Tier Classified Chapter 21E Oil or Hazardous Material Release Sites
- The MassDEP Tier Classified Oil and/or Hazardous Material Sites datalayer is a statewide point dataset containing the approximate location of oil and/or hazardous material disposal sites that have been (1) reported and (2) Tier Classified under M.G.L. Chapter 21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). Location types featured in this datalayer include the approximate center of a site, the center of a building on the property where the release occurred, the source of contamination, or the location of an on-site monitoring well. For the purposes of this document, the terms "MassDEP Tier Classified oil and/or hazardous material disposal sites" and "Tier Classified Chapter 21E sites" are synonymous and are often referred to simply as "sites". Releases of oil and/or hazardous materials are reported to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection's (MassDEP) Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup (BWSC), according to procedures established in the MCP (310 CMR 40.0000). The sites mapped in this datalayer represent only a subset of the total reported Chapter 21E sites tracked by MassDEP BWSC. Chapter 21E sites that have not yet been Tier Classified are not contained in this datalayer. Under Massachusetts' Waste Site Cleanup Program, which is a largely privatized program, Tier IA classified sites and Immediate Response Actions (IRAs) at any site receive direct MassDEP oversight. Data maintained by the MassDEP regarding site location are provided to MassDEP BWSC by potentially responsible parties (PRPs) and by licensed site professionals (LSPs), who work for the PRPs. Location data is provided in a paper format (e.g., map and textual information) by PRPs and LSPs and maintained by MassDEP BWSC in individual site files. These site files are available to the public through the MassDEP's Regional Offices. Anyone wishing to view Chapter 21E site files can make arrangements with the regional offices though a Freedom of Information request. MassDEP encourages persons to review these site files when they make decisions that consider a specific site. Most of the site locations included in the MassDEP Tier Classified Oil and/or Hazardous Material Sites datalayer are interpretations of data provided by PRPs and LSPS converted to a digital format by MassDEP staff. These data have not been field-verified. In some cases where file information was inadequate or unavailable, locations were provided by MassDEP technical staff through knowledge gained in the course of their professional activities. The rules requiring notification, assessment and remediation of releases of oil and hazardous materials are codified in the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) 310 CMR 40.0000. Under the MCP and M.G.L. Chapter 21E, the PRPs are responsible for the timely assessment and cleanup of disposal sites in Massachusetts. The MassDEP BWSC is required to audit PRP response actions performed on 20% of the sites and when necessary provides direct agency oversight of cleanup efforts. If permanent cleanup is not achieved for a disposal site within a year of being reported to MassDEP, the site must be classified as Tier I or II in accordance with the MCP's numerical ranking system (NRS), outlined in 310 CMR 40.1500. The NRS is a point system based on a variety of factors, including the site's complexity, the type of contamination, and the potential for human or environmental exposure to the contamination. In addition, some sites are automatically given a Tier I classification if they pose an imminent hazard or affect public water supplies. A site's Tier Classification determines the level of MassDEP oversight. Tier I sites require a permit and Tier IA sites, considered to be the most complicated sites, require direct MassDEP BWSC oversight.
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