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HOUSE DOCKET, NO.                 FILED ON: 3/18/2014

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 4006

 

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

 

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In the Year Two Thousand Fourteen

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An Act valuing our natural resources.

 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 80A of Chapter 131 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2012 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 2, the words “ place, maintain, manufacturer or possess” and inserting in place thereof, the following words:-  place or maintain

              SECTION 2. Paragraph 5 of said section 80A of said chapter 131, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the words “authorized agent”, in line 71, the following words:-

              may apply to the municipal board of health to renew the initial emergency permit issued. The municipal board of health upon determination that said threat exists shall immediately renew the emergency for a period not exceeding 10 days. Each renewal of an initial emergency permit shall authorize the applicant or his authorized agent to immediately use any of the alleviation options specified in the prior paragraph as determined by the municipal board of health to remedy said threat. Said initial emergency permit may be renewed by the municipal board of health for two additional periods not exceeding 10 days for each period; subject to the application and determination requirements under this paragraph for such renewals. If a renewal of an emergency permit is denied, the applicant or his duly authorized agent may appeal under the same appeal procedure established for a denial of an emergency permit application. A determination by a municipal board of health of an application for said emergency permit or the renewal of such permit shall be rendered within 7 days of its receipt; and if denied, the applicant or his duly authorized agent shall be sent written notice of the reason for the denial with information on the procedure to appeal the adverse decision. If said threat has not been alleviated after the expiration of the third renewal of said initial emergency permit, the applicant or his duly authorized agent

              SECTION 3.  Said section 80A, of said chapter 131, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting immediately before the last paragraph, the following paragraphs: -

              A person or his duly authorized agent who is issued any permit or renewal thereof, as provided under this section, shall within 10 days after the expiration of such permit or renewal, make a report on a form prescribed by the director, to the division, state department of public health and any municipal board of health that issued the permit or renewal. Each report shall include: the name of the issuing authority, permit or renewal date, property address of the authorized trapping or alleviation activity, name of the property owner or tenant, name of the applicant and authorized agent, alleviation technique utilized, number and species of any animals, taken and other necessary information as required by the director.

              Periodically, the director and the commissioner of the state department of public health, or their representatives, shall consult and analyze the reports submitted and other related information obtained from municipal boards of health or governmental sources, to assist in identifying animal problems considered a recurrent threat to human health and safety in local geographical areas. Such threat areas when so identified shall be declared publically by the commissioner.

              For beaver and muskrat declared threat areas, the commissioner shall notify and direct municipal boards of health having jurisdiction, to immediately issue, upon proper application and determination, emergency permits and renewals of said permits, authorizing the use of any alleviation options specified under the fourth paragraph. Unless otherwise provided under this paragraph, emergency permits issued for a declared threat area shall not exceed 20 days and upon application, shall be renewable for comparable periods by the issuing authority when determined as necessary to abate said threat. Within 90 days after the declaration of a threat area, the director and commissioner shall develop, with the assistance of municipal boards of health and municipal conservation commissions having jurisdiction and any state agency or department having authority under this section or custody of affected land, a mitigation action plan for the implementation of a long-term solution to eliminate or abate said threat.  Each plan shall specify the authorized management methods and traps that shall be utilized, to consist of any of the alleviation techniques or options listed under the fourth paragraph. In developing the plan, the use of non-lethal management techniques and water flow devices shall be considered where viable and effective, subject to the determinations and conditions of conservation commissions and the provisions of section 40. The plan shall also consider the management of beaver or muskrat populations in the threat area. Said emergency permits or renewals shall be issued by the municipal board of health of jurisdiction, upon proper application, and shall be limited to the number of days established by the plan, provided, no permit or renewal issued shall be valid for not more than 30 days. In all other respects, a permit or renewal so issued shall conform with an established plan to the extent feasible for current conditions.  The director and commissioner shall monitor and assess the effectiveness of each plan and as necessary may modify such plan, threat area or classification of any part of a declared area. The commissioner shall notify area municipal boards of heath and municipal conservation commissions of declared areas and any modifications to a threat area or plan.  All current declared threat areas, mitigation action plans and any related modifications shall be posted by the state department of public health on its public website.

              The state public health department commissioner shall be authorized to issue emergency permits and renew such permits, authorizing the immediate use of any of the alleviation techniques or options listed under the fourth paragraph, as he determines is necessary to protect human health and safety.

              The department and division shall adopt and require the use of uniform administrative forms for applications, appeals, notices, permits and mitigation reports under this section. Such forms shall be displayed on the respective public website of the division or state public health department in a user printable format.

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