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General Laws

Section 37B. (a) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:—

“Aquatic nuisance”, undesirable or excessive substances or populations that interfere with the recreational or ecological potential of a body of water or interfere with the natural resources thereof and that shall include, but not be limited to, rooted aquatic vegetation and algae populations, dreissena mussels, spiny water fleas and any other invasive species that the commissioner declares to be an aquatic nuisance.

“Boat transporter”, any vehicle combination including a low-boy boat transporter, a stinger-steered boat transporter or a truck-trailer boat transporter, designed and used specifically for the transport of assembled boats and boat hulls; provided, however, that such boats may be partially disassembled to facilitate transportation.

“Inland waters”, all waters within the jurisdiction of the commonwealth other than coastal waters.

“Low-boy boat transporter”, a semi-trailer unit, the trailer of which is designed and used specifically for the transport of assembled boats and hulls; provided, however, that the top surface of the deck platform of such semi-trailer shall not be more than 36 inches above the surface on which the wheels of the vehicle rest.

“Stinger-steered boat transporter”, a boat transporter configured as a semitrailer combination on which the fifth wheel is located on a drop frame located behind and below the rear-most axle of the power unit.

“Truck-trailer boat transporter”, a boat transporter combination consisting of a truck towing a trailer typically using a ball and socket connection and the trailer axle thereon is located substantially at the trailer center of gravity, rather than at the rear of the trailer, so as to maintain a downward force on the trailer tongue.

“Vessel”, as defined in section 1 of chapter 90B.

(b) The department shall establish and maintain an aquatic nuisance control program. The aquatic nuisance control program shall: receive and respond to aquatic nuisance complaints; work with municipalities, local interest organizations and agencies to develop long-range programs regarding aquatic nuisance controls; work with federal, state and local governments to obtain funding for aquatic nuisance control programs; and administer the grant program under sections 37C and 37D.

(c) The department shall promulgate rules and regulations, in consultation with the department of fish and game, to enable the aquatic nuisance control program to suppress, eradicate, control and otherwise mitigate or reduce the risk of the spread of aquatic nuisances.

(d) The department shall study and promote improved methods of suppressing, controlling or otherwise mitigating or reducing the risk of the spread of aquatic nuisances and shall act in cooperation with federal and state agencies engaged in the study or control of aquatic nuisances.

(e) The department may: enter into contracts for the study, control and eradication of aquatic nuisances on behalf of the commonwealth; act in cooperation with any state agency, person or subdivision of the commonwealth, any other state, the United States or any foreign government; issue orders or establish quarantines to suppress or eradicate aquatic nuisances; and advise, make use of and require the use of all lawful means to suppress, control or otherwise mitigate or reduce the risk of the spread of aquatic nuisances.

(f) Except as otherwise authorized by the department, no person shall knowingly or intentionally place, or cause to be placed, an aquatic nuisance in or upon inland waters.

(g) Except as otherwise authorized by the department, no person shall place or cause to be placed in or upon inland waters any vessel, boat transporter, truck-trailer boat transporter or any other equipment used in conjunction with such vessel boat transporter or truck-trailer boat transporter, if the vessel, boat transporter, truck-trailer boat transporter or other equipment has growing thereon or attached thereto an aquatic nuisance, unless the vessel, boat transporter, truck-trailer boat transporter or other equipment used in connection therewith has been cleaned, decontaminated or treated to kill or remove the aquatic nuisance in accordance with the department’s regulations.

(h) Whoever: (1) violates subsection (f); (2) knowingly and willfully resists or obstructs the department and its duly authorized employees or agents from suppressing or eradicating aquatic nuisances shall be subject to a civil assessment of not more than $5,000 for each violation; provided, however, that each day that such violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate violation; provided further, that the penalty may be assessed by the department and may be recovered in an action brought on behalf of the commonwealth by the attorney general in the superior court; or (3) knowingly and willfully violates subsection (g) or knowingly violates any rule, regulation, order or quarantine issued by the commissioner pursuant to this section shall be subject to the fines and sanctions set forth in section 5D of chapter 90B.

(i) In addition to the penalties and assessments under subsection (h), the commonwealth may bring an action for injunctive relief in the superior court relative to any such violation and the superior court shall have jurisdiction to enjoin such violation and to grant such further relief as it deems appropriate.

(j) Nothing in this section shall be construed to or have the effect of limiting the authority of the division of fisheries and wildlife to manage and regulate inland fisheries resources and other wildlife pursuant to chapter 131 or chapter 131A.

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