Friday, December 3, 2010
State issues new mandate for Transfer Station
In a letter dated November 17, the MassDEP informed BOH members and agents across the state that the Massachusetts legislature made two changes in the solid waste law (GL c. 111 § 150A) that took effect on July 1. These changes mandated that “the responsibility for permitting of small transfer stations (facilities that accept 50 tons of refuse per day or less) was transferred from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to the Board of Health for the municipality in which the facility is located.” It also states, “A requirement was established that Boards of Health must determine whether a site proposed for a new or expanded solid waste treatment facility meets MassDEP’s site suitability criteria, as part of their site assignment review.”
The second part of this mandate will not affect Carlisle’s Transfer Station unless the town decides to move or expand it, as it has already met the state standards for site suitability. However, as of July 1, the Transfer Station was “out of compliance” because Carlisle’s BOH has not issued its permit, despite the fact that notification of the transfer of the permitting process to local boards did not reach Carlisle until November.
State criteria for permitting are available and Carlisle’s facility meets them, but no guidance has yet been forthcoming from the state as to regulations for the process of permitting by local boards of health. The BOH, therefore, voted to “adopt by reference” the Transfer Station’s compliance with state regulations, and to issue a temporary permit through March 31 and retroactive to July 1, giving the DPW time to apply for permitting and giving the BOH time to receive guidance from the state on permit procedure. ∆
© 2010 The