Soil Characterization Meeting Reminder

Greetings!

On Tuesday, October 28, 2014 (i.e., tomorrow), MassDEP will host a discussion about the amount and nature of soil characterization, and the documentation thereof, necessary to re-use soil as part of a Reclamation Project. This discussion will help inform the Department’s efforts to implement Section 277 of the FY2015 Massachusetts Budget.

Time: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Date: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Location: 2nd floor conference room
MassDEP Headquarters
One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
(directly above the Downtown Crossing MBTA Orange & Red Line stop)

The Reclamation Soil blog (www.ReclamationSoil.org) has been updated with a number of new documents/links related to the soil characterization issue. Some of these new items are in direct response to comments/emails received from YOU. Please keep the comments/suggestions/observations coming, either by posting them directly on the blog (in the Comments boxes) or by emailing them to Paul.Locke@state.ma.us. (Email comments will be reposted to the blog so that everyone can benefit.)

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s meeting…

  • The amount of soil characterization may depend upon the expected levels of contamination in the soil. It may help the discussion to narrow the potential universe of soil we’re considering, so when we talk about filling quarries, sand pits or gravel pits with “Reclamation Soil”, let’s assume that:
  • Reclamation Soil does NOT include Hazardous Waste.
    (There are existing rules about the management of Hazardous Waste, and if soil is considered Hazardous Waste or contains Hazardous Waste, it cannot be used as fill for filling quarries, sand pits or gravel pits. Period.)
  • Reclamation Soil does NOT include Remediation Waste.
    (There are existing rules about the management of Remediation Waste, and if soil is considered Remediation Waste, it cannot be used as fill for filling quarries, sand pits or gravel pits. Period.)
  • Reclamation Soil does NOT include COMM-97 soil.
    (COMM-97 lists upper limits on concentrations in soil used for grading/shaping or daily cover under a final landfill cap. This policy is not applicable to Reclamation Projects.)
  • Reclamation Soil does NOT include contaminated soil.
    (“Contaminated soil” has a specific definition under 310 CMR 40.0000 and is essentially Remediation Waste when removed from a site. Be careful, as the common conception of “contaminated” may not be the same as the regulatory definition.)
  • Reclamation Soil does NOT include solid waste.
    (There are already rules guiding the beneficial reuse of solid waste, such as Construction & Demolition Debris.)

(See “Terminology” for the definition of some of these terms.)

The assumptions above are subject to discussion and modification, of course, but let’s start with these as guidelines.

“What’s left?” you ask. Given the assumptions above, the working definition of Reclamation Soil would be something like, “Reclamation Soil is natural soil or soil containing only low levels of oil or hazardous material such that MassDEP would not require notification, further investigation or cleanup at the original location.”

  • The soil characterization discussion (including but not limited to property use, sampling, analysis, and documentation) should focus on how we “know” that the soil in a truck is suitable “Reclamation Soil.”
  • The soil being used to fill a quarry, sand pit or gravel pit may come from a c.21E disposal site, but the larger volume is likely to be excess excavate from construction sites at locations not known to have had a release of oil or hazardous material.
    • A Licensed Site Professional (LSP) is only involved in the soil characterization if the soil originates at a c.21E site.
  • The reuse of soil to fill a quarry, sand pit or gravel pit can be an option for excess excavate. It is/will not be a requirement. The soil characterization approach (to be developed) will apply only to soil being re-used as Reclamation Soil.All existing options will remain available for excavated soil, whether it is another reuse or recycling or disposal, with soil characterization appropriate for its end location.

I’m sure there are other assumptions/observations that can be added to help guide or discussion tomorrow – please feel free to suggest some in the comments below this reminder.

See you on Tuesday!
Paul Locke

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