Mass Contingency Plan (MCP)

Vapor Intrusion as a Major Cleanup Driver

Vapor Intrusion Emerges as a Major Cleanup Driver When I started work as an environmental professional in 1986, I do not recall thinking about or even being aware of the risks posed by vapor intrusion. Vapor intrusion (sometimes referred to as “VI”) occurs when a volatile solvent or the volatile portion of a petroleum hydrocarbon […]

Coal Tar – Yesterday’s Nuisance, Today’s Problem

Coal Tar – Yesterday’s Nuisance, Today’s Problem OTO’s work includes a lot of remediation Massachusetts and Connecticut. One of the things we run into on occasion is coal tar, a viscous, black, smelly product of our industrial heritage. Coal tar is not one of the more common challenges encountered at MCP sites in Massachusetts, […]

Differences between the PCB Aroclors

From a professional perspective, PCBs entered my life in 1978 while I was post-grad research associate at the U of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture.  The mission of our lab was to develop data in support of EPA pesticide registrations for tropical crops.  Pesticide registration is normally conducted by the pesticide manufacturers, but tropical crops […]

New Jersey DEP Adopts USEPA’s “New” PCE Criteria

What are USEPA’s New PCE Toxicity Values About? It has been a year since the USEPA issued its new toxicological profile for tetrachloroethylene (PCE).  The new profile resulted in the revision of PCE’s toxicity values in EPA’s Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS).  Despite their obscurity, IRIS toxicity values carry great importance because they are at […]

Decorative Oil Lamps: A Surprising Source of Indoor VOCs

Impacts to indoor air quality from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been receiving greater attention recently due to a growing awareness of vapor intrusion (VI) from underground oil and chemicals.   VI occurs when chemicals spilled on the ground migrate under structures and then volatilize up into indoor air.  After a recent residential basement oil spill […]

MassDEP AUL Audit Requirement Eliminated

Paul Locke, MassDEP’s acting head of the Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup, was the lead speaker at the September 13th Licensed Site Professional Association (LSPA) membership meeting.  In his remarks, Locke repeatedly advised LSPs to be “on the lookout” for upcoming changes in the Department’s programs and structure.  However, he provided scant details about the […]

Vapor Intrusion – Historic Perspectives, Current Considerations

As we all know, one of the hottest topics in the environmental industry right now is vapor intrusion.  In Massachusetts, vapor intrusion considerations have been around for more than 20 years, since the beginning of the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) program.  This is no surprise, as Massachusetts has been a technical and regulatory leader in […]