Governor Charlie Baker Visits Cooperstown Environmental
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker along with several other state/federal office holders and candidates recently made a planned visit to the offices of Cooperstown Environmental LLC to gain feedback from employees of the firm on a range of environmental issues related to site contamination, two of the state’s primary financial reimbursement mechanisms, stormwater permitting, and other matters. Governor Baker, the nation’s most popular governor, spent more than an hour speaking with and interviewing Cooperstown’s entire staff about key issues for the firm’s consulting practice.
Governor Baker was interested to learn about how Cooperstown staff apply their specialized education and expertise in assessing and remediating contaminated properties under the state’s “Chapter 21E” regulations. These regulations are designed to ensure that sites where releases of oil and/or hazardous materials (OHM) have occurred are brought to a status of No Significant Risk, based on standards set by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). Under Massachusetts’ innovative privatized cleanup program, site assessments and cleanups are overseen by Licensed Site Professionals (LSPs). Cooperstown Environmental has three experienced LSPs on staff, all of whom have extensive experience in bringing sites to closure. The firm, which is in its fifteenth year, works for property owners and site developers, universities, government agencies, legal counsel, and homeowners.
Governor Baker also received feedback on two of the state’s primary financial reimbursement mechanisms – the Massachusetts Brownfields Tax Credit and the “21J” program that assists gas station owners with cleanups at their properties. Cooperstown is the state’s leading practitioner in the tax credit program, based on published statistics that show the firm has prepared most of the successful applications each year for six straight years since the statistics have been published.
In addition to Governor Baker, Massachusetts State Representatives Jim Lyons of Andover, Marc Lombardo of Tewksbury, and US Congressional candidate Rick Green of Pepperell participated in the session. Over the course of more than an hour-long meeting, Cooperstown staff touched on many topics including the vital importance of the state’s tax credit program for redeveloping blighted “Brownfield” properties; regulatory reform especially of the NPDES regulations addressing stormwater; sub-slab depressurization systems (SSDSs); contaminated soil management; and many other topics.