Facilities Accepting Reclamation Soil

The Department is working with a number of proposed Reclamation Projects and we anticipate several more facilities will be approved in the near future.  This list will be updated periodically.  As of November 3, 2016, the following facilities have MassDEP approval (in the form of a signed Administrative Consent Order) to accept Reclamation Soil:

The Administrative Consent Order (ACO) and incorporated Fill Management Plan (FMP)/Soil Management Plan (SMP) are facility-specific documents that reflect location- and project-specific conditions.  While the requirements applying to these facilities are similar, the ACO/FMP (or SMP) is developed in consideration of each project’s unique circumstances, including the physical setting, multi-jurisdictional regulatory requirements, and proposed future re-use of the property.  The ACO/FMP (or SMP) may be modified over time – please consult with the facility directly to best understand its current acceptance requirements.

NOTE:  This list does NOT include landfill projects that may be accepting soil as daily cover or grading/shaping material pursuant to COMM-97-001 and their operating or closure permits.

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Ontario Excess Soil Management Policy Framework

FYI – The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change has posted the final version of its Excess Soil Management Policy Framework (PDF).


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Presentation in Uxbridge

August 7, 2016 presentation by MassDEP at the Uxbridge Board of Selectman’s meeting.

2016-08-08 Uxbridge – MassDEP-PWL.pdf (PDF, 1.7 MB)

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MCP 5 Minute Moment on Soil

Confused about the applicability of the Similar Soils policy? Wondering how it relates to the Reclamation Project policy? Here’s a short video illustrating how they relate.

Comments, criticism and suggestions for future video explanations are welcome!

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Final Interim Soil Management Policy

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection  has finalized Policy # COMM-15-01 – Interim Policy on the Re-Use of Soil for Large Reclamation Projects.  The policy is available on the MassDEP website at:  http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/cleanup/laws/massdep-policy-comm-15-01-2015-08-28.pdf.

The policy is implemented pursuant to Section 277 of the FY2015 Budget which mandated that the Department establish  regulations, guidelines, standards or procedures for determining the suitability of  soil used as fill material for the reclamation of quarries, sand pits and gravel pits. The policy is applicable to quarries, sand pits and gravel pits that will accept 100,000 cubic yards or more.

The new policy institutionalizes a site-specific review and approval process that has been successfully used on an ad hoc basis to expand opportunities for the re-use of excess soil excavated from development sites. MassDEP approval of these projects insures that issues common to large-scale fill projects are appropriately addressed.

By providing a mechanism for safely managing soil at quarry reclamation projects, the policy addresses two issues.  First, it facilitates the filling and re-use of spent (or abandoned) quarries, sand pits and gravel pits.  These locations are often safety hazards and their reclamation can provide opportunities for beneficial new uses, including parks.  Second, it provides increased in-state options for the re-use of soil excavated from new development projects.  Such soil often must be shipped out-of-state at substantial cost.

MassDEP considers this Interim Policy to be part of a comprehensive approach to managing soil in Massachusetts.  The Department is committed to continue working with stakeholders to develop additional policies, standards and regulations (where appropriate).  If you are interested in being part of this discussion, please send an email to Paul.Locke@state.ma.us and ask to be added to the DEP Soil Workgroup.

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17 – Cumberland

FYI – MassDEP received an additional set of comments on the DRAFT Interim Soil Management Policy:

17 – Cumberland

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Video of 6/25 Soil Discussion

Unfortunately the live streaming of the June 25, 2015 Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee meeting failed after only 6 minutes.  I apologize if you had set aside the time to follow the stream and I understand the frustration… (this is still all new to us and we expect – desperately hope – we’ll get better at it.)

Luckily, Plan B has always been to record the meeting and post the video as soon after the meeting as possible.  It is now available on YouTube (as a playlist) at:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJn2AKOcYr7kozEXZhFknQ-OQwqOagqDJ  (There are 4 individual videos of approximately 30 minutes each.)

The last three videos in the playlist cover the wide-ranging discussion of comments received on the DRAFT Interim Soil Management policy.  If you did not have a chance to attend in person, I hope you can take some time to review the discussion.  We appreciate your continued involvement with DEP as we work on this issue and would value any additional thoughts you may have.

Please comment below if you have any questions.

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Comments on the Draft Interim Policy

Below are PDF  files of the comments received on the Draft Interim Soil Policy.  (Additional questions and answers may be found in the comments of the Draft Interim Policy blog post.) MassDEP will be reviewing the comments in the coming days  with the intention of issuing a Final Interim Policy in the near future.

01 – MBTA
02 – City of Worcester
03 – Agritech, Inc.
04 – LSP Association
05 – “Accidently” skipped
06- Construction Industries of Massachusetts
07 – McPhail Associates
08 – Congressman Stephen Lynch
09 – Avidar Environmental
10 – Prime Engineering
11 – Senator Mike Rush, Representative Edward Coppinger and
Representative Angelo Scaccia

12 – Charter Environmental
13 – Middleborough Conservation Commission
14 – Ecosolutions
15 – NAIOP
16 – UCANE
17 – Cumberland

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BBA Presentation

On Thursday, June 18th, MassDEP participated in a panel discussion on soil management at the Boston Bar Association.  Attached are the slides used for that presentation:  BBA-2015-06-18-pwl.pdf

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DRAFT Interim Policy

MassDEP has prepared  a DRAFT Interim Policy on the Re-Use of Soil for Large Reclamation Projects and the Department seeks your review and comment on this proposal by June 17, 2015.  We anticipate finalizing the Interim Policy by June 30, 2015 in accordance with Section 277 of Chapter 165 of the Acts of 2014.

The DRAFT Policy describes an interim approach for obtaining site-specific Department approval for the reclamation of quarries, sand pits and gravel pits using more than 100,000 cubic yards of soil.  The approach institutionalized in this policy has been successfully implemented on a case-by-case basis to allow operations to begin accepting large volumes of soil as fill. The policy provides clarity on the types of locations that would require approval and the nature of the documentation/information necessary for DEP to sign-off on the reclamation project.  The policy would remain in effect while the Department continues to work with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive approach to implement Section 277

Download the DRAFT Interim Policy:

We look forward to any comments and suggestions you may have – both for improving the interim policy AND as we move ahead to develop a comprehensive approach for quarry reclamation projects.  Comments on the draft policy should be sent to Paul.Locke@state.ma.us by June 17, 2015, or you can append them to this post using the “Leave a Comment” link below.

If you have any questions during your review of this material, please feel free to email (Paul.Locke@state.ma.us) or call (617-556-1160).

Thank-you for your continued participation in this important project!

– Paul Locke

P.S.  The draft policy will likely be an agenda topic for a Waste Site Cleanup Advisory Committee meeting on Thursday, June 25, 2015 (rescheduled from 6/17/15 for those of you following along.)  All are welcome to attend and participate in the meeting either live or on-line. Agenda will be posted at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/news/advisory-committees/waste-site-cleanup-program-advisory-committee.html as the meeting date approaches.

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