Michael P. Carvalho, Esq. Appointed to Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA Water Resources Protection Task Force

Environmental Attorney, Michael P. Carvalho, Esq., was unanimously appointed to serve as an At-Large Member of Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA Water Resources Protection Task Force at a recent meeting of the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen and Conservation Commission recently formed the new task force to focus on protecting critical water resources. The town is currently experiencing many environmental challenges, to include development pressures and climate change issues that threaten its drinking water and stormwater management.  “Our coastal community is at critical crossroads as we share the responsibility to balance protection of our water resources, while implementing State mandated development obligations.  It is always a privilege to serve the town and share my knowledge in decades of experience with these issues,” said Carvalho.

Attorney Carvalho currently serves as a Member of the Board of the Salem Sound Coastwatch, a Trustee of the Manchester-Essex Conservation Trust and Board Secretary of Citizens Initiative for Manchester Affordable Housing.  He is president of Carvalho & Associates, P.C., an environmental law firm with offices in Boston and Atlanta.  Mike lives in Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA with his wife and children. He can be reached at (678) 354-0066 or mpc@carvalholawfirm.com.

EPA Strengthens Underground Storage Tank Requirements to Improve Prevention and Detection of Leaks

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Environmental Protection (EPA) is strengthening the federal underground storage tank (UST) requirements to improve prevention and detection of petroleum releases from USTs which are one of the leading sources of groundwater contamination. EPA’s action will strengthen existing requirements and help ensure all USTs in the United States meet the same release protection standards.

“These changes will better protect people’s health and benefit the environment in communities across the country by improving prevention and detection of underground storage tank releases,” said Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. “Extensive and meaningful collaboration with our underground storage tank partners and stakeholders was vital to the development of the new regulations. The revised requirements will also help ensure consistency in implementing the tanks program among states and on tribal lands.”

Secondary containment and operator training requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 will apply to USTs on tribal lands. In addition, these requirements improve EPA’s original 1988 UST regulation by closing regulatory gaps, adding new technologies, and focusing on properly operating and maintaining existing UST systems.

Underground storage tanks are located at hundreds of thousands of facilities across America. Both marketers and non-retail facilities own USTs. Marketers include retail facilities such as gas stations and convenience stores that sell petroleum products. Non-retail facilities include those that do not sell petroleum products, but may rely on their own supply of gasoline or diesel for taxis, buses, limousines, trucks, vans, boats, heavy equipment, or a wide range of other vehicles.

The revised requirements include:

  • adding secondary containment requirements for new and replaced tanks and piping;
  • adding operator training requirements;
  • adding periodic operation and maintenance requirements for UST systems;
  • removing past deferrals for emergency generator tanks, airport hydrant systems, and field-constructed tanks;
  • adding new release prevention and detection technologies;
  • updating codes of practice; and
  • updating state program approval requirements to incorporate these new changes.

States and territories primarily implement the UST program. Many states already have some of these new requirements in place. For others, these changes will set standards that are more protective.

In developing the final UST regulation, EPA reached out extensively to affected and interested UST stakeholders. EPA carefully considered the environmental benefits of the UST requirements, while balancing those with the potential future costs of compliance for UST owners and operators. For example, EPA is not requiring owners and operators to replace existing equipment, but rather is focusing on better operation and maintenance of that equipment.

The docket for the UST regulation is EPA-HQ-UST-2011-0301 and can be accessed at www.regulations.gov when the final regulation is published.

More information is available at EPA’s UST regulation website at: UST regulation

“Underwater in Salem Sound” – Environmental Lecture Series

MARBLEHEAD, MA – On Wednesday, February 26, 2014, Environmental Attorney Michael Carvalho will attend the Salem Sound Coastwatch lecture series, “Underwater in Salem Sound. In this lecture series, which will be held the last Wednesday of the month January through April, experts will explore life in local coastal waters.

The Lecture Series is part of a MET (Massachusetts Environmental Trust) grant awarded to Salem Sound Coastwatch to study the issue of turbidity in Salem Harbor over the next two and a half years.  Turbidity, which is cloudiness in the water column, affects the ability of the water to sustain marine life.

On  January 29, 2014, Dr. Robert Buchsbaum, conservation scientist with Mass Audubon, gave an illustrated presentation on the fascinating arctic birds that are only visible in Salem Sound during the winter. These seasonal guests come to local waters for the abundant food provided by Salem Sound’s fish, snails, mussels and underwater plants.

Then in February, Dr. Brad Hubeny, professor of geologic sciences at Salem State University, will talk about “History Revealed by the Sea Floor.” Hubeny’s research includes using sediment records to reconstruct pollution and human influence on natural water bodies.

In the third session, “Changing Climate, Changing Fishes,” Dr. Mike Armstrong of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries will talk about the decline of flounder, the burgeoning squid population and the changing species of fish resulting from changing water temperatures.

 The series wraps up in April with “Shellfish, Shellfish Everywhere and Not a Clam to Eat” — a look at Salem Sound’s productive, but not edible, shellfish beds, by Barbara Warren of Salem Sound Coastwatch.

“Salem Sound’s natural resources play a huge role in the ecological, social and economic life of our region,” said Warren, Coastwatch’s executive director. “This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about our great neighbor, the ocean.”

To learn more about this lecture series, please go to: Underwater-in-Salem-Sound Lecture Series.

This Lecture Series is funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Environmental Trust (MET).  MET is funded through the sale of environmental license plates. Every Massachusetts driver who purchases one of the “Preserve the Trust” license plates is contributing to the Trust and to the state’s environmental well-being.


Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association Annual Tradeshow

FALMOUTH, MA – Attorney Michael Carvalho attended the The Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association Tradeshow on January 23rd – 26th, 2014, at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth, MA. Michael Carvalho is an avid scuba diver, a certified Divemaster and Rescue Diver, and teaches scuba diving to adults and children. He is an experienced sailor and has sailed throughout New England, the Great Lakes, Florida, the Caribbean, and the Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific. He enjoys spending his free time scuba diving for lobsters in the Cape Ann area of Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association was established in 1963 by the fishermen, for the fishermen, and is presently the leading commercial fishing industry association in New England. On behalf of the 1,600 members, the MLA works to maintain both the industry and the resource. The MLA strives to be proactive on issues affecting the lobster industry and is active in the management process at both the state and federal levels.

The MLA communicates with its members through a monthly newsletter, email list, Facebook, Twitter and attendance at meetings. For the past 50 years, the MLA has become a trustworthy voice for the industry on important issues, and is looked to by both the fishing industry and the management community.

For more information about this event, please visit: www.lobstermen.com