Logan Airport is surrounded by Boston Harbor on three sides. This close proximity to the harbor necessitates careful planning and management of airport operations to ensure that airfield activities do not adversely affect harbor water quality and associated sensitive natural resources. Massport has a comprehensive water quality management program in place to protect water quality at Logan Airport. This includes protection of surface water and groundwater and coastal resources from airport operations and during construction.
Massport's primary water quality goal is to prevent pollutant discharges, thus limiting potential adverse impacts associated with airport activities. Massport has employed several environmental protection programs to promote awareness of Massport and tenant activities that may impact surface and groundwater quality. Two such efforts, for example, are a Massport-instituted audit program to evaluate environmental compliance, and implementation of best management practices (BMPs) for pollution prevention by Massport and its tenant facilities.
In addition to implementing responsible environmental practices and BMPs, Massport provides guidance to its tenants. Massport also voluntarily participates in the Massachusetts Clean State and State Sustainability Initiatives, continuing its commitment to operate Logan Airport in an environmentally sound manner.
Storm Water Management
Protection of surface and groundwater resources is a high priority at Logan and Massport meets or exceeds all state and federal water quality regulations. A major component of Massport's water pollution prevention program is the development and implementation of a comprehensive stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP). The SWPPP integrates both water quality treatment and monitoring programs.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires permits for pollutant discharges into United States waters from a point source and for stormwater discharges associated with industrial activities. Permits are issued under the Federal EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program.
Presently, Massport holds two NPDES permits for Logan Airport: one permit for stormwater discharges from the four major outfalls at the airport; another permit for treated water discharges from fire-fighting operations at the Fire Training Facility on Governors Island. To ensure permit compliance, Massport monitors discharges from Logan Airport and submits regular data reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
NPDES Permit for Stormwater Outfalls
Massport's NPDES Permit (No. MA0000787) provides water quality standards for stormwater discharges from the North, West, Porter Street, and Maverick Street outfalls (Table and Map below). The North and West Outfalls both have end-of-pipe pollution control equipment for the removal of debris and floating oils. These outfalls handle most of the stormwater that is discharged from the fueling and maintenance areas at Logan Airport. Massport retains an emergency response contractor to monitor and maintain the pollution control systems, and to respond to spills and emergencies.
Stormwater Outfalls Subject to NPDES Requirements Monitoring Results
Water quality samples are collected regularly from Logan airport outfalls. The main outfalls that serve the terminal and operational areas are tested twice each month. One round of monitoring is conducted during dry weather and another during wet weather. These samples are tested for oil & grease, solids, hydrocarbons, bacteria, and surfactants. Quarterly sampling is conducted at the airfield outfalls for oil & grease, solids, and hydrocarbons. Monitoring for deicers are conducted twice each winter during a snow or ice event.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit
This permit issued by the U.S. EPA and
Massachusetts DEP covers Massport and tenant co-permittees at Logan.
Historical Monitoring Results
Historical monitoring results for Logan’s outfalls can be found in the
Logan Airport ESPR/EDR. Logan Stormwater Monitoring FAQ's
Review all FAQ's
Environmental Management Glossary Spill Management
The accidental release of fuel to the environment has a potential to impact adversely surface and groundwater features and associated environmental resources. This is particularly important since Logan Airport is surrounded on three sides by Boston Harbor. Massport takes a proactive approach to spill control and management in an effort to avoid spills and minimize their impact in the event there is a spill.
One important element of this comprehensive program involves close monitoring by Massport of fuel spillage by tenants and tracking the status of spill response actions and compliance with the Massachusetts Contingency Plan (MCP). The table below compares the historical jet fuel use data to spill volumes since 1999.
The Massport Fire-Rescue Department keeps logs of all spills at Logan Airport. State environmental regulations require the responsible party to report all 10-gallon or larger petroleum spills to the MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In 2003, of the 133 spills reported to the Logan Airport Fire-Rescue Department, 19 (14 percent) were greater than ten gallons in quantity. The volume of jet fuel spilled in 2003 increased over 2002 levels, although one spill accounted for 94 percent of the total volume of DEP/MCP reportable spills. As a result of this spill, both Massport and the company responsible for the spill have amended their spill prevention, control, and countermeasure plans.
Oil and Hazardous Materials Spills and Jet Fuel Handling