DEEP Has Plan to Change Reporting and Cleanup Standards
After more than two years of deliberation, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has released a draft report with recommendations for fundamentally transforming the state’s system for identifying and cleaning up industrial spills and contamination.
The release of the draft report on Feb. 7 triggered a 30-day period, through March 4, during which the agency will accept written comments.
Currently, the rules for reporting and cleaning up spills are confusing. DEEP’s transformation proposal is intended to create a clear way to make sure that industries understand what spills need to be reported and how to address them.
Under the proposal, standards will be refined to:
- Encourage prompt cleanups of new spills
- Streamline, with some added flexibility, long-term cleanup requirements
DEEP hopes to ensure that new spills are cleaned to the appropriate degree and that historical releases are addressed when they are identified–not years later by a new property owner or the state.
Outlining the agency’s vision for regulatory reform and statutory enhancement, the report also takes into consideration information submitted to DEEP by external workgroups and through public feedback provided by stakeholders—including CBIA.
What’s more, the report proposes to:
- Incorporate new cleanup alternatives when risks to public health and the environment are low
- Empower regulated parties and their environmental professionals to self-implement site-specific and alternative cleanup approaches
- Focus DEEP’s resources on the highest-risk pollution and on the parties that require the most assistance, while empowering environmental professionals to make more independent decisions
CBIA, through its Environmental Policies Council, is educating members about the proposal and assembling comments to submit to DEEP.
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