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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE II EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH
  • CHAPTER 21 DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
  • Section 28 Water pollution abatement districts; establishment; dissolution; enlargement or consolidation

Section 28. (a) The division is hereby authorized, with the approval of the water resources commission, to propose water pollution abatement districts consisting of one or more cities or towns, or designated parts thereof, for the purposes set forth in section thirty. The district so proposed shall be deemed to be established after approval by the city or town, or designated parts thereof, proposed for inclusion in the district or upon the mandatory formation of the district in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b).

(b) Within 90 days of receipt by a city or town council of a proposal by the division and approved by the commission or within 90 days of receipt by a municipality of an approval of an area-wide waste treatment management plan update under section 208 of the federal Clean Water Act that includes a proposed water pollution abatement district as the designated area-wide waste treatment management agency for that municipality or that a water pollution abatement district which includes that municipality shall be established, the city or town council shall consider the proposal and indicate its approval or disapproval by voting by yeas and nays upon a question in substantially the following form:

''Shall there be established a water pollution abatement district as recommended by the division of water pollution control and approved by the water resources commission, to include the city (cities) of (herein name of city or cities so proposed for inclusion) and the town (towns) of (herein name of town or towns proposed for inclusion in part) and the construction, acquisition, extension, improvement, maintenance and operation of a system of water pollution abatement facilities by the the district in accordance with chapter 21 of the General Laws?''

Within 90 days of receipt by the selectmen or the city or town council of a municipality of a proposal by the division and approved by the commission that a water pollution abatement district which includes that municipality or a part of a municipality shall be established or within 90 days of receipt by the selectmen or the city or town council of any municipality of an approval of an area-wide waste treatment management plan update under section 208 of the Federal Clean Water Act that includes a proposed water pollution abatement district as the designated area-wide waste treatment management agency for that municipality, the selectmen or the city or town council shall cause to be presented for determination by vote, with printed ballots at an annual or special town meeting or special election called for the purpose, the question of approving the proposal, which question shall be in substantially the form set forth above. If the proposed district includes any part of a city or town, the selectmen or the city or town council shall call a special meeting for the purpose of approving the proposal at which only registered voters resident in that part of the municipality proposed to be included in the district may vote. The warrant for such meeting shall be posted in not less than 2 public places in the part of the municipality affected at least 7 days before the day of the meeting and the moderator or city clerk shall preside at such meeting and the city or town clerk shall keep the records thereof. Whenever within that 90-day period each municipality or part thereof proposed for inclusion in the district shall have indicated its approval of the proposed district by vote in the affirmative on the question in the manner described in this subsection, the district shall be deemed to be established. In the event that the municipality or a part of the municipality proposed by the division for inclusion in a district fails to vote in the affirmative on the question within the 90-day period, the director shall conduct a public hearing. Upon completion of the hearing, the director may, upon finding that the creation of the district is necessary for the prompt and efficient abatement of water pollution and with the approval of the water resources commission, declare the mandatory formation of the district.

(c) An established district may be dissolved only by act of the general court. The division, with the approval of the commission, may from time to time propose the enlargement of a district or the consolidation of two or more districts, subject to approval by the general court or approval in the manner provided in subsection (b).

If the enlargement or consolidation involves a district formed mandatorily as provided in subsection (b), the director shall conduct a public hearing. Upon completion of the hearing, the director may, upon finding that the formation of the district is necessary for the prompt and efficient abatement of water pollution and with the approval of the water resources commission, declare the enlargement or consolidation on the part of the district.

(d) If the division deems water pollution abatement necessary, but the benefits of such abatement are likely to be increased, or its costs to the commonwealth reduced by joint action with another state or states contiguous to the commonwealth, it shall report said fact to the water resources commission which shall consult with the appropriate agency of such other state or states on such matters and shall make recommendations to the general court in relation thereto.

(e) The provisions of subsections (b) and (c) of this section, of sections twenty-nine, thirty, thirty-two, thirty-five and thirty-six shall apply only to a district or district commission created pursuant to this section, and to any city, town or portion thereof which is a member of such district.