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Guide About the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) Program

Find information and fact sheets about the TURA program structure and services.

The Toxics Use Reduction Act

Adopted in 1989, the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) is designed to protect public health and the environment while enhancing the competitiveness of Massachusetts businesses. 

Under TURA, facilities that use large amounts of toxic chemicals are required to report on their chemical use, conduct toxics use reduction planning every two years, and pay a fee. The fees paid by TURA filers support the work of the TURA implementing agencies, and are used to provide a wide variety of services, including training, grant programs and technical assistance.

 

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TURA Program Agencies and Services

Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA)

The Office of Technical Assistance and Technology’s (OTA) staff of engineers, chemists and environmental experts provide Massachusetts businesses with free and confidential assistance with toxics use reduction, energy and water conservation, and compliance with relevant regulations. OTA’s non-regulatory assistance services help businesses save money while improving public and employee health through reducing toxics and conserving resources. OTA also produces fact sheets, case studies, and guidance documents on TURA and environmental compliance, and hosts workshops and other educational events.

Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI)

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI), located at UMass Lowell, is a multi-disciplinary research, education, and policy center. TURI sponsors and conducts research, organizes education and training programs and provides information and technical support to large and small businesses and community organizations. Among other activities, TURI trains TUR Planners; convenes business working groups; conducts science and policy research and analysis; provides grants to businesses, municipalities, community groups, and researchers; provides laboratory testing for safer alternative chemicals and technologies; and maintains a specialized library on toxic chemicals and safer alternatives.

Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP)

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) administers the law’s annual reporting and biennial planning mandates; licenses Toxics Use Reduction Planners (TUR Planners); reviews and analyzes the data submitted by companies to evaluate progress in reducing toxics use and waste; and prepares an annual public data release. The Department is also charged with promoting TUR as the preferred way to bring facilities into compliance with environmental regulations.

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TURA Governance and Advisory Structure

Administrative Council on Toxics Use Reduction

The TURA program is governed by the Administrative Council which coordinates toxics management state-wide, and is responsible for managing the list of chemicals covered under the act. The Administrative Council is chaired by the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and includes designees of the Commissioners or Secretaries from five additional state agencies (the Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Health and the Executive Offices of Labor and Workforce Development, Public Safety and Security, and Housing and Economic Development).

Advisory Committee to the Administrative Council

The Advisory Committee to the Administrative Council on Toxics Use Reduction is one of the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) governing bodies. The Committee is composed of fifteen stakeholders that provide the Administrative Council with a forum for discussing TURA policy and implementation issues. Committee members are appointed by the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Science Advisory Board

The Science Advisory Board (SAB)'s primary role is to consider petitions to add or delete chemicals from the TURA chemical list and make recommendations to the Institute accordingly. 

The Toxics Use Reduction Institute may call on the SAB for scientific or technical advice concerning other TURA related issues.

Recent TURA Program Annual Progress Reports

Each year, the Administrative Council on Toxics Use Reduction issues a Progress Report on the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Program. The report highlights the program’s activities and achievements for each Fiscal Year and the actions taken by the Administrative Council and it’s Advisory Committee, and the Science Advisory Board.

Previous reports are available on request.

 

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TURA Higher and Lower Hazard Substances

Under the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA), the Administrative Council on Toxics Use Reduction can designate up to 10 chemicals per year as Higher Hazard Substances (HHS) and up to 10 as Lower Hazard Substances (LHS). These designations help Massachusetts companies and communities focus their toxics use reduction efforts on those chemicals that pose the most serious threats to health and safety and the environment.

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) provides this fact sheet  below for the convenience of users. You can obtain official versions of all state statutes and regulations are only available through the State Bookstore or from the Secretary of State's Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR) Subscription Service.

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