The Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP; 310 CMR 40.0000) is the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s (MassDEP’s) regulation regarding the assessment and cleanup of oil and/or hazardous materials (OHM) spills and releases to the environment. One of the most fundamental elements of the MCP is the concept of Reportable Conditions. Reportable Conditions are those conditions which, if met, require notification to the MassDEP within specified timeframes. There are three types or levels of Reportable Conditions; Two-Hour Reportable Conditions, 72-Hour Reportable Conditions, and 120-Day Reportable Conditions. We’ll briefly discuss each of these three conditions below.
Two-Hour Reportable Conditions are the most time critical Reportable Conditions. Some examples include:
- A sudden spill of OHM which exceeds a specified quantity (called a Reportable Quantity; such as more than 10 gallons of oil);
- A spill of any amount of oil which results in a sheen on a surface water; and
- The detection of OHM which exceeds a specified concentration (called a Reportable Concentration) in a private drinking water supply well.
72-Hour Reportable Conditions are also time critical, but considered less time critical than Two-Hour Reportable Conditions. Some examples include:
- A measurement of 100 parts per million or greater of total volatile organic compounds, as measured with a photoionization detector, in soil around an underground storage tank that has been removed;
- An OHM release to the soil or groundwater that has resulted or has the potential to result in the discharge of vapors into a school, daycare, or a residence; and
- The detection of OHM which exceeds a Reportable Concentration within 500 feet of a private drinking water supply well or within the Zone I protective radius of a public drinking water supply well.
120-Day Reportable Conditions are the least time critical of the three categories of Reportable Conditions. Some examples include:
- The detection of a hazardous material in soil or groundwater at a level which exceeds its Reportable Concentration;
- The detection of oil in groundwater at a level which exceeds its Reportable Concentration; and
- The detection of oil in soil at a level which exceeds its Reportable Concentration where the volume of contaminated soil equals two cubic yards or more.
If a Reportable Condition exists, the MassDEP must be notified of the condition within the specified timeframe.
- For a Two-Hour Reportable Condition, the MassDEP must be notified by telephone within two hours of when the Responsible Party obtains knowledge of the condition.
- For a 72-Hour Reportable Condition, the MassDEP must be notified by telephone within 72 hours of when the Responsible Party obtains knowledge of the condition.
- For a 120-Day Reportable Condition, the MassDEP must be notified through the submission of a Release Notification Form within 120 days of when the Responsible Party obtains knowledge of the condition.
The Responsible Party is the person or entity who is required to notify the MassDEP. The Responsible Party is often the party responsible for the spill, or the owner of the property where the spill occurred or where the contamination was detected. If notification to the MassDEP is required, the Responsible Party is also required under the MCP to conduct additional assessment activities and, if necessary, remedial or cleanup activities until the risk to human health and the environment are below acceptable standards.
This blog post is a brief summary of the three types of Reportable Conditions and a few examples of spills or releases which meet the criteria of each type of Reportable Condition. There are additional criteria for each of the three Reportable Conditions. Omni Environmental Group will provide further information about Two-Hour Reportable Conditions, 72-Hour Reportable Conditions and 120-Day Reportable Condition, along with required MCP response actions, in future blog posts.
If you need more information about Reportable Conditions, or if think you may have a Reportable Condition, please contact Omni Environmental Group’s Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs) at 978-256-6766 or Info@OmniEG.com.