Cumulative Impact Analysis:
In 2023, facilities requiring a New or Amended Major or Non-Major Comprehensive Title 5 Air Permit
within a defined radius of an Environmental Justice Community may be required to undertake an
additional regulatory analysis before approval. The new Cumulative Impact Analysis requires additional
public outreach, an assessment of existing community conditions, and an analysis of cumulative impacts before any permits can be granted. The stakes are high, and some of the requirements in the draft regulations could be onerous or even prohibitive for industries exploring siting or growing in
Massachusetts delaying or even derailing some projects. Our expectation is that the final regulations will be available for public comment in the summer of 2023.
For further information:
- MCTA’s Comments on the Draft CIA Regulations
- MassDEP’s CIA Website: Legislation, Proposed Regulations, Meeting Recordings, Schedule.
Regulations on the sale, use, disposal and cleanup of PFAS is a priority of Governor Healey and the
Legislature. A comprehensive PFAS bill, crafted by the PFAS Interagency Task Force, was filed this
session, as well as a spate of other bills calling for cost recovery and bans on methods of disposal,
application and use of PFAS. TURA has added a PFAS NOL to its list of Hazardous or Toxic Chemicals. The first reports for PFAS NOL are due July 1, 2023
- H. 2197: Comprehensive PFAS Legislation
- TURA PFAS Reporting Guidance
- AG Healey 2022 Lawsuit Targeting PFAS Manufacturers
MCTA’s TURA Reform Legislation has been refiled in both the Massachusetts House and the Senate.
MCTA and its members strongly believe that changes are needed in the law to address changes in
industry practices since the law was enacted in 1989 and last amended in 2006. Chief among them are
waivers for industries required to use listed chemicals to comply with public procurement specs;
extended planning cycles; and TURP-related changes. MCTA also strongly opposed any fee increases.
- TURA Reform Legislation
- MCTA Testimony on TURA Reform
TURA Ad Hoc Committee:
The Ad Hoc Committee convened under the Baker Administration released its “Synthesis Report” in 2022. The Report was purported to be a synopsis of the discussions of the ad hoc committee held to discuss changes to the TURA law over a previous 16 months. MCTA did not believe that the report incorporated MCTA’s input or input from its members.
- TURA Synthesis Report and Ad Hoc Com https://www.mass.gov/resource/tura-program- strengthening-ad-hoc-committeemittee Background Documents
- MCTA Response to Synthesis Report
- Background Documents on Issues Discussed including Fee Increase, Planning Cycles. Waivers and Chemical listings
TURA Fee Increase:
A fee increase the on the use of regulated chemicals is an ongoing, annual threat for TURA filers. We
expect it to resurface in 2023. The TURA program has never Implemented an annual increase as allowed under the 1989 law, but instead inserted a provision in the 2006 amendments to allow the agency to increase fees as it sees appropriate and necessary. With the entire financial burden of the program on the shoulders of a dwindling universe of filers, the current fee system is unsustainable and unfair. For the past decade MCTA has successfully argued that fees should not be increased until changes are made to the program and that manufacturing industries alone, including many MCTA members, should not be responsible for the large financial burden of the program. The fee increase was among the topics discussed by the TURA Ad Hoc Committee:
- MCTA Testimony Opposing a Fee Increase
Nano Objects & Nanomaterials:
Two major changes have been made to regulations that impact companies manufacturing, distributing
or otherwise using nanomaterials in the Commonwealth. In 2021, TURA regulations were amended to
“clarify” its definition of “substances” to include: “ any agent or material including but not limited to:
pure chemicals with a specific chemical and structural identity; and categories or groups of chemicals,
compounds or mixtures that share similar, identifiable characteristics such as, but not limited to,
elemental composition, chemical formula, chemical structure, chemical properties, physical properties,
functional groups or chemical manufacture.” MCTA Strongly objected to the inclusion of the phrase
“physical properties, functional groups, or chemical manufacture” because it would not restrict the
listing of a universe of substances to those sharing any chemical similarities.
In 2022, the SAB began discussions on adding Carbon Nanotubes and Nanofibers to the TURA List of Toxic or Hazardous Substances. In 2022 & 2023, it voted to recommend listing. The petition also asks to list CNTs and CNFs as higher hazard substances with a reporting threshold of 100g. That discussion is pending.
CNT & CNF Presentation for TURA
Petition for Consideration of Regulation of CNFs and CNTs
Background Information for Threshold Determination
A new law regulating the use of flame retardants (An Act to Protect Children, Families and Firefighters From Harmful Flame Retardants), was signed into law on January 1, 2021. The law directed MassDEP to consult with TURI and the SAB to review additional flame retardants that may be considered for banning in Massachusetts every three years. (The SAB’s involvement in discussions of banning chemicals is outside TURI’s statutory scope but was mandated in the FR law.)
- FR Presentation Updated May 12, 2023
- TURI Introduction to Scope and Direction of Discussion
- Flame Retardant CASIsomer Analogues
Energy and Climate:
Any MCTA member who has paid an electric or gas bill recently knows how volatile and onerous energy prices have become. Over the past winter industry paid some of the highest prices ever, impacting their ability to do business in Massachusetts. Even though prices have moderated somewhat, Massachusetts still has some of the highest overall energy costs in the continental United States.
As such, in 2023, MCTA will ramp up its emphasis on bringing members information on new energy efficiency programs and rebates through the state’s energy efficiency program – MASSAVE as well as advocate for issues that will help moderate prices (such as new transmission upgrades) that are needed. The rebate program is mostly funded through surcharges on electric and gas bills and there are many new programs that could help reduce energy use. Combined with potential new incentives for energy upgrades under the federal Inflation Reduction Act, it is the right time to act on reducing energy usage to save money.
Reaching the goals set out for greenhouse gas reductions for 2025 and beyond may require additional restrictions on further fossil fuel use, including restrictions (and in some cases bans) on natural gas usage through more restrictive regulations and building codes. MCTA will monitor and comment of these issues and bring members the most updated and useful information possible concerning energy and climate.
MCTA is also fighting for a seat at the table so we can participate in the ongoing discussions about energy costs, climate change, and environmental justice.
Landfills are reaching capacity, and permits to increase capacity denied, forcing a capacity constriction acknowledged in the state’s most recent solid waste master plan. Intended to drive recycling of waste, this lack of disposal capacity is affecting industrial, business and real estate development. Disposal of Textiles were banned starting November 2022; and, we will be watching for further capacity restrictions, waste bans, and incentives Massachusetts may give to promote greater recycling to achieve waste reduction goals.
- In November, 2022, Massachusetts added textiles to the list of banned from Disposal or transport for disposal in Massachusetts;
- Massachusetts 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan.
Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) /Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act for the 21st Century:
On the Federal side, EPA has been directed to evaluate risk posed by certain chemicals and, if unreasonable risk is posed, create regulations setting exposure limit concentrations and other restrictions.
There are a number of chemicals that are being evaluated by EPA and you can check which chemicals are on the list and the risk evaluations made by EPA. https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing- chemicals-under-tsca/chemicals-undergoing-risk-evaluation-under-tsca
- Assessing and Managing Risk Under TSCA;
- EPA published in April, 2023, a proposed rule to ban the manufacture, processing, distribution, and commercial/industrial use of methylene chloride under TSCA Section 6A.
This & That:
- MCTA weighed on the State’s Climate Office’s application for a Climate Pollution Reduction Planning Grant through is submission of a work plan.
- TURI is revising its policy paper on Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QACs), which is expected to be included in the Advisory Committee’s docket in 2023.
- EPA in April 2023 posted it intends to conduct a rulemaking to address PFAS discharges from a subset of metal finishing and electroplating point source categories.
- MCTA is also tracking bills, policies, and regulations relating to energy costs and availability, Environmental Justice and Climate Change. Additional details will be posted in the near future.
MCTA’s Legislative Watch list:
MCTA keeps tracks bills filed in the Massachusetts Legislature, and weighs in on behalf of its members when issues of concern are discussed. This list summarizes bills we are watching in for the 2023-2024 session. We provide updates on hearings, actions and outcomes and solicit input from impacted members.
- Legislation we are watching
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Upton, MA 01568
MCTA Mission Statement
The Massachusetts Chemistry & Technology Alliance, Inc., (MCTA) keeps members informed of developments on the state and national level that impact the industry; advocates for science-based, cost-effective policies, regulations, and legislation in the Commonwealth; and educates the public on chemistry and science-related issues.
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