Proposed Massachusetts Contingency Plan Amendments Released to Include Six PFAS Compounds

June 7, 2019


The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has released their proposed amendments to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP) for public comment. We here at GeoInsight are excited to be involved in shaping the regulations that we are involved with on a day to day basis. This revision updates the 2014 MCP and addresses a wide variety of topics that will affect how sites impacted by oil or hazardous materials in Massachusetts are managed. We’ll be providing our own comments to the regulators and would love to get feedback from the regulated community as well if you’d like to feed your comments through us.

An important component of the new MCP is the inclusion of reportable and risk-characterization standards associated with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The latest emerging contaminant, PFAS, is a man-made substance affecting drinking water in many communities around the commonwealth and the world.

The public will be allowed to comment on the MassDEP’s proposed amendments until July 19, 2019.

Proposed 2019 MCP Amendments

While there are numerous changes proposed for incorporation into the 2019 MCP, the following are the more substantive and potentially impactful ones presented by the MassDEP:

  • Addition of PFAS Standards: establishes reportable concentrations and risk characterization standards for six PFAS compounds.
  • Amended Standards: updates to 264 risk characterization standards and 62 reportable concentrations for soil and groundwater.
  • Cross-Program Coordination:
    • Clarification on Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) requirements at Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) sites;
    • Adequately regulated provision for disposal sites with radioactive material; and
    • Amended criteria for determining drinking water areas (GW-1 areas) to align with areas protected by drinking water regulations.
  • Active Exposure Pathway Mitigation Measures (AEPMMs):
    • Clarifies requirements for employing remote telemetry on AEPMMs as part of MCP filings;
    • Establishes information required for AEPMMs used to mitigate drinking water pathways; and
    • Certifications by the owner of the building protected by the AEPMM that they are aware of notification requirements.
  • Temporary Solution Status & Remedial Monitoring Reports: clarify and standardize requirements for post-Temporary Solution Status Reports.
  • Risk Assessments: update to the methodology used to calculate exposure point concentrations to account for contaminant concentration distribution and variability. The calculation of upper percentile values are proposed, which are a more reliable estimate of the mean at sites where contamination in soil is likely to be dispersed and highly variable.


Public Comments on MCP Amendments

The MassDEP encourages the submission of public comments on the proposed amendments. Written comments can be submitted by email to and will be accepted up until July 19, 2019. All of the proposed MPC amendments are available on the MassDEP website.

Four public hearings have been scheduled by the MassDEP during the public comment period to receive direct feedback on the proposed amendments. Once all comments have been received and considered, the revised MCP is expected to go into effect by the end of 2019 or early 2020.

If you have any questions about the proposed amendments or to understand how/if these regulatory changes could impact your site – call us 800.217.1953

Tim Maus, Project Geologist / Office Health & Safety Manager | 978.679.1600



Andy Donoghue LSP, Senior Project Engineer | 978.679.1600