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.
Guide MassDEP Toxics Use Reduction Program
Table of Contents
News & Updates
All toxics use reduction (TUR) reporting, planning, and planner certification requirements under M.G.L. Chapter 21I and 310 CMR 50.000 are in effect as normal. The facilities and individuals subject to them are required to comply in a timely way, and operate in a manner that is protective of public health and the environment.
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.
|Listed Chemical Thresholds||Employees||SIC Codes|
||10 or more full-time workers||
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
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.
Additional Resources for Annual Reporting & Fees
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.
Additional Resources for TUR Planning
TUR Planners & Certification
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
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 email@example.com for a link to an online quiz, which you will need to take to demonstrate your knowledge and receive credit for the training.
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.