Have you received a notification letter from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) warning you that you have underground storage tanks (USTs) that need to be removed? As of August 7, 2017, all underground single walled steel tanks in the state of Massachusetts must be removed, permanently closed-in-place, or placed out-of-service (then removed or permanently closed-in-place by July 1, 2018). At the time of the tank removal, environmental conditions must be assessed per state and federal regulations, since it is possible that contamination may exist in the area of the UST(s). In Massachusetts, tanks must be closed in accordance
- Phase I
Challenging new projects. Creative yet practical solutions. Innovative ways to protect the planet – one property at a time. Catch up on the latest news from Cooperstown Environmental here.
When it comes to environmental contamination of real estate, the legal principle of “you break it, you buy it” does not apply – in fact, the reality is much worse! Under the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) legislation (commonly known as Superfund), as well as state laws like Massachusetts’ C. 21E, legal liability for environmental contamination is “strict.” This means that the property owner is per se responsible for any contamination at that property - period. It does not matter if the owner caused or contributed to the contamination. It does not matter if the contamination