SECTION 1. Section 26A of chapter 21 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting the following definitions:-
“CSO discharge”, a discharge of treated, untreated, or incompletely treated sewage, industrial waste, or other waste into, directly or indirectly, a public waterway from a combined sewer system that has exceeded its maximum capacity.
“CSO outfall”, a location at which a combined sewer system is designed to produce a CSO discharge.
"Combined sewer system", a system so designed or constructed as to allow surface runoff to enter the conduit carrying sewage, industrial waste, or other waste.
“Discharge flow data,” measurements consisting of the date and daily flow rate of CSO discharge collected using meters at CSO outfalls and the daily rainfall measured at a proximate location in the same watershed as the outfall.
“Discharge notifications,” reports written in plain language and delivered to registered members of the public by electronic mail to notify them of all CSO discharges that occurred in a watershed in the past 24 hours. The notification shall state (1) the volume of all CSO discharges, (2) the location of all discharging outfalls and their operating authority, (3) the approximate time and date when each CSO discharge began and ended, (4) the level of treatment of each CSO discharge, and (5) the geographic area that may be affected by its flow or by potential flooding. Furthermore, the notification shall include the following general information, (1) a list of common primary and secondary contact activities which the department of environmental protection has identified that the waterway can support in dry conditions, (2) information about the public health implications of CSO discharges and what recreational activities are impaired under these circumstances, (3) widely applicable precautionary measures that recreational users can take to avoid health risk including, but not limited to, advisories against primary or secondary contact activities within a certain time period of rainfall or CSO discharge events, and (4) a list of all authorities that operate outfalls in the watershed. Registered notification recipients shall include the two largest circulation newspapers as identified by the department of environmental protection in each watershed containing a CSO outfall, all boards of health as defined in Section 1 of Chapter 111 operated by municipalities in the watershed, and the department of public health.
“Level of treatment”, a description in plain language of the measures taken to remove contaminants from sewage before its discharge at a CSO outfall. This description should include, but not be limited to, disinfectant procedures undertaken to remove bacteria, filtration to remove solids, and any nutrient removal procedures.
“Watersheds”, the geographic area and natural basin from within which water drains or in natural course would drain into a major water of the commonwealth, as determined by the department of environmental protection.
SECTION 2. Section 43 of chapter 21 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after paragraph (10) the following paragraph:-
(11) Permits or variances granted under this section for any CSO outfalls emptying into public waterways shall include the following requirements:
(a) The permittee shall install and maintain metering equipment at the outfall to collect discharge flow data. This data shall be collected and made available to the department of environmental protection electronically on a daily basis. The department of environmental protection shall promulgate all necessary regulations to enable the accessibility and prompt collection of this data.
(b) Signage shall be installed at a clearly visible site adjacent to the CSO outfall and any public access point to the waterway which the department of environmental protection determines to be affected by CSO discharges at the CSO outfall. The department of environmental protection shall promulgate rules and regulations for the content, placement, and maintenance of CSO outfall signage. This content shall include, but not be limited to, descriptions of the existence of the CSO outfall, associated health risks due to bacterial and chemical contamination following CSO discharges, and appropriate precautions the public should take to ensure safe recreation in and around the waterway. Furthermore, the signage shall use plain language and include pictographic figures clearly communicating these factors to non-English speakers. The department of environmental protection shall coordinate with the department of conservation and recreation to administer placement of signage on department of conservation and recreation lands.
SECTION 3. Chapter 21 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 43 the following section:-
Section 43A. (a) The department of environmental protection shall establish and maintain a website for reporting to the public any CSO discharges, using the discharge flow data collected under Subsection 11 of Section 43 of this chapter.
The website shall have features including, but not limited to, (1) a report of all discharge flow data collected from each CSO outfall permitted under Section 43, updated within 24 hours of receipt of the data from the permittee, (2) past daily CSO discharge monitoring data maintained for a period not less than ten years, (3) an application by which any member of the public may receive discharge notifications by electronic mail related to any particular outfall or set of outfalls, to be delivered at the same time the discharge commences, (4) a record of all past discharge notifications.
(b) The department of environmental protection shall issue an annual watershed CSO discharge report by April 15th of each year to the registered recipients of discharge notifications, which shall include an annual summary report of the previous year’s CSO discharge volumes and frequencies, the operating authorities of all CSO outfalls in the watershed, and the general information included in the discharge notifications.
(c) The department of environmental protection shall have the authority to post any available discharge flow data collected prior to the adoption of the permit requirement to this website.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.