THIS PAGE IS NO LONGER UPDATED.
See the MassDEP website “Soil Transport, Re-Use and Disposal at
for current information
MassDEP strives to have clear, consistent definitions across its regulatory programs. Here are some definitions of terms related to the issue of soil management and common acronyms. If you hear or see the Department use a term that is unfamiliar to you, please leave a comment below so that we may add a definition to the list.
Contaminated Media – means Contaminated Groundwater, Contaminated Sediment, Contaminated Soil, and/or Contaminated Surface Water. (defined in 310 CMR 40.0006)
Contaminated Soil means soil containing oil and/or hazardous material at concentrations equal to or greater than a release notification threshold established by 310 CMR 40.0300 and 40.1600. (defined in 310 CMR 40.0006)
Department means the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
Disposal Site, as defined by M.G.L. Chapter 21E, means any structure, well, pit, pond, lagoon, impoundment, ditch, landfill or other place or area, excluding ambient air or surface water, where uncontrolled oil and/or hazardous material has come to be located as a result of any spilling, leaking, pouring, abandoning, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, discarding or otherwise disposing of such oil and/or hazardous material. The term shall not include any site containing only oil or hazardous materials which: are lead‑based paint residues emanating from a point of original application of such paint; resulted from emissions from the exhaust of an engine; are building materials still serving their original intended use or emanating from such use; or resulted from release of source, byproduct or special nuclear material from a nuclear incident, as those terms are defined in 42 U.S.C. 2014, if such release was subject to requirements with respect to financial protection established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under 42 U.S.C. 2210. (defined in 310 CMR 40.0006)
Hazardous Waste means a waste, or combination of wastes, which because of its quantity, concentration, or physical, chemical or infectious characteristics may cause, or significantly contribute to an increase in mortality or an increase in serious irreversible, or incapacitating reversible illness or pose a substantial present or potential hazard to human health, safety, or welfare or to the environment when improperly treated, stored, transported, used or disposed of, or otherwise managed. See 310 CMR 30.1004 for characteristics of hazardous wastes, lists of hazardous wastes and when a hazardous waste ceases to be a hazardous waste.
Massachusetts Contingency Plan (or MCP) means 310 CMR 40.0000.
MassDEP means the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
MCP means the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, 310 CMR 40.0000.
OHM means oil and/or hazardous material (defined in 310 CMR 40.0006).
Reclamation Soil – To be defined as part of the Reclamation Soil Project.
Working definition: Reclamation Soil means soil containing only levels of oil and/or hazardous material that are suitable for reuse as fill material in quarries, sand pits and gravel pits [or other development projects] as specified in [TBD]. Reclamation Soil does not include soil containing [TBD].
Release (defined in 310 CMR 40.0006) means any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing into the environment, but excludes:
(a) emissions from the exhaust of an engine;
(b) release of source, byproduct, or special nuclear material from a nuclear incident, as those terms are defined in 42 U.S.C. § 2014, if such release is subject to requirements with respect to financial protection established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under 42 U.S.C. § 2210;
(c) the normal application of fertilizer;
(d) the application of pesticides in a manner consistent with their labelling; and
(e) the application of residuals in accordance with 310 CMR 32.00: Land Application of Sludge and Septage.
Reporting Category RCS-1 means the category of criteria listed in 310 CMR 40.1600 applicable to soil samples obtained at or within 500 feet of a residential dwelling, a residentially-zoned property, school, playground, recreational area or park; or within the geographic boundaries of a groundwater resource area categorized as RCGW-1. Reporting Category RCS-1 applies whenever and wherever reasonable doubt exists over the selection of the appropriate soil Reportable Concentration category (310 CMR 40.0361).
Reporting Category RCS-2 means the category of criteria applicable to all soil samples that are not obtained from reporting category RCS-1 areas.
RCRA means the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Federal Hazardous Waste statute: 42 U.S.C. Sections 6901 et. seq and federal regulations issued there under.
Site means any building, structure, installation, equipment, pipe or pipeline, including any pipe discharging into a sewer or publicly-owned treatment works, well, pit, pond, lagoon, impoundment, ditch, landfill, storage container, motor vehicle, rolling stock, or aircraft, or any other place or area where oil or hazardous material has been deposited, stored, disposed of or placed, or otherwise come to be located. The term shall not include any consumer product in consumer use or any vessel. (defined in 310 CMR 40.0006)
Soil means any unconsolidated mineral and organic matter overlying bedrock that has been subjected to and influenced by geologic and other environmental factors, excluding sediment as defined in 310 CMR 40.006.
Solid Waste or Waste (as defined in 310 CMR 19.000) means useless, unwanted or discarded solid, liquid or contained gaseous material resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural, municipal or household activities that is abandoned by being disposed or incinerated or is stored, treated or transferred pending such disposal, incineration or other treatment, but does not include;
(a) hazardous wastes as defined and regulated pursuant to 310 CMR 30.000;
(b) sludge or septage which is land applied in compliance with 310 CMR 32.00;
(c) waste water treatment facility residuals and sludge ash from either publicly or privately owned waste water treatment facilities that treat only sewage, which is treated and/or disposed at a site regulated pursuant to M.G.L. c. 83, §§ 6 & 7 and/or M.G.L. c. 21, §§ 26 through 53 and the regulations promulgated thereunder, unless the waste water treatment residuals and/or sludge ash are co-disposed with solid waste;
(d) septage and sewage as defined and regulated pursuant 314 CMR 5.00: Ground Water Discharge Permit Program, and regulated pursuant to either M.G.L. c. 21, §§ 26 through 53 or 310 CMR 15.00: The State Environmental Code, Title 5: Standard Requirements for the Siting, Construction, Inspection, Upgrade and Expansion of On-site Sewage Treatment and Disposal Systems and for the Transport and Disposal of Septage, provided that 310 CMR 19.000 do apply to solid waste management facilities which co-dispose septage and sewage with solid waste;
(e) ash produced from the combustion of coal when reused as prescribed pursuant to M.G.L. c. 111, § 150A;
(f) solid or dissolved materials in irrigation return flows;
(g) source, special nuclear or by-product material as defined by the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended;
(h) those materials and by-products generated from and reused within an original manufacturing process; and
(i) compostable or recyclable materials when composted or recycled in an operation not required to be assigned pursuant to 310 CMR 16.05(2) through (5).