Common Environmental Regulation Acronyms, Abbreviations and Initializations

This list includes acronyms, abbreviations and initializations relevant to a broad range of environmental topics, although the primary focus is on the state and federal contamination cleanup programs. This list is published as an aide for the public, the regulated community and regulators who occasionally encounter unknown and unexplained terms. It should not be taken to be a comprehensive list. Additions, subtractions and corrections to this list are welcome. Please e-mail with any comments.

Table of Contents

- # -

21C - Massachusetts General Law Chapter 21C.

21E - Massachusetts General Law Chapter 21E.

µg - microgram.

- A -

AAL - Allowable Ambient Limit in air.

ACEC - Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

ACO - Administrative Consent Order.

ADD - Average Daily Dose of a contaminant received by a receptor of concern.

ADE - Average Daily Exposure.

ADSCR - Average Daily Soil Contact Rate.

ADSIR - Average Daily Soil Intake Rate.

AEPMM - Active Exposure Pathway Mitigation Measure

AF - Absorbed Fraction, the fraction of OHM in soil absorbed through the skin.

AHERA - Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (1986)

AP - Averaging Period.

ARAR - Applicable or Relevant and Appropriate Requirement.

AST - Above Ground Storage Tank.

ASTM - American Society for Testing and Materials.

ATC - Allowable Threshold Concentration.

ATSDR - the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry.

AUL - Activity and Use Limitation.

AWQC - Ambient Water Quality Criteria.

- B -

BDAT - Best Demonstrated Available Technology.

BDL - Below Detection Limit.

bgs - below ground surface.

BNA - Base- Neutral and Acid Extractable Organics.

BOD - Biological Oxygen Demand.

BOH - Board of Health.

BOL - Bill of Lading.

BPP - MA DEP Bureau of Policy and Planning.

BTEX - Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene and Xylenes.

BW - Body Weight of the receptor of concern during the period of exposure.

BWP - the Massachusetts DEP Bureau of Waste Prevention.

BWR - the Massachusetts DEP Bureau of Water Resources.

BWSC - the Massachusetts DEP Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup.

- C -

C - either (a) Celsius or Centigrade or units Conversion factor.

c.21E - Massachusetts General Law Chapter 21E

CAA - the federal Clean Air Act.

CAFE - Corporate Average Fuel Economy [standard]

CAG - the U.S. EPA's Carcinogen Assessment Group.

CAS - Chemical Abstract Service.

CDF - Confined Disposal Facility.

CEP - Critical Exposure Pathway

CERCLA - U.S. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980.

CERCLIS - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Information System.

CERO - MA DEP Central Regional Office.

CFC - chlorofluorocarbon.

CFR - Code of Federal Regulation.

CMR - Code of Massachusetts Regulation.

CMO - Chief Municipal Officer.

COC - Contaminant of Concern.

COD - Chemical Oxygen Demand.

CRA - Comprehensive Response Action.

CWA - the federal Clean Water Act.

- D -

DAD - Dead and Decomposing

DAQC - the Massachusetts DEP Division of Air Quality Control

dB - Decibel.

DCE - Dichloroethylene.

DDD - 2,2- bis(p- chlorophenyl)- 1,1- dichloroethane.

DDE - dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene.

DDT - 1,1,1- trichloro- 2,2- bis(p- chlorophenyl)ethane.

DEIR - Draft Environmental Impact Report.

DEP - the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

DEQE - the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering, which is the former name of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

DHM - the Massachusetts DEP Division of Hazardous Materials.

DNAPL - Dense Non- Aqueous Phase Liquid.

DO - Dissolved Oxygen.

DOD - the U.S. Department of Defense.

DOE - the U.S. Department of Energy.

DOI - the U.S. Department of the Interior.

DOJ - the U.S. Department of Justice.

DOT - the U.S. Department of Transportation.

DPH - the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

DPS - either: (a) Downgradient Property Status or (b) the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety.

DQO - Data Quality Objectives.

DRE - Destruction Removal Efficiency.

DSWM - the Massachusetts DEP Division of Solid Waste Management.

DWPC - the Massachusetts DEP Division of Water Pollution Control.

DWS - the Massachusetts DEP Division of Water Supply. (Now the Drinking Water Program, DWP)

DWW - MA DEP Division of Wetlands and Waterways.

- E -

E/P - Evaporation/percolation.

ECD - Electron Capture Detector.

ED - Exposure Duration.

EDB - Ethylene Dibromide

EF - Exposure Frequency.

EHS - Extremely Hazardous Substance.

EIR - Environmental Impact Report.

EIS - Environmental Impact Statement.

ELCR - Excess Lifetime Cancer Risk.

ENF - Environmental Notification Form.

EOEA - Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.

EP - Exposure Period.

EPA - the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

EPC - Exposure Point Concentration.

EPCRA - Emergency Planning and Community Right- to- Know Act.

EPH - Extractable Petroleum Hydrocarbons.

ERL - Effects Range Low

ERM - Effects Range Median

ESP - Electrostatic Precipitator.

eV - Electron Volt.   

- F -

FB - Field Blank.

FEIR - Final Environmental Impact Report.

FEIS - Final Environmental Impact Statement.

FI - Food Intake.

FID - Flame Ionization Detector.

FIFRA - the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act.

FNSI - Finding of No Significant Impact.

FOIA - Freedom of Information Act.

FONSEI - Finding Of No Significant Environmental Impact.

FP - Flash Point.

FS - Feasibility Study.

FSP - Field Sampling Plan.

FY - Fiscal Year.   

- G -

GAC - Granulated Activated Carbon.

GAO - the U.S. General Accounting Office.

GC - Gas chromatography.

GC/ECD - Gas Chromatography/Electron Capture Detector.

GC/MS - Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry.

GC/FID - Gas Chromatography/Flame Ionization Detector.

GC/PID - Gas Chromatography/Photoionization Detector.

GEIR - Generic Environmental Impact Report

GIS - Geographic Information System.

GPM - Gallons per Minute.

GW - Ground Water.

GW- 1 - the groundwater category GW- 1.

GW- 2 - the groundwater category GW- 2.

GW- 3 - the groundwater category GW- 3.

GWTP - Ground Water Treatment Plant.

- H -

H&S - Health and Safety.

HAP - Hazardous Air Pollutant.

HASP - Health and Safety Plan.

HAZWOPER - Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response.

HCFC - Hydrochlorofluorocarbons.

HCS - Hazardous Communication Standard.

HDPE - High- Density Polyethylene.

HEAST - U.S. EPA's Health Effects Assessment Summary Tables.

HI - Hazard Index.

HMTA - Hazardous Material Transportation Act.

HMTUSA - Hazardous Material Transportation Uniform Safety Act.

HPLC - High- performance liquid chromatography.

HQ - Hazard Quotient.

HRS - Hazard Ranking System.

HSA - Hollow Stem Auger.

HSWA - the federal Hazardous and Solid Waste Amendments (1984).

HM - Hazardous Material.

HW - Hazardous Waste.

- I -

IARC - International Agency for Research on Cancer.

ICAP - Inductively Coupled Argon Plasma emissions Spectroscopy.

ICP - Inductively Coupled Plasma atomic emission spectroscopy.

IDL - Instrument Detection Limit.

IDLH - Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health.

IH - Imminent Hazard.

IM - Interim Measure.

IR - either: (a) Infra- Red or (b) Ingestion Rate.

IRA - Immediate Response Action.

IRAC - Immediate Response Action Completion [Report].

IRAP - Immediate Response Action Plan.

IRIS - US EPA's Integrated Risk Information System.

ISV - In- Situ Volatilization.

IT - Innovative Technology.

IWPA - Interim Wellhead Protection Area.

IWTP - Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant.

- J -


- K -

kg - kilogram.

- L -

L - liter.

LADD - Lifetime Average Daily Dose.

LADSCR - Lifetime Average Daily Soil Contact Rate normalized to bodyweight.

LADSIR - Lifetime Average Daily Soil Intake Rate normalized to bodyweight.

LAER - Lowest Achievable Emission Rate.

LC50 - Lethal Concentration, 50%.

LD50 - Lethal Dose, 50%.

LDR - Land Disposal Restrictions.

LEL - Lower Explosive Limit.

LEPC - Local Emergency Planning Committee.

LLRW - Low Level Radioactive Waste.

LNAPL - Light Non- Aqueous Phase Liquid.

LOAEL - Lowest Observed Adverse Effects Level

LOEL - Lowest Observed Effects Level

LRA - Limited Removal Action.

LSP - Licensed Site Professional.

LTBI - Location To Be Investigated.

LTTD - Low Temperature Thermal Desorption.

LUST - Leaking Underground Storage Tank.

- M -

m - meter.

MACT - Maximum Available Control Technology.

MA DEP - the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

MCL - Maximum Contaminant Level.

MCP - Massachusetts Contingency Plan.

MDL - Method Detection Limit.

MEK - Methyl Ethyl Ketone.

MEPA - Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act.

MF - Modifying Factor.

mg - milligram.

MGL - Massachusetts General Law.

MMCL - Massachusetts Maximum Contaminant Level.

MOHML - Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material List.

MOU - Memorandum of Understanding.

MS - Mass spectrometry.

MS/MSD - Matrix Spike/Matrix Spike Duplicate.

MSDS - Material Safety Data Sheet.

MSL - Mean Sea Level.

MSR - Material Shipment Record.

MTBE - Methyl tertiary- Butyl Ether.

MW - either: (a) Molecular Weight or (b) Monitoring Well.

- N -

NAAQS - National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

NAPL - Non- Aqueous Phase Liquid.

NCP - National Contingency Plan.

ND - either (a) Not Detected or (b) Non- Detect.

NEPA - National Environmental Policy Act.

NERO - MA DEP Northeast Regional Office.

NESHAP - National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.

NFA - No Further Action.

ng - nanogram.

NOx - Nitrous Oxides.

NOAA - National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAEL - No Observed Adverse Effects Level.

NOEL - No Observed Effects Level

NOHSCP - National Oil and Hazardous Substance Contingency Plan.

NON - Notice of Noncompliance.

NOR - Notice of Responsibility.

NORA - Notice of Response Action.

NPDES - National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

NPDWSA - Non-Potential Drinking Water Source Area

NPL - National Priorities List.

NPOTW - Non-Publicly Owned Treatment Works

NRD - Natural Resource Damage.

NRS - Numerical Ranking System.(note: discontinued 2014)

NSPS - New Source Performance Standard.

NSR - No Significant Risk.

- O -

O&M - Operation and Maintenance.

OHM - Oil and/or Hazardous Material.

ORS - DEP Office of Research and Standards.

ORW - Outstanding Resource Water.

OSC - On- Scene Coordinator.

OSHA - the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

OTA - [Massachusetts] Office of Technology Assessment.

OWM - [Massachusetts] Office of Watershed Management

- P -

PAHs - Polycyclic (or Polynuclear) Aromatic Hydrocarbons.

PAN - Penalty Assessment Notice.

Pb - lead.

PCBs - Polychlorinated Biphenyls.

PCDDs - Polychlorinated Dibenzo Dioxins

PCDFs - Polychlorinated Dibenzo Furans

PCE - Perchloroethylene (Tetrachloroethylene).

PDWSA - Potential Drinking Water Source Area

PEL - OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit.

PID - Photoionization Detector.

PIP - Public Involvement Plan.

PM10 - Particulate Matter, 10 microns.

POTS - Permanent or Temporary Solution

POTW - Publicly Owned Treatment Works.

PPA - either: (a) Potentially Productive Aquifer or (b) Pollution Prevention Act.

ppb - parts per billion.

PPE - Personal protective equipment.

ppm - parts per million.

ppm/v - parts per million by volume

ppt - parts per trillion.

PQL - Practical Quantitation Limit.

PRA - Preliminary Response Action.

PRP - Potentially Responsible Party.

PSD - Prevention of Significant Deterioration

PSC - Permanent Solution with Conditions

PSNC - Permanent Solution with no Conditions.

PTS - Permanent or Temporary Solution

PVC - Polyvinyl Chloride.

- Q -

q1* - the US EPA's Cancer Assessment Group's published cancer slope value.

QA - Quality assurance.

QC - Quality control.

- R -

RACT - Reasonably Available Control Technology.

RAF - Relative Absorption Factor.

RAM - Release Abatement Measure.

RAO - Response Action Outcome.

RAO- P - Response Action Outcome - Partial.

RAPS - Response Action Performance Standard.

RC - Reportable Concentration.

RCGW- 1 - the groundwater Reporting Category RCGW- 1.

RCGW- 2 - the groundwater Reporting Category RCGW- 2.

RCRA - Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976.

RCS- 1 - the soil Reporting Category RCS- 1.

RCS- 2 - the soil Reporting Category RCS- 2.

RfC - U.S. EPA's published Reference Concentration.

RfD - U.S. EPA's published Reference Dose.

RFI - either: (a) Request for Information or (b) RCRA Facility Investigation.

RFP - Request for Proposals.

RI/FS - Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study.

RIP - Remedy Implementation Plan.

RLF - Release Log Form.

RLFA - Release Log Form Amendment.

RNF - Release Notification Form.

ROD - Record of Decision.

ROS - Remedy Operation Status.

RP - either: (a) Responsible Party or (b) Respirable Particulates.

RQ - Reportable Quantity.

RQD - Rock Quality Designation.

RRT - Regional Response Team.

RTECS - Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances.

RTN - Release Tracking Number.

- S -

S- 1 - the soil category S- 1.

S- 2 - the soil category S- 2.

S- 3 - the soil category S- 3.

SA - Skin Surface Area in contact with the contaminated soil on days exposed.

SCBA - Self- Contained Breathing Apparatus.

SDWA - the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

SERO - MA DEP Southeast Regional Office.

SIC - Standard Industrial Classification.

SIP - State Implementation Plan.

SITE - Superfund Innovative Technology Evaluation.

SO2 - Sulfur Dioxide.

SOP - Standard Operating Procedure.

SOW - Scope of Work.

SPCC - Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasures Plan.

SRM - Substantial Release Migration.

STEL - Short- Term Exposure Limit.

SVE - Soil Vapor Extraction.

SVOC - Semi- volatile Organic Compound.

SW - either: (a) Surface Water or (b) Solid Waste.

- T -

TAG - Technical Assistance Grant.

TCA - Trichloroethane.

TCDD - Tetrachlorinated Dibenzo Dioxin

TCDF - Tetrachlorinated Dibenzo Furan.

TCE - Trichloroethylene.

TCLP - Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure.

TEF - Toxicity Equivalency Factor.

TEL - Threshold Effects Level in air.

TEQ - Toxicity Equivalent.

TICs - Tentatively Identified Compounds.

TMPS - Temporary Solution

TLV - OSHA Threshold Limit Value.

TOR - Threat of Release.

TOV - Total Organic Vapors.

TPH/IR - Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons measured using Infrared Analysis.

TPH/GC/PID - Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons measured using Gas Chromatography and a Photo- Ionization Detector.

TPH/GC/FID - Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons measured using Gas Chromatography and a Flame Ionization Detector.

TPH - Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons.

TQ - Threshold Quantity.

TRC - Technical Review Criteria

TRI - Toxic Release Inventory.

TSCA - the Federal Toxic Substances Control Act.

TSDF - Treatment, Storage and Disposal Facility.

TWA - Time Weighted Average.

- U -

UCL - either: (a) Upper Concentration Limit or (b) Upper Confidence Limit

UF - Uncertainty Factor.

ug - microgram.

UIC - Underground Injection Control.

UR - Unit Risk value.

URAM - Utility- related Abatement Measure.

US EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency.

USACE - United States Army Corps of Engineers.

USCG - U.S. Coast Guard.

USGS - U.S. Geological Survey.

UST - Underground Storage Tank.

UTM - Universal Transverse Mercator.

UV - Ultra- Violet.

- V -

VI - Volume Ingested.

VI - Vapor Intrusion.

VOC - Volatile Organic Compound.

VPH - Volatile Petroleum Hydrocarbons.

VR - Volume Respired.

- W -

WERO - MA DEP Western Regional Office.

WES - Wall Experiment Station.

WQC - [Ambient] Water Quality Criteria.

WWTP - Waste Water Treatment Plant

- X -

XRF - X-Ray Fluorescence

- Y -


- Z -


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