachusetts Policy Act (MEPA) Regulations, to determine if your project exceeds the MEPA review thresholds, or for more information contact the MEPA Unit of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (251 Causeway Street, Suite 900 Boston MA, 02114; Phone: 617-626-1000). MassDEP cannot complete technical review of the permit application until the MEPA process has been concluded. Copies of MEPA filings should be sent to the appropriate program offices in Boston and the MEPA Coordinator in the appropriate Regional Office. Find Your Region
BWP SW38 Only: When applying for a Major Modification, the applicant need only complete those sections of the form that concern criteria affected by the major modification as determined in writing by the Department. The applicant shall obtain this written determination from the Solid Waste Section in the MassDEP Regional Office prior to completing and submitting this application.
Note: This list of additional requirements is presented as a guide and does not necessarily include all additional requirements.
What is the application fee?
- Where must copies of the application be submitted
Copies of the application form, including the MassDEP Transmittal form, should be submitted as follows (See 310 CMR 16.08(2) for details):
One copy to the Solid Waste Section in the MassDEP Regional Office in which the proposed site is located. Find Your Region
One copy to the MassDEP, Bureau of Waste Prevention, Business Compliance Division, 1 Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108.
Two copies to the local board of health.
One copy to the local library.
One copy to: Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Environmental Health Assessment, 250 Washington Street -7th Floor, Boston, MA 02108
One copy to the board of health of any municipality within one half mile of any boundary of the proposed site.
One copy to the library of any municipality within one half mile of any boundary of the proposed site.
One copy to the applicable regional planning agency duly established by the Legislature and governing the municipality in which the proposed facility is to be located
One copy to any person requesting it during the public comment period. The applicant may charge the reasonable cost of reproduction.
- What are the timelines?
See: Permit Application Timelines and Fees Schedule
Note: Timelines for review of applications for site assignment and applications for major modifications of site assignments by the Department and local boards of health are established in the Site Assignment Regulations, 310 CMR 16.00.
- What is the annual compliance fee
There is no annual compliance fee associated with this report.
How long is this report in effect?
There is no applicable time limitation.
How can I avoid the most common mistakes made in this process?
Consult with the MassDEP about the scope of work prior to conducting the evaluation required at 310 CMR 16.40(4)(k), Consideration of Other Sources of Contamination or Pollution.
- Make sure MEPA requirements have been met.
- Pay the Technical Fee required pursuant to 310 CMR 16.30 to the board of health. Include a completed copy of the MassDEP Transmittal Form* with the application.
- Submit the MassDEP application fee and a copy of the MassDEP Transmittal Form* to: Department of Environmental Protection, P. O. Box 4062, Boston, MA 02211.
What are the regulations that apply to this process? Where can I get copies?
These regulations include, but are not limited to:
a. Site Assignment for Solid Waste Facility Regulations, 310 CMR 16.00
b. Timely Action Schedule and Fee Provisions, 310 CMR 4.00.
These may be purchased online, in person, or by Mail at the Massachusetts State Bookstore
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