Richard Nixon famously declared “When the President does it that means that it is not illegal.” The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) seems to have adapted this line of reasoning to justify its position in a current lawsuit regarding the denial of Brownfields Tax Credits for three Boston-area colleges. The case, now underway in Suffolk Superior Court (officially, Civil Action 2014-02617, Northeastern University, Trustees of Boston University and Wellesley College vs. Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue), is scheduled for a hearing on October 1, 2015. Both sides have asked for summary judgment, as the facts are not in dispute. In essence,
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To qualify for a Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit, a property must be located in an “Economically Distressed Area” (EDA). Contrary to what that implies, many of the state’s more affluent towns – including Beacon Hill and Back Bay, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Bolton, Pride’s Crossing, even parts of Belmont and Lexington – are classified as EDAs. Therefore, projects in these locales may be eligible for Brownfields incentives. The concept of limiting tax credits to properties in EDAs can be traced to the 1998 Brownfields Act, formally known as Chapter 206 of the Acts of 1998. The Brownfields Act itself references MGL c.21E, which
In June 2014, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) promulgated a significant set of changes to the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). The changes were designed to make the MCP more efficient and to simplify the classification of sites. Cooperstown Environmental has adopted the new changes to the program to directly benefit our clients. Two changes which our clients have specifically benefited from in the last year were changes to the tier classification system and changes to site closure requirements that now provide the ability to reach a permanent solution with an active exposure pathway mitigation measure in use at
Cooperstown is grateful to have been invited to participate in the (MS)², Mathematics & Science for Minority Students at Phillips Academy, career fair for the third year in a row this July. (MS)² has been bringing students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to Andover to spend their summers not only studying math and science but also developing aspirations for their futures since 1977. The contingent from Cooperstown included Isaac Anderson, Eric Gulbucki, and Eva Ward, who brought along equipment for demonstrations. Palms Environmental of Reading donated two types of organic vapor monitors, which are used to detect contamination in the field.
Cooperstown Environmental is pleased to announce that Eric Gulbicki has joined the company for the summer as an Environmental Field Technician. Since starting in June, Eric has completed groundwater and soil gas sampling for our Massachusetts Contingency Plan projects. He has also been involved with air monitoring, excavation, and soil disposal projects at construction projects throughout the state. Eric is currently attending Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and is scheduled to graduate in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Previously, Eric worked with a property renovator and for the Engineering Office of the Town of Andover’s
Cooperstown Environmental is pleased to announce that Isaac W. Anderson has joined the company as a Project Manager. He has a strong background in remediation project design and management, and has substantial experience in implementing systems to address petroleum and chlorinated solvent releases. He is skilled in groundwater remediation projects, chemical injection technology, soil vapor extraction, and sub-slab depressurization systems. He has developed specialized expertise in remote telemetry systems, now required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for certain contaminated sites. Isaac is heavily involved in professional development activities, where he has taken leadership roles. Currently, he is co-chair of
For the third consecutive year, Cooperstown Environmental LLC is the top consulting firm in Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit awards, according to official statistics just released by the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). Once again, almost two-thirds of the Brownfields tax credit recipients were clients of Cooperstown Environmental LLC, according to the state’s Tax Credit Transparency Report. This report finds that most of the applications receiving approval were prepared and submitted by the firm, cementing Cooperstown’s position as the top firm in this program area. The Tax Transparency Report, which has been issued annually since a 2010 law was passed requiring
The Boston Globe yesterday reported a lawsuit that has been filed by three Massachusetts colleges regarding Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credits, the first public acknowledgement of a brouhaha that has been two years in the making. Wellesley College, Northeastern University, and Boston University have sued the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) for improperly denying applications filed by each school. The Globe’s news story was accurate but lacked the background and perspective needed to understand the full story. The facts of the case and the chronology of events may provide observers with a better understanding of the issues. The Brownfields Tax Credit
Cooperstown Environmental is pleased to announce that Jeanne Westervelt, its Director of Technical Operations, has been awarded the prestigious Licensed Site Professional (LSP) designation. LSPs, or Licensed Site Professionals, are scientists and engineers with a demonstrated expertise in hazardous waste site cleanup. To be licensed, an LSP must meet minimum education and rigorous professional experience requirements and must pass a comprehensive exam. The LSP program is regulated by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup Professionals (LSP Board). To maintain licensure, LSPs are required to attend LSP Board-approved continuing education courses and to maintain a code of
The Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit program is a proven, successful program that helps to offset environmental response costs for eligible projects. The program may be the best of its kind among the many states that offer a similar reimbursement plan, as it is a “by right” credit. If the project meets all of the qualification criteria, the credit is awarded. There is no annual cap statewide and no per project cap. Nor does the project need to be pre-qualified or certified by the state. In addition, the credit is transferable, so it may be sold, producing cash for the applicant.