As discussed in the previous blog post titled “Reportable Conditions under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan”, a Two-Hour Reportable Condition is the most time critical Reportable Condition described in the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP; 310 CMR 40.0000). The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) must be notified of Two-Hour Reportable Conditions in order to protect human health, safety, public welfare and the environment.

Some examples of Two-Hour Reportable Conditions include the following:

  • A sudden spill, or a threat of a sudden spill, of oil and/or hazardous materials (OHM) to the environment, which is greater than, or is likely greater than, a specified quantity (referred to in the MCP as a Reportable Quantity; such as more than 10 gallons of gasoline, transmission oil, and/or waste oil; more than 55 gallons of vegetable oil; or more than 1 pound of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)) and the spill likely occurred within 24 consecutive hours or less;
  • A spill of any amount of oil which results in a sheen on a surface water body;
  • The detection of OHM which exceeds a specified concentration (called a Reportable Concentration) in a private drinking water supply well;
  • A spill of any amount of OHM, even if present for a short amount of time, which poses, or could pose, a significant risk of harm to health, safety, public welfare and/or the environment (referred to in the MCP as an Imminent Hazard);
  • A spill of OHM that is greater than, or likely is greater than, the respective Reportable Quantity and has occurred, or is likely to have occurred, within 24 consecutive hours or less, that is indirectly released to the environment by entering a stormwater drainage system; and
  • A spill of any amount of OHM that is indirectly released to the environment by entering a sanitary sewer system.

If a Two-Hour Reportable Condition exists, the MassDEP must be notified by telephone as soon as possible and within two hours of when the person accountable for the spill (referred as the Responsible Party in the MCP) obtains knowledge of the condition. The following information must be provided to the MassDEP during the telephone conversation:

  1. The name and telephone number of the caller
  2. Location of the spill
  3. Date and time that the spill occurred
  4. Type of Reportable Condition (i.e. two-hour)
  5. Type of OHM (i.e. gasoline, vegetable oil, or PCBs)
  6. Source of OHM (i.e. where did the OHM come from?)
  7. Description of the release
  8. Contact information of the owner/operator of the source of OHM
  9. A description of the initial actions taken in response to the spill (referred to as Immediate Response Actions in the MCP)
  10. Names of the involved parties (federal, state or local government agencies that have been notified and have responded to the spill)

Following notification by telephone, a Release Notification Form must be submitted within 60 days to the MassDEP. The Release Notification Form is available on MassDEP’s website. The information required to fill out the Release Notification Form is very similar to the information provided to the MassDEP during the initial notification.

If a Two-Hour Reportable Condition exists, actions must be taken immediately to assess, cleanup and/or contain the spill. These actions are referred to in the MCP as Immediate Response Actions. Immediate Response Actions are required in the event of a Two-Hour Reporting Condition to reduce the potential risk of harm to health, safety, public welfare or the environment. The concept of Immediate Response Actions will be discussed in future blog posts.

If you need more information about Two-Hour 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