Massachusetts Leads Nation with New Cumulative Impact Analyses Requirements for Air Quality Permits Near EJ Populations

April 2nd, 2024

MassDEP and Epsilon experts to explain these new regulations during April 9th Webinar hosted by the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association (NECA).

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today announced new state air pollution regulations that will require “certain facilities seeking air emissions permits in or near communities with environmental justice populations to conduct a cumulative impact analysis, which evaluates existing local environmental and health conditions in a community.”

These new regulations also “require enhanced public outreach to, and meaningful involvement of, environmental justice (EJ) populations in the permitting process.”

MassDEP’s announcement noted that the new regulations “are now in force and apply to permit applications filed with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) on or after July 1, 2024.” 

You can learn more about the new regulations during an April 9th Webinar hosted by the Northeast Energy and Commerce Association (NECA). During this session MassDEP’s Glenn Keith and Epsilon Air Quality Group Senior Environment and Health Scientist Sonja Sax, Sc.D. will discuss the new Cumulative Impact Analyses (CIA) amendments that facilities in or near EJ communities must address when applying for an air Comprehensive Plan Application. They will also cover types of facilities impacted; factors that help characterize existing pollution sources, health vulnerabilities, and other stressors; how to conduct a CIA; present the CIA mapping tool, and more.

Members and non-members are invited to attend. Register for the NECA Webinar here.

Read the full MassDEP March 28th Announcement here.

Additional reading:

New Proposed Air Requirements for Facilities Located In/Near EJ Communities (January 2023)

Nine Key Takeaways from AWMA Specialty Conference on Environmental Justice (November 2023)

EPA Proposes Revisions to the Air Quality Standard for Particulate Matter

About the Expert:

Sonja Sax, Sc.D, is an environmental health scientist in Epsilon’s Air Quality Group. Dr. Sax specializes in evaluating exposure and health risk from environmental pollutants. She has over 20 years of experience in environmental regulatory assessment, health impact assessment and cost-benefit analyses. She has managed large multi-year projects advocating for clients involved in litigation or providing permitting support. She has performed indoor and outdoor air quality investigations evaluating exposures and health impacts of airborne gases and particles. She also served as a consultant to the US EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee for the particulate matter and ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards. More recently she has worked on projects of all sizes conducting Environmental Justice analysis, modeling of air quality impacts and providing guidance to clients on the best approaches for addressing new EJ regulations in multiple states, including Massachusetts and New Jersey.



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