Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA)
Adopted in 1989, TURA is designed to protect public health and the environment while enhancing the competitiveness of Massachusetts businesses.
Under TURA, facilities that use large amounts of toxic chemicals are required to report on their chemical use, conduct toxics use reduction planning every two years, and pay a fee. The fees paid by TURA filers
support the work of the TURA implementing agencies, and are used to provide a wide variety of services, including training, grant programs and technical assistance.
TURA Implementing Agencies
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is the regulatory body for the program. MassDEP certifies Toxics Use Reduction (TUR) Planners, collects chemical use information and other data submitted by companies, provides compliance guidance, and takes enforcement actions.
The Office of Technical Assistance and Technology (OTA) is a non-regulatory agency within the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. OTA provides free, confidential, onsite technical assistance to Massachusetts manufacturers, businesses, and institutions.
The Toxics Use Reduction Institute (TURI) provides education and training for companies; sponsors research into the development of cleaner, safer materials and technologies; provides grants to companies, community organizations, and municipalities; convenes business working groups to address specific environmental challenges; conducts policy research and analysis; and provides laboratory and library services.
TURA Amnesty Through June 30, 2016 for Voluntary Disclosure
The MassDEP Commissioner's Office has approved a TURA amnesty (until June 30, 2016) for facilities that voluntarily disclose a past failure to file one or more TURA chemical use reports. The amnesty terms are posted here and this letter describes the program.
TURA is considered a model environmental policy by other states and countries. It won the prestigious Innovations in American Government Award for excellence in the public sector in 1999, and the Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Program award in 2008.