Massachusetts Environment - General regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Massachusetts Environment - General: What you need to know

Overview of Massachusetts's Environmental Rules


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In Massachusetts, the counterpart to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP is responsible for protecting Massachusetts' land, water, and air from pollution. DEP has been delegated authority by EPA to administer and enforce regulatory programs governing air, water, and waste management. Various state regulatory requirements are more stringent than corresponding federal requirements.


Massachusetts' air program is shaped by its state implementation plan (SIP), which sets forth basic strategies for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Massachusetts' SIP was officially submitted to EPA in January 1972 and is frequently amended to comply with the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. The SIP focuses on permitting, requirements for nonattainment areas, hazardous air pollutants, and numerous other air-related programs.

DEP is responsible for administering and enforcing Massachusetts' air pollution rules.


Massachusetts follows the federal water quality standards. The state has not been delegated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting authority. The state has been granted primacy from EPA to administer and enforce the requirements of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). In addition to the federal requirements, the state also has some additional requirements, such as for perchlorate monitoring.

EPA Region 1 has primary enforcement authority over NPDES-permitted facilities that discharge wastewater into surface waters of the state. DEP is responsible for administering ...

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