transcript

transcript 73 - Soil Management Policies Compared

This is an MCP 5-Minute Moment brought to you by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup.  Paul Locke.

[VIDEO SHOWS TITLES OF THE TWO POLICIES]

MassDEP has been receiving a lot of questions about two recent policies that deal with soil management in Massachusetts, so today we're going to do a simple compare and contrast between the Waste Site Cleanup "Similar Soils" policy and the "Policy for the Reclamation of Quarries, Sand Pits and Gravel Pits."

[VIDEO SHOWS PICTURES OF THE TITLE PAGES OF EACH POLICY]

The similar soil policy is actually Wastes Site Cleanup #13-500 and the Reclamation soil policy is Comm #15-01.

Both of these policies are available from the Waste Site Cleanup Policies and Guidance page on the web.

[VIDEO SHOWS CIRCLE REPRESENTING A FILL PROJECT]

So let's start with a generic fill project.  This could be a big hole in the ground that needs to be filled or it could be a relatively small construction project that needs to bring in some fill material.

[A BOX REPRESENTING A DISPOSAL SITE IS ADDED TO THE SCREEN]

Let's start with a 21E disposal site that's generating excess material.  Well since it's a 21E disposal site, 310 CMR 40.0030 applies to any soil that's moved from that 21e site.

[AN ARROW IS ADDED TO CONNECT THE 21E DISPOSAL SITE BOX TO THE FILL PROJECT CIRCLE]

And what are the requirements that apply?

[TEXT LISTING THE REQUIREMENTS ARE TEMPORARILY SHOWN ON THE SCREEN]

First, the soil can't be contaminated soil; which means it's not remediation waste; which means the concentrations are less than the Reportable Concentrations in the MCP.

Second, the soil that you're excavating and shipping off-site must be similar to the soil that is already present at the receiving location. This is where the "similar soils" name comes from. 

Third, there is LSP oversight and sign-off: somebody is responsible and looking after the soil and measuring it appropriately and they are putting their name on and they are stamping the documents that say that THIS soil is appropriate to go to THAT location.

Fourth, it must be documented as part of the MCP Response Action.

Fifth, all of this work is subject to audit by the Waste Site Cleanup Program.

And finally, we put out a policy, Waste Site Cleanup-13-500, that describes and gives you more information about how best to meet these requirements. That's the Similar Soils Policy, tied back to the soil management requirements of the MCP.

So soil coming from a 21E site has regulations and policies that apply.

[ADDITIONAL BOXES AND ARROWS ARE ADDED TO THE GRAPHIC SHOWING MANY SITES SENDING SOIL TO THE FILL PROJECT]

And of course many sites might be sending soil to the same fill project.

[VIDEO:  BOXES REPRESENTING "GENERIC LOCATIONS" AND ARROWS ARE ADDED TO THE GRAPHIC]

And that fill project could be receiving soil from a generic location that's not a 21E site.  Perhaps it's just a construction project that is digging a basement and creating excess soil.

[VIDEO: TEXT TEMPORARILY ADDED TO THE GRAPHIC LISTING THE RULES THAT DO NOT APPLY TO THESE GENERIC LOCATIONS - THE SAME RULES DISCUSSED PREVIOUSLY.  A BULLET SAYS "NOT REGULATED"]

And since that generic location is not a 21E site, the rules and regulations and policies and procedures of the MCP do not apply.

Remember we're just talking about soil management at the moment.

[VIDEO: A WARNING LABEL FLASHES ON THE SCREEN]

There are a lot of other rules that might apply to a particular project, including state and local and federal requirements such as the rules in the wetlands regulations against filling a wetland.

Where it says "Not Regulated", it really means just from the soil management criteria perspective.

[VIDEO: THE TEXT IS CLEARED AND A CIRCLE REPRESENTING A COMM_15-01 RECLAMATION PROJECT IS ADDED TO THE GRAPHIC.]

OK, now let's take a look at a reclamation soil project that is going along under COMM #15-01.

The project will have an administrative consent order or ACO, 

[VIDEO: THREE LINES OF BULLETED TEXT ADDED. THE AUDIO FOLLOWS THE TEXT]

which means (1) it has an approval from DEP, and thus is considered a "facility or location that is licensed permitted approved to accept soil" pursuant to 310 CMR 40.0031(2)

(2) that qualifies this location for an MCP notification exemption providing liability protection for people who may be sending soil to that property, and

(3) the ACO which is signed by the project proponent as well as DEP, is a mutually agreed upon set of required criteria that the project has to meet, including the acceptance criteria for the concentrations of oil or hazardous material in the soil, management plans for how the soil will be moved around and placed, agreements for third-party oversight, the documentation that will be needed for the project and a whole list of other requirements.

All of that is written into the ACO and all of that is enforceable.

so now let's look at the rules that would apply it to projects sending soil to a COMM-15-01 Reclamation Project.

[VIDEO:  SCREEN NOW SHOWS TWO CIRCLES REPRESENTING A GENERIC FILL PROJECT AND A COMM-15-01 PROJECT.  THERE ARE BOXES REPRESENTING SOURCES OF THE SOIL: A ROW OF BOXES ALONG THE TOP OF THE SCREEN REPRESENTING 21E SITES AND A ROW AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN REPRESENTING GENERIC SOURCES OF SOIL.]

[VIDEO: ARROWS CONNECT THE 21E SITES BOXES TO THE GENERIC FILL PROJECT INDICATING THE SOIL IS REGULATED BY 310 CMR 40.0030 AND THE SIMILAR SOILS POLICY]

[VIDEO:  ARROWS CONNECT THE GENERIC SOIL SOURCE BOXES TO THE GENRIC FILL PROJECT INDICATING THAT NO ENFORCEABLE CRITERIA APPLY]

If the soil is coming from a 21E site, that soil has to meet the requirements of the MCP 310 CMR 40.0030, just like any other 21E site. AND they have to meet the requirements of the COMM-15-01.

[VIDEO: ARROWS ARE ADDED TO THE GRAPHIC CONNECTING THE 21E SITES TO THE COMM-15-01 PROJECT, INDICATING THE SOIL IS REGULATED BY 210 CMR 40.0030 AND COMM-15-01]

The real difference is that soil coming from some generic location also has to meet the requirements of COMM-15-01or it can't be accepted for that reclamation project.

[VIDEO:  ARROWS ARE ADDED TO THE GRAPHIC CONNECTING THE GENERIC SOIL SOURCE LOCATIONS TO THE COMM-15-01 PROJECT, INDICATING THE SOIL IS REGULATED BY THE COMM-15-01 ACO REQUIREMENTS]

That way any soil being shipped to a reclamation project that has an ACO under COMM-15-01 will have very specific requirements - testing requirements, documentation requirements - that go along with it, regardless of where it is coming from.

 

[VIDEO: THE COMM-15-01 PROJECT CIRCLE AND ASSOCIATED SOIL SOURCE BOXES AND ARROWS DISAPPEAR, LEAVING THE GENERIC FILL PROJECT CIRCLE AND ASSOCIATED SOURCE BOXES AND ARROWS.]

Now let's go back and revisit the generic fill project that does not have an administrative consent order and is taking in soil, not only from 21e sites, but also from generic locations. There's nothing wrong with that it's a lot but but we do describe that as being conducted quote "at risk" end quote.

[VIDEO: TEXT ADDED TO EMPHASIZE "AT RISK"]

What does that mean, exactly?

[VIDEO:  TEXT ADDED FOR THE FOLLOWING POINTS]

Well the receiving location is essentially unregulated. Again that's just from the soil management perspective. There are other rules that might apply.

There might be diligent oversight and very strict and health-protective acceptance criteria. The soil may be managed perfectly. There might be great documentation of the work that's being done. It might all be of the highest quality.

And then again, it may not.

And if a problem does come up, such as if the fill project takes in soil that has concentrations of oil or hazardous material greater than the MCP Reportable Concentrations, then that creates a notifiable condition which creates a 21E disposal site, which creates joint and several liability for everybody who's involved in the process from the point of excavation all the way down to the point of placement in the generic fill project.

That includes facility owners operators, soil transporters, owners of the source location, etc etc etc.

And whenever the question of liability comes up I would always recommend that you consult an attorney for details and do not simply rely upon the advice of a five-minute instructional video.

[VIDEO:  SCREEN CLEARS AND EMAIL ADDRESS FOR QUESTIONS APPEARS]

So there you have the differences between the similar soils policy and the reclamation soils policy, all in a nutshell and the basics of soil management in Massachusetts.

If you have any other questions please feel free to send them along to BWSC.Information@state.ma.us.

Thank you

[VIDEO:  END]

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