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Either when a proponent applies for a hazardous waste license or permit, or before MassDEP makes a final decision, the agency accepts public comment on the proposal for a specific period of time. In some cases, MassDEP also schedules a public hearing or meeting so it can provide additional project information and/or receive public feedback. Learn more:
► Hazardous Waste Facilities and Processes
► Hazardous Waste Transportation
The information on this page is intended to help you understand how and when you can be part of the review and decision-making process. Also see: MassDEP Public Hearings & Comment Opportunities and Levels of MassDEP Oversight
Permit Category & Explanation:Hazardous Waste Treatment, Storage, or Disposal Facility License or Renewal
A proposal for a new hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility in Massachusetts must undergo extensive review by several state and local agencies. Steps in the process include:
There are opportunities for public involvement at every step of this process. As part of its review of a new facility license application, MassDEP provides opportunities for the public to comment on a draft license or proposed license denial. The agency considers public comments before making a final determination. There also are opportunities for the public to comment when new facility proposals undergo MEPA and Site Assignment review, in each case provided by the state or municipal reviewing agency.
MassDEP hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility licenses are issued for terms of five years. A facility owner/operator must apply to renew an existing license for another five years before the initial term expires. Unless the renewal involves expansion of the facility, neither MEPA nor Site Assignment review are required. Similarly, if the renewal does not require changes in the initial Siting Agreement between the facility developer and the host community's Local Assessment Committee, the initial Siting Agreement remains in place. See Additional Resources below to learn more.
Permit Category & Explanation: Treatment, Storage or Disposal Facility Class II or III Modification
During the five-year period of its MassDEP license, a hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility may need to revise the license to allow for changes in the business. If the facility intends to significantly change its hazardous waste operations - by accepting different types of wastes or install new processing equipment or storage tanks, for example - it must apply for a Class II or Class III Modification approval from MassDEP. See Additional Resources below to learn more.
Please Note: Class I Modifications, used to inform MassDEP of minor revisions such as updated emergency contact names, are not subject to agency review or public comment.
Permit Category & Explanation:Hazardous Waste or Precious Metals Recycling Permit, Renewal or Modification
These permits authorize and set conditions for recycling of certain hazardous wastes as an alternative to disposal. See Additional Resources below to learn more.
Permit Categories & Explanation:
Hazardous Waste Transporter License
Precious Metals Transporter License
The Hazardous Waste Transporter license authorizes qualified parties to transport hazardous waste or waste oil from the businesses generating them to authorized treatment, storage and disposal facilities. The Precious Metals Transporter license allows the transport of regulated recyclable precious metals from the businesses generating them to appropriate recycling facilities. These licenses protect public health, safety and the environment by ensuring that companies are qualified and competent to transport these materials. MassDEP licensing review includes assessments of insurance coverage, driver training and emergency response preparedness. See Additional Resources below to learn more.
Permit Category & Explanation:
Modification of Transporter License
An already-licensed hazardous waste and/or regulated recyclable precious metals transporter can make changes to facility name, address or contact information, or make other administrative changes to its existing license, with this application and not have to apply for a new license. See Additional Resources below to learn more.
MassDEP regulates facilities of varying sizes and complexity in different ways:
While there are no public notice or comment periods associated with facilities subject to general permits or reporting/certification requirements, most of the documents they submit to MassDEP are available for public inspection at the agency's regional offices.