SECTION 1. Notwithstanding sections 40E and 40J of chapter 7 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the commissioner of conservation and recreation, may convey permanent easements over, under and through portions of certain parcels of land in the Monroe State Forest in the Town of Monroe, to Massachusetts Electric Company, its successors and assigns, solely for the purposes of clearing of vegetation in connection with the construction, operation, and maintenance of an electrical tie line for a wind power facility, subject to the provisions of sections 3 and 4 of this act, and to such reasonable additional terms and conditions consistent with this act as the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the commissioner of conservation and recreation may prescribe. The parcels are more particularly described in a deed to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recorded in Book 690, Page 231 of the Franklin county registry of deeds. The permanent easement to be granted shall apply to 8,000 square feet of land in the aggregate, more or less, as more fully described on plans prepared by Hill-Engineers, Architects, Planners, Inc., and numbered respectively as drawings VE-106 - 108. Each of these plans is filed with the department of conservation and recreation. Modifications to the easement description set forth in the plans described above may be made in order to conform with a final land survey, as accepted by the division and the department, before any conveyance to carry out the purposes of this act.
SECTION 2. There shall be an independent appraisal, or appraisals, of the easements described in section 1 to be conveyed as authorized by this act to determine the full and fair market value, or the value in use as proposed, based upon 1 or more independent professional appraisals as commissioned by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance. The grantee of these easements shall compensate the commonwealth in an amount greater than, or equal to, the full and fair market value, or the value in use of these easements as proposed, whichever is greater, as determined by these independent professional appraisals. For the purposes of the appraisal, the full and fair market value of the area to be conveyed shall be calculated with regard to its full development potential as assembled with other abutting lands owned or otherwise controlled by Massachusetts Electric Company, if any. The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall submit these appraisals and a report thereon to the inspector general for his review and comment. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the inspector general shall review and approve the appraisal or appraisals, and the review shall include an examination of the methodology used for the appraisal or appraisals. The inspector general shall prepare a report of his review and file the report with the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets. The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall, 30 days before the execution of a conveyance authorized by this act, or a subsequent amendment thereto, submit the proposed conveyance or amendment and a report thereon to the inspector general for his review and comment. The inspector general shall issue his review and comment within 15 days after receipt of the proposed conveyance or amendment. The commissioner shall submit the proposed conveyance or amendment, and the reports and the comments of the inspector general, if any, to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets at least 15 days before the execution of the conveyance or amendment.
SECTION 3. To ensure a no-net-loss of lands protected for conservation purposes, the conveyance shall only occur if the easement holder has mitigated, or caused to be mitigated, the impact and conveyed, or caused to be conveyed, to the commonwealth or its designee land or an interest in land to be held by the department of conservation and recreation or its designee for said conservation purposes. The land or interest in land shall be of greater value than as determined in accordance with section 2 and shall be acceptable to the department, in its discretion.
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, Massachusetts Electric Company shall be responsible for all costs and expenses, including, but not limited to, costs associated with any engineering, surveys, appraisals and deed preparation, directly related to the conveyance authorized in this act as those costs may be determined by the commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance.
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