Chapter 91 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following section:—
Section 11B. The department is hereby authorized to establish a program within the office of waterways for the purpose of administering grants to one or more regional entities for the purchase of dredges and associated capital equipment. Regional entities shall mean any municipality, associations of municipalities, or other entity deemed fiscally and administratively qualified pursuant to regulations promulgated by the department. The regional entity or regional entities receiving a grant pursuant to this section shall be responsible for implementing a public harbor dredging program and shall be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the dredge program, the establishment and scheduling of services, the maintenance of books and records and for obtaining permits. The department shall provide to the committee on natural resources, the house committee on ways and means, and the senate committee on ways and means, no later than September 1 of each year in which grants are made, a written report as to the nature and scope of grants made in the preceding 12 months. The commissioner is authorized to make such rules and regulations as are necessary and appropriate to establish and administer grants pursuant to this section. In no event, however, shall the department be obligated to expend more than 2 million dollars annually for this purpose, which amount shall be available for expenditure by the department.
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