New Regulatory Vapor Intrusion Guidance

ThroughoutMassachusetts, releases of materials containing volatile organic compounds (e.g., petroleum products, dry cleaning fluids, industrial solvents) have impacted soil and/or groundwater.  When these releases occur near buildings, volatilization of contaminants in the subsurface can result in the intrusion of vapor-phase contaminants into indoor air spaces and can pose a risk to workers and other building occupants.

In June 2010, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) updated its Standard Practice for Assessment of Vapor Intrusion into Structures on Property Involved in Real Estate Transactions (E2600-10).  This guide defines a procedure to identify, during a Phase I property assessment, whether a vapor intrusion condition exists, likely exists, cannot be ruled out, or can be ruled out because a vapor intrusion condition does not or is not likely to exist.

In response to the regulated community’s questions and concerns, in December 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) issued an Interim Draft Vapor Intrusion Guidance document to provide regulatory guidance on assessing and mitigating vapor intrusion pathways at sites regulated by the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). This document addresses approaches to the assessment and remediation of vapor intrusion in order to maintain compliance and eventual site closure within the MCP.

Both the ASTM guide and the MassDEP guidance documents can be applied to property with existing structures, property with structures that will be substantially rehabilitated, property without existing structures but having planned structures (e.g.,, property in development), or property without existing structures and with no planned structures (e.g.,, undeveloped property with no planned development).

Following receipt of public comments, due by March 1, 2011, the MassDEP will finalize the Vapor Intrusion Guidance document.  If you have a concern about the potential for your existing or planned property to have a vapor intrusion impact, call Dawn Horter at 508.970.0033 ext. 118.

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