In February of last year, the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services enacted regulation 527 CMR 33 regarding the processing of hazardous material. This new regulation was developed in response to incidents of fire and explosion in Middleton in 2011, Danvers in 2006, and Leominster in 2005, all of which involved the processing of hazardous materials.
The new regulation means that any business which processes hazardous materials (in addition to storing them) will need a permit to continue to do so, beginning this year. It categorizes users into five categories with Category 5 (highest volumes) having the most requirements for permitting, while Category 1 (lowest volumes, vessel capacity less than or equal to 2.5 gallons) does not require a permit although users are still responsible for compliance. The permits must be renewed annually and are issued by the local fire department.