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Guide MassDEP Toxics Use Reduction Program

The Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) became law in 1989 and was amended in 2006. It requires Massachusetts companies that use large quantities of specific toxic chemicals to evaluate their operations, plan for pollution prevention, and report on the results each year.

Table of Contents

News & Updates

COVID-19 TURA Plan & Report Filing Deadlines Extended

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDEP will treat as timely any Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Plan Summary or Report filed up to 90 days after the current State of Emergency is terminated.

All other TUR requirements under M.G.L. Chapter 21I and 310 CMR 50.000 remain in effect, and the facilities subject to them must to continue to comply, as well as operate in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment.

See the Guidance in Additional Resources below to learn more.

 

Certification of Toxics Use Reduction Planners During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Current certifications are extended until 90 days after termination of the State of Emergency. If MassDEP receives applications for renewals or new TUR Planner applications in the meantime, the agency will process them as usual. Questions? Email: walter.hope@mass.gov

Learn more about other professional certification and licensure deadlines that have been extended due to the public health emergency.

Additional Resources for News & Updates

Company Requirements

Each company subject to TURA needs to file annual reports, prepare plans and updates, and pay fees for the listed chemicals it manufactures, processes or otherwise uses above the specified thresholds. See the Listed Chemicals section below for additional information.

Companies Subject to TURA
Listed Chemical Thresholds  Employees SIC Codes
  • 25,000 lbs for a chemical manufactured or processed;
  • 10,000 lbs for chemical otherwise used;
  • 1,000 lbs. for designated higher hazard substance;
  • 100 lbs, 10 lbs or 0.1 gm for designated Persistent Bioaccumulative Toxics (PBTs), depending on the chemical
10 or more full-time workers
  • 10-14: Mining
  • 20-39: Manufacturing
  • 40 & 44-49: Transportation
  • 50 & 51: Wholesale
  • 72, 73, 75 & 76: Certain Services

A company that meets all three of the above criteria is considered a Large Quantity Toxics User (LQTU) and is required to:

  • Submit a Toxics Use Report to MassDEP every year.
  • Develop an initial Toxics Use Reduction Plan the next even-numbered year after filing, a TUR Plan Update every other even-numbered year thereafter, and submit a summary of each to MassDEP. The company may alternatively prepare a Resource Conservation plan or implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) after completing its initial TUR Plan and two Plan Updates.
  • Pay an annual Toxics Use Fee

Failing to file annual reports, develop plans, or pay toxics use fees can result in MassDEP enforcement action, including financial penalties.

Additional Resources for Company Requirements

Listed Chemicals

Except for chemicals that have been de-listed by the Administrative Council on Toxics Use Reduction, TURA reporting and planning requirements apply to the toxic substances listed in two federal laws:

  • Section 313 of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA); and
  • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or "Superfund").

See a Complete List of TURA Chemicals in Additional Resources below.

Additional Resources for Listed Chemicals

Annual Reporting & Fees

Each company subject to TURA is required to file an annual Toxics Use Report that includes the following forms for each TURA-listed chemical it manufactures, processes, or otherwise uses above applicable thresholds:

  • Federal Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) Form R, which identifies the quantity released to the environment or transferred off-site for further waste management.
  • Massachusetts Form S, which identifies the quantity used, generated as byproduct (i.e. wasted during production), and shipped as part of a finished product.

The company must also:

  • Identify each production process and product that uses a listed chemical,
  • Measure significant changes in use and byproduct generation from the previous year, and
  • Pay an Annual Toxics Use Fee, based the number of people it employs and the number of listed chemicals it manufactures, processes or otherwise uses above applicable thresholds.

Information the company enters during the online reporting process is used to calculate its TUR fee. MassDEP mails an invoice in late summer. A company not paying within 30 days of the due date will be subject to a statutory late fee of $1,000.

Key Actions for Annual Reporting & Fees

Additional Resources for Annual Reporting & Fees

TUR Planning

Each company subject to TURA requirements needs to complete an updated TUR plan or alternative every two years.

A TUR Plan is a document that provides both economic and technical evaluations of the toxics use reduction opportunities available to a company, and identifies those methods, if any, that the company intends to implement. The plan must contain:

  • A corporate toxics use reduction policy statement,
  • An assessment of how and in what quantities listed chemicals are used and generated as waste by the company,
  • A list of available toxics use reduction options, evaluations of those that appear to be technically and economically feasible, and
  • For those options to be employed, a description and implementation schedule.

The company is not obligated to submit the plan itself to the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), but is required to obtain approval of the plan from a MassDEP-certified TUR Planner and provide the agency with a summary that includes a signed plan certification statement. The summary is made available for public review.

After completing its initial TUR Plan and two Plan Updates, a company may, in lieu of a TUR Plan:

  • Prepare a Resource Conservation plan addressing energy, water, or materials on an every-other-planning-cycle basis, or
  • Implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) that addresses toxics.

Key Actions for TUR Planning

Additional Resources for TUR Planning

TUR Planners & Certification

Certification of Toxics Use Reduction Planners During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Current certifications are extended until 90 days after termination of the State of Emergency. If MassDEP receives applications for renewals or new TUR Planner applications in the meantime, the agency will process them as usual. Questions? Email: walter.hope@mass.gov

Learn more about other professional certification and licensure deadlines that have been extended due to the public health emergency.

Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planners are MassDEP-certified professionals who have passed exams and/or documented relevant education and experience.

  • General Practice Planners may certify TUR plans for any facility.
  • Limited Practice Planners may certify plans only for facilities that employ them.
  • All TUR Planners have the option of applying for MassDEP approval to certify Resource Conservation (RC) Plans.

TUR Planners need to document continuing education credits and renew their MassDEP certifications every two years. RC Planners have their own continuing education requirements and need to renew their certifications every four years.

Additional Resources for TUR Planners & Certification

Statute, Regulations & Policies

See Additional Resources below for:

  • The TURA statute,
  • Regulations from the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs and MassDEP implementing the law, and
  • MassDEP Policy & Guidance documents detailing how to comply with TURA reporting and planning requirements.

Additional Resources for Statute, Regulations & Policies

Training & Assistance

For Reporting Year 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDEP is presenting an eight-part online training program in lieu of the Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA)/Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting workshops it normally presents across the state in partnership with the Office of Technical Assistance & Technology (OTA) and the Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI).

The training modules, presented via GoToWebinar, focus on the various elements of TUR Reporting via the eDEP Online Filing Platform, as well as TUR Planner certification.

Please note that you will be prompted to register (i.e. provide your name and email address) before viewing each session.

Once you have completed all eight modules, email walter.hope@mass.gov for a link to an online quiz, which you will need to take to demonstrate your knowledge and receive credit for the training.

To learn more about federal Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting, please see EPA Basic & Advanced Concepts Training and information about new requirements for PFAS Chemicals

See Additional Resources to learn more about:

  • Education, training, and library resources from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. 
  • Free, confidential on-site TURA compliance assistance to manufacturers, businesses, and institutions from the Massachusetts Office of Technical Assistance & Technology.

Additional Resources for Training & Assistance

Data & Results

See Additional Resources below to learn more about what implementation of the Toxics Use Reduction Act has meant for industry and the environment in Massachusetts.

Additional Resources for Data & Results

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