Hello – On Friday, November 7, 2014, MassDEP will host a discussion about state and local approvals that should be required of quarries, sand pits, and gravel pits that will accept large volumes of soil excavated elsewhere. This discussion will help inform the Department’s work to implement Section 277 of the FY2015 Massachusetts Budget.
Time: 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Date: Friday, November 7, 2014
Location: 2nd floor conference room
One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
(directly above the Downtown Crossing MBTA stop on the Red and Orange Lines)
We are working on setting up (improved) webinar capability so you can participate if you can’t come into Boston for this meeting. If you want to participate remotely, please email me or Paul Locke (email addresses are below) and we will let you know how to connect.
We have reviewed the issues raised in the October 17 stakeholder meeting as well as ideas that were raised in informal discussions over the last year with municipal officials and attorneys who work with municipalities on a variety of local permitting issues. The draft list of discussion topics for the 11/7 meeting (presented below) has been drawn from those discussions and the Department’s recent experience in working with proponents of receiving facilities do develop enforceable agreements that will protect public health, safety, welfare, and the environment as projects are implemented. We welcome additions to the list below, as well as examples of local ordinances, permits or other approvals (from municipalities, other states, or wherever). If you want us to think about an addition before the 11/7 meeting, please post your thoughts in the Comments boxes at www.ReclamationSoil.org or by emailing me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Paul Locke (email@example.com). We will post emailed comments so that everyone can benefit from your input.
Hope that you can join us on 11/7 for this discussion!
1. Discussion topics for Local Approvals:
· What should we ask municipalities to address in a formal approval (for facilities receiving large quantities of soil)?
o Post-reclamation use of the receiving facility, description of community benefits expected to result from the project
o Other aspects of the project: Soil Management Plan? Site Plan for final post-reclamation use? Approval of “as built”?
· What types of receiving facilities should be required to obtain municipal approval?
o All projects accepting > 100,000 cyds?
o Only certain types of projects accepting > 100,000 cyds?
o Projects that will be filled over more than X months or within X months?
o Local affirmation of previously approved reclamation plans?
· Timing of municipal approvals: should a project receive local approval before or after it is submitted for DEP approval?
· What should a local approval address?
o Materials to be used for filling: OK if soil meets MassDEP guidelines?
o Plans for dust/noise control, truck traffic, storm water (and project dewatering?) management plan, stockpile management, other local issues?
o Con Comm approval would be needed if the project will affect regulated wetlands or documentation that the project has no Con Comm jurisdiction?
o At the municipality’s discretion, how will the municipality ensure that the project only accepts the materials specified in the proposal – role for third party inspector, generator MSRs, etc.?
o Project start and end dates
· Should MassDEP require that the local approval be subject to specific public comment opportunities?
· What municipal board/office should issue the local approval? Can a Chief Municipal Official designate a Board or official to speak for the municipality?
2. Discussion Topics for DEP approvals of receiving facilities:
· What is the minimum size for projects that will need some sort of DEP oversight?
· Are their types or sizes of projects that could be done under a “General Permit” – a certification from the property owner and/or developer that all relevant performance standards will be met? Or, a “Presumptive Approval” – an application that is deemed approved if MassDEP doesn’t decline it within a specific period of time?
· What is the minimum size and/or type of project that should have a site-specific DEP approval before starting operations?
· For site-specific approvals, what should MassDEP be approving:
o Suitability of soil meeting proposed conditions to be used at a specific reclamation project?
o Should MassDEP’s approval address other factors or issues?
· For site-specific approvals: what public involvement opportunities should be required?
· Performance and other standards:
o What type of professional should prepare/”stamp” submitted Plans?
o Who should submit the proposal: property owner vs. the entity that will implement the filling plan?
o What topics should be addressed in an approval?
· Should MassDEP require financial assurance that funds will be available to properly close or clean up the project if the proponent doesn’t finish the job?