There have been several explosions in Massachusetts in commercial facilities where a hazardous materials process or processing took place. This regulation was developed as a result of these explosions that affected both the public and public safety officials. The Board of Fire Prevention Regulations began work on this regulation after a 2005 explosion in Leominster. A second large explosion took place in Danvers in 2006, and just prior to the implementation of this regulation, a third explosion took place in Middleton in March 2011.

This new regulation (2012) establishes categories of processes and there is a phased implementation of the permit requirement by category. It also establishes emergency response planning for all facilities and post-incident analysis requirements for larger ones. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions and the Commentary Document for a more detailed explanation of the regulation.

January 1, 2014 Deadline for Category 2 & 3 Processes Permit Applications

Category 4 hazardous material tank

The final deadline for the phased-in implementation by category of process and vessel size was January 1, 2014. All first time applications for permits for Category 2 and 3 processes covered by 527 CMR 33.00: Hazardous Material Process or Processing should have been submitted by local companies to fire departments. Category 2 processes involve a vessel containing more than 2.5 gallons but less than or equal to 60 gallons and Category 3 processes involve a vessel containing more than 60 gallons but less than 300 gallons, or have an H occupancy due to the vessel. The deadlines for permits for Category 4 and 5 processes took place in 2013. Please see the revised advisory below as the definitions of Category 2 and 3 processes has been clarified. Fire departments should review facilities in the community to be sure they are aware of the regulation.

527 CMR 33 Hazardous Material Process or Processing

Danvers Explosion (2006) Report

Middleton Explosion (2011) Press Release pdf format of    20110831_bostik_middleton.pdf