Higher Hazard Substances Under the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act: Lessons From the First Four Years
The Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) has achieved significant reductions in toxic chemical use in Massachusetts, using a combination of regulatory and voluntary measures. Historically the program has regulated only users of relatively large quantities of toxic chemicals, with services provided to facilities of all sizes on a voluntary basis. Statutory amendments adopted in 2006 created an authority to designate Higher and Lower Hazard Substances (HHS and LHS). The HHS designation extends TURA program requirements to smaller quantity chemical users. This article reports on experiences from the first four years of implementing this new authority. A case study of trichloroethylene is provided as an example. The article also discusses steps taken to regulate n-propyl bromide, a drop-in substitute for TCE that is minimally regulated at the federal level. TURA program experiences may be of interest to other jurisdictions that are working to reach small-quantity chemical users, and to categorize and prioritize chemicals.