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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 43: Permit proceedings; regulations; requirements of permit; application; forms; fees

Section 43. (1) For purposes of this section, ''permit proceeding'' includes the consideration of any application for a permit and of any proposal or request to suspend, revoke, modify or renew a permit. ''Permit determination'' means the decision of the director upon such application, proposal or request.

(2) No person shall discharge pollutants into waters of the commonwealth nor construct, install, modify, operate or maintain an outlet for such discharge or any treatment works, without a currently valid permit issued by the director. No person shall engage in any other activity that may reasonably be expected to result, directly or indirectly, in discharge of pollutants into waters of the commonwealth, nor construct, effect, maintain, modify or use any sewer extension or connection, without a currently valid permit issued by the director, unless exempted by regulation of the director.

(3) The director shall adopt regulations with respect to permit proceedings and determinations. Applications for permits shall be submitted within times and on forms prescribed by the director and shall contain such information as he may require.

(4) Public notice of every permit proceeding, including proceedings under paragraph (10), shall be given in the manner provided by section three of chapter thirty A. The director shall circulate information received concerning the matter pending in accordance with the provisions of clause (7) of section twenty-seven and may hold a public hearing if he deems such hearing to be in the public interest. If the applicant or permittee requests a hearing, the director shall hold a public hearing on the matter in a community within the affected area of the discharge, at least thirty days after giving notice thereof. The director may, upon request of a permittee, revise a schedule of compliance in an issued permit if the director determines that good and valid cause, for which the permittee is not at fault, exists for such revision, and in such cases the provisions of this paragraph for public notice and hearing shall not apply. The director may also suspend this paragraph for public notice and hearing by promulgating regulations establishing a process for renewal of a previously issued permit where renewal of such permit does not require significant changes. If the director has proposed to suspend or revoke a permit, in whole or in part, pursuant to paragraph (10), and if the permittee requests an adjudicatory hearing under section forty-five on the proposed determination, the requested hearing may be held as part of the public hearing to be afforded under this paragraph.

(5) The director shall grant a permit only if the discharge and the treatment works proposed in an initial or an amended application will, in his judgement, conform to effluent limitations specified in the permit, and will conform to regulations, receiving water standards and comprehensive plans adopted by the division. The director shall issue any permit proposed for issuance under this section providing it conforms to all applicable provisions of federal law and of rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

(6) The director shall establish standard and short application forms for discharge permits.

(a) Upon submission of an application short form to the director, an applicant shall pay a fee determined pursuant to section eighteen of chapter twenty-one A;

(b) Upon submission of an application standard form to the director, an applicant shall pay a fee to be determined pursuant to section eighteen of chapter twenty-one A, and if there is more than one outlet from which the discharge will flow, an additional fee, also determined under the aforementioned provision, shall be paid for each additional outlet. Any applicant submitting an application standard form who has previously filed an application short form may deduct from the fee submitted the amount previously submitted with the short form;

(c) Any new or increased discharges of pollutants, however, shall be reported in the appropriate application form. Agencies or instrumentalities of federal, commonwealth, or local governments shall not be required to pay any fee to the commonwealth in connection with the filing of an application.

(7) A permit shall specify effluent limitations, interim and final deadlines as appropriate for compliance, the term for which the permit is issued, which shall not be in excess of 20 years, as prescribed by the director by regulation for each category of permits and such requirements of proper operation and maintenance, monitoring, sampling, recording, reporting and inspection as the director may prescribe; provided, however, that the term for permits issued for wastewater discharges of 10,000 gallons per day or more to ground waters of the Commonwealth, and wastewater discharges to surface waters shall not be in excess of 5 years. Permits may specify additional requirements as the director deems necessary to safeguard the quality of the receiving waters or to comply with pertinent provisions of the laws of the commonwealth or of federal law, including technical controls and other components of treatment works to be constructed or installed and provisions for insuring payments of user charges.

(8) A permit for a discharge to publicly owned treatment works shall require a user to comply with pretreatment standards and other safeguards which the director may require to prevent excessive or improper waste loadings. With the approval of the director, a municipality, individually or acting in concert with other municipalities, a district, commission, authority or other public agency operating treatment works may administer, in whole or in part, the system of permits that shall regulate discharges to those works.

(9) A permit for a discharge from publicly owned treatment works shall require the applicant to have in effect or to establish without delay, and to enforce, an adequate sewer ordinance that prohibits introduction of incompatible wastes and slug loadings into the works, and that requires pretreatment where appropriate. A permit granted under this section shall require the permittee to monitor and report periodically to the director upon waste flows to the treatment works, to adopt procedures that will assist in identifying the source and nature of any new source of discharges to the works and any significant change in such flow and to safeguard against excessive loading of the collection and treatment system and to report same to the director. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as superseding the powers of any district or municipality under existing law to enact and enforce sewer ordinances and to issue permits for sewer connections consistent with the provisions of this chapter and any regulations issued hereunder.

(10) The director may propose and determine to modify, suspend, or revoke any outstanding permit, in whole or in part, for cause, including, but not limited to, violation of any permit term, obtaining a permit by misrepresentation or failure to disclose fully all relevant facts or any change in or discovery of conditions that calls for reduction or discontinuance of the authorized discharge. The director may also modify a permit at the request of the permittee upon a showing, satisfactory to the director, that the requested modification is appropriate in view of circumstances for which the permittee is not at fault.