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Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA)

1. Issued by / date / date of implementation

Governor of the State of Massachusetts, USA / 24.07.1989 / implementation as in the Act text

2. Type of legislation

Local legislation, to be implemented in the state of Massachusetts, USA

3. General purpose

The purpose of the act is to prevent pollution and improve environmental performances as well as health and safety by reducing the use of specified high hazard substances that are used by companies in quantities above a specified threshold.

The Act has a complex approach, addressing legal, administrative and technical aspects while also providing measures to correlate the work of different institutions that regulate, control or advise on the use of toxic chemicals.

Toxics Use Reduction Act (TURA) requires Massachusetts companies that use large quantities of specific toxic chemicals to elaborate a plan and implement pollution prevention actions and report their progress annually. They must also evaluate their efforts and update their toxics use reduction plans every other year.

Guidance and technical assistance are provided to support companies to reduce the use of toxic substances. A toxics use fee has been established for companies that fall under TURA.

The Act has been amended on July 28, 2006.

4. Substitution relevant paragraphs

In Section 2 of TURA the toxics use reduction is defined as changes in production processes or raw materials that reduce, avoid, or eliminate the use or generation of hazardous substances, so as to reduce risks to the health of workers, consumers, or the environment, without shifting risks between exposed groups or parts of the environment.

The techniques recommended for achieving toxics use reduction include :

  • input substitution, which refers to replacing a toxic or hazardous substance or raw material with a non-toxic or less toxic substance;
  • product reformulation, which refers to substituting an existing end-product by one which is non-toxic or less toxic upon use, release or disposal;
  • production unit redesign or modification, which refers to developing and using production units of a different design than those currently used.

Section 6, presenting the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, underlines its role in promoting comprehensive environmental management practices, including inherently safer products and materials.

5. Assessment of relevance for substitution

The Massachusetts TURA clearly presents substitution as a measure to be considered when planning for toxics use reduction.

Companies are on one hand controlled by annual reporting of the use of toxic chemicals and on their progress in the reduction of the use of such substances and on the other hand are supported by technical assistance and research transfer to implement reduction measures, including substitution.

6. Link to the legal text

Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act.

7. Further information

7.1 Studies or publications about the legislation or its impact

Report to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Program Activities and Accomplishments, 2009.

Last update: 18.11.2010

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