Massachusetts Closure Guidance for Shallow Injection Control (UIC) Wells (Guidance # BRP/DWM/DW/G04-3), Appendix VII: Response Actions under the MCP

The Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) determines when and how contaminated sites must be assessed and cleaned up. This guidance informs a person who is closing a UIC well what their responsibilities are under the MCP.

The MCP process provides for timely cleanup actions for relatively minor releases of oil and/or hazardous material. For the minor releases, a brief discussion of such cleanup actions (LRAs, IRAs, and RAMs) with respect to the closure of a shallow injection well is provided below. However, it should be noted that larger/more complex releases will necessitate more comprehensive assessment and remedial actions.

A. Summary of Response Actions

LRAs: Limited Removal Actions may be performed to remediate oil and/or hazardous material in soil that is subject to a 120 day MCP reporting threshold. All excavation activities associated with an LRA must occur within 120 days of obtaining knowledge of the release. Soil excavation limits associated with LRAs are discussed under "Excavation and Management of Contaminated Soils" (section 6.3). If all soil at or above the 120 day reportable concentration is successfully removed and managed as an LRA, notification to the Department of the release is not required.

IRAs: Immediate Response Actions are performed subsequent to notification of a "2-Hour" or "72-Hour" reporting condition. The Department's BWSC must always be notified of such site conditions that constitute time-critical releases (as defined in 310 CMR 40.0311-40.0313). Examples of conditions requiring IRAs include, but are not limited to, conditions that are likely to be an Imminent Hazard (see 310 CMR 40.0426), the presence of separate phase oil and/or hazardous material in the ground water (Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL)), and conditions of Substantial Release Migration (see 310 CMR 40.0413). In the event that such a condition is identified during activities related to the closure of the shallow injection well, an IRA shall be taken (310 CMR 40.0412) to assess, eliminate, and/or abate the site conditions requiring an IRA.

IRAs are subject to prior Departmental approval with a few exceptions (exceptions include the construction of a fence, and/or the posting of signs (310 CMR 40.0420(3)), and/or where the delay involved in notifying and obtaining approval would substantially exacerbate release or site conditions or endanger health, safety, public welfare or the environment (310 CMR 40.0420(7))). Prior to implementing an IRA, the party proposing to conduct the activity must communicate to the Department their intentions and whether the IRA will involve the implementation of remedial actions. Where time permits, and where the Department declines to provide oral approval, a written "Immediate Response Action Plan" must be submitted for MassDEP approval within 60 days from the original communication. RAMs: Release Abatement Measures allow the implementation of certain "prudent to do" accelerated remedial actions, such as those described in this document, to stabilize, treat, control, minimize or eliminate releases.

Prior to implementing a RAM, the party proposing to conduct the activity must submit a complete "Release Abatement Measure Plan" (310 CMR 40.0444) and appropriate fee (310 CMR 4.00) to BWSC. These plans have a 21 Day "presumptive approval". If the Department fails to issue written approval or denial of the plan within 21 days of receipt, approval of the plan shall be presumed. RAMs conducted after Tier Classification and at approved waiver sites in accordance with the provisions of 310 CMR 40.0400 do not require approval from the Department.

Comprehensive Response Actions: If the required remedial actions under the MCP are not completed within one year from the date of notification to the Department, "Tier Classification" of the disposal site must be performed. Assessment and remedial actions continuing after one year from notification (and Tier Classification) are termed Comprehensive Response Actions (see 310 CMR 40.0500 and 310 CMR 40.0800). Please note: RAMs may also be performed after Tier Classification.

B. Summary of Required Documentation

Documentation associated with the closure of a shallow injection well should be submitted and/or retained as noted below.

LRAs: Where an LRA is performed as part of the closure of an injection well, records documenting that an LRA has been completed must be maintained by the party undertaking the activity for a minimum of 5 years (310 CMR 40.0318(7)). No submittals to BWSC are required.

IRAs: An Immediate Response Action shall be considered complete when the release, threat of release and/or site conditions which gave rise to the need for that Immediate Response Action have been assessed, and where necessary, remediated in a manner and to a degree that will insure, at a minimum, both (a) the accomplishment of any necessary stabilization of site conditions and (b) the elimination or control of any Imminent Hazards to health, safety, public welfare and the environment without the continued operation and maintenance of active remedial systems, pending completion of any necessary comprehensive response actions (310 CMR 40.0427(1)).

An "Immediate Response Action Completion Report" (IRAC, 310 CMR 40.0427(2)) must be submitted to the Department within 60 days of completion of the response actions. An IRAC is not required if a "Response Action Outcome Statement" (RAO) is submitted to the Department within 120 days of first informing the Department of the need to conduct an IRA.

RAMs: RAMs are considered complete when the objectives of the RAM have been met, and when all active and ongoing remedial actions related to the RAM have been terminated. A "Release Abatement Measure Completion Report" (310 CMR 40.0446) must be submitted to the Department no later than 60 days following the completion of those remedial actions proposed in the "Release Abatement Measure Plan" as approved or presumptively approved by the Department (310 CMR 40.0443(2)). A Release Abatement Measure Completion Report shall not be required for sites where an RAO is submitted to the Department within 120 days of obtaining approval (oral, written or presumptive) from the Department to conduct the RAM (see 310 CMR 40.0446). If the remedial activities exceed the 120 day limit then "Status Reports" (310 CMR 40.0445) must be submitted. These reports are due 120 days following Department approval of the RAM and every 6 months thereafter, until a Release Abatement Measure Completion Report has been submitted.


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