Section 3I. (a) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, the Massachusetts office of business development shall upon receipt of qualifying applications, expend not less than $500,000 annually in matching grants to assist municipalities to purchase environmental insurance naming as an additional insured the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or the office of planning and programming and construction, as applicable, for purposes of establishing and maintaining rail-trails, as defined in section 2 of chapter 21E and section 35A of chapter 82, utilizing the Brownfield’s Redevelopment Access to Capital Policy Form or similar or replacement form, with terms, conditions, amendments and endorsements as appropriate under the circumstances of the proposed rail-trail project, and with coverage limits of at least $3,000,000 per incident, a deductible of at most $50,000 per incident, and a term of at least 5 years.
(b) Unless specifically required by federal law in connection with any grant for construction of a rail-trail, a municipality that has applied for and received a grant and has purchased the environmental insurance as described in subsection (a) shall not be required to furnish to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the executive office of transportation and public works or any person having an interest in the rail-trail project site, any other form of environmental insurance, or any defense, indemnification or hold-harmless agreement with respect to any claims, injuries, costs, damages or other relief arising out of or related to the pre-existing release or threat of release of oil or hazardous materials, as those terms are defined in chapter 21E, at or from the project site in connection with the design, acquisition, construction, use or maintenance of the rail-trail for which the application is made.
(c) This section shall only apply to rail-trail projects on land in which a city or town acquires or has acquired an interest by deed, easement, lease, license or otherwise from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority or the executive office of transportation and public works or a successor agency of either of them for the design, installation, construction, operation, maintenance or use of a rail-trail, as defined in section 2 of chapter 21E. The Massachusetts office of business development shall promulgate regulations, policies, or directives necessary to expedite the receipt and approval of grant applications from municipalities under this section.