New MEPA Regulations Became Effective on May 10th
May 22, 2013
The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) requires that state agencies study the environmental consequences of their actions and to take all feasible measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate damage to the environment. Recently, changes have been made to the regulation to explicitly address greenhouse gas emissions and bring certain parts of the regulations in line with federal environmental regulations. These changes include updating definitions, adding review thresholds associated with air emissions, adjustments to both the Environmental Notification Form (ENF) and Environmental Impact Report (EIR) review and decision sections, and updates to the filing and circulation protocol. There were other minor revisions made to update the text or to fix existing errors as well.
The most significant change adds new air thresholds, made to bring the regulations in line with permitting requirements established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the federal Clean Air Act. This change requires a new major stationary source with potential emissions of more than 100,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalent to now be subject to an ENF and mandatory EIR. This also goes for major modifications to an existing major stationary source that causes a net increase of more than 75,000 tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalent.
For more information or project assistance, please contact Epsilon Principal Laura Rome.