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The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 27: Division of water pollution control; powers and duties

Section 27. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the division to enhance the quality and value of water resources and to establish a program for prevention, control, and abatement of water pollution. Said division shall:

(1) Encourage or require the adoption and execution by cities, towns, districts, commissions, authorities and other public agencies, and industries and other users of the waters of the commonwealth and by cooperative groups of municipalities and industries of plans for the prevention, control and abatement of water pollution.

(2) Cooperate with appropriate federal agencies or the agencies of other states, or with interstate agencies in matters related to water quality control, and shall receive and dispense such funds from any such agencies as may be available for the prevention, control and abatement of water pollution. Said division shall also cooperate with and assist departments, boards, officials and institutions of the commonwealth or its political subdivisions that may be concerned in any way with problems of water pollution.

(3) Take all action necessary or appropriate to secure to the commonwealth the benefits of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, Public Law 92–500, as amended, and other federal legislation pertaining to water pollution control.

(4) Conduct a program of study and research and demonstration, by itself or in cooperation with other governmental agencies, relating to new and improved methods of pollution abatement or more efficient methods of water quality control, including the treatment, neutralization and stabilization of sewage and industrial waste and the disposal thereof by treatment or disposal plant, sewer systems, pumping stations, or acceleration flow or by other methods, facilities or equipment so as to insure cleaner waters in the coastal waters, rivers, streams, lakes and ponds of the commonwealth.

(5) Adopt standards of minimum water quality which shall be applicable to the various waters or portions of waters of the commonwealth. Standards relating to the public health shall not be adopted without the approval of the commissioner of public health.

(6) Prescribe effluent limitations, permit programs and procedures applicable to the management and disposal of pollutants, including, where appropriate, prohibition of discharges.

(7) Require dischargers to establish monitoring, sampling, record keeping and reporting procedures and facilities, and to submit to the director data gathered therefrom and such other data as he shall reasonably request for purposes of carrying out this chapter. The director may make such data, and any data obtained pursuant to the provisions of section forty, available to other government agencies concerned with the protection of public waters or water supplies, and to the public for inspection and copying, except that he shall not permit disclosure, other than to another government agency as provided in the preceding clause, of any information, other than effluent data, obtained by or submitted to him pursuant to any provision of this chapter, upon a showing, satisfactory to him, that such information if made public would divulge methods or processes entitled to protection as trade secrets of any person.

(8) Examine periodically the water quality of the various coastal waters, rivers, streams, lakes and ponds of the commonwealth, or separate portions of such waters, and publish the results of such examinations together with the standard of water quality established for the various waters or portions thereof.

(9) Adopt regulations requiring proper operation and maintenance of waste treatment facilities.

(10) Conduct a continuing planning process which will result in plans for reducing, controlling and eliminating discharges to all waters of the commonwealth, and prepare or supervise the preparation of, and adopt, comprehensive river basin, watershed-based and regional plans for abatement of such discharges by means of treatment works or other practical control facilities and methods. No such facility or method shall be approved for a construction grant under section thirty-three or for a permit under section forty-three unless it is in conformity with any applicable plans adopted by the division.

(11) Arrange for personnel engaged in the work of water pollution prevention and abatement to take courses designed to instruct employees of water pollution control facilities, including sewage treatment and disposal systems, in the latest and most efficient methods of water pollution control and the latest developments in the operation and maintenance of plants and facilities for the prevention or abatement of water pollution.

(12) Adopt, amend or repeal after hearing from time to time, with the approval of the water resources commission, rules and regulations which it deems necessary for the proper administration of the laws relative to water pollution control and to the protection of the quality and value of water resources, including regulations to control or prevent the discharge of sewage, garbage or other waste material from watercraft of any type, including houseboats. Such rules and regulations as shall relate to the public health shall not be adopted without the written approval of the commissioner of public health.

(13) Require submissions for approval of reports and plans of abatement facilities or any part thereof, and inspect the construction thereof for compliance with the approved plans.