MassDEP and Cumulative Impact Analysis 

CAPACCIO recently attended a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) public virtual stakeholder meeting regarding the development of regulations that will address Cumulative Impact Analysis (CIA). 

This new MassDEP program is required by the newly passed Massachusetts Climate Change Law, but provides minimal details around how to manage and regulate CIA objectives. In an effort to understand how MassDEP will interpret the Law when writing new rules, we thought it important to directly take part in the process throughout the buildup to formally proposing the regulations in 2022.  


Some key questions that remain unanswered at this time: 

  1. What types of impacts will be addressed in the new CIA rules? (The law mentions both environmental and public health impacts without providing specific direction to MassDEP) 
  2. What types of air permits will be subject to the new CIA rules? (MassDEP could potentially apply these rules to any future Plan Approvals) 
  3. What criteria will MassDEP use to make CIA permit decisions? (This could delay permit decisions or result in more stringent permit requirements based on a facility’s location) 
  4. Will MassDEP only be applying CIA requirements to air permits? (MassDEP answered “not necessarily” to this question at the first public meeting—so pay attention to the possibility that other permit programs will also develop CIA requirements)  

CAPACCIO will remain involved in these discussions and provide periodic updates as MassDEP develops the new regulations.