Section 2: Duties and functions; inter-agency information, services and plans; filing applications
Section 2. The office and its appropriate departments and divisions shall carry out the state environmental policy and in so doing they shall:
(1) develop policies, plans, and programs for carrying out their assigned duties;
(2) provide for the management of air, water and land resources to assure the protection and balanced utilization of such resources within the commonwealth, realizing that providing safe water to drink and clean air to breathe is a basic mandate;
(3) provide for the propagation, protection, control and management of fish, other aquatic life, wildlife, and endangered species and promote and further develop hunting, fishing, recreational and competitive marksmanship, and trapping opportunities in the commonwealth;
(4) aid in the promotion and development of the food and agricultural resources of the commonwealth to preserve agricultural lands, and insure an adequate supply of high quality farm products;
(5) provide for the regulation and management of marine and coastal fisheries and natural resources including those located in the territorial waters, the economic zone waters and the continental shelf, wetlands, estuaries, shorelines, and interior of the commonwealth;
(6) promote the perpetuation, extension, and proper management of the public and private forest lands of the commonwealth;
(7) develop statewide policies regarding the acquisition, protection, and use of areas of critical environmental concern to the commonwealth;
(8) develop and administer programs relating to recreation including the acquisition of land, development of facilities, and the provision of advisory services to municipalities and private organizations;
(9) promote the best usage of land, water, and air to optimize and preserve environmental quality by encouraging and providing for, in cooperation with other appropriate state agencies, planned industrial, commercial, recreational and community development;
(10) provide for the prevention and abatement of water, land, air, noise, and other pollution or environmental degradation;
(11) promote the preservation and enhancement of natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic qualities in both urban and rural areas;
(12) provide for the control of insects, plant diseases, and pests, and regulate the use, and disposal of pesticides;
(13) develop programs relating to the reclamation or disposal of solid waste material and the operation of sewer and water systems;
(14) encourage the restoration and reclamation of degraded or despoiled areas, including harbors and inland and coastal waters;
(15) manage all lands and properties acquired by or assigned to them to preserve their natural beauty, wilderness, or open character or hydrological, geological, historical, scientific, wildlife management, recreational or other significance or value;
(16) assist other state and regional agencies in developing appropriate programs and policies relating to land use planning and regulation in the commonwealth;
(17) analyze and make recommendations, in cooperation with other state and regional agencies, concerning the development of energy policies and programs in the commonwealth;
(18) advise, assist, and cooperate with such other departments, agencies, authorities, officials, and institutions, including state institutions of higher learning, as may be concerned with or involved in matters under their control or supervision;
(19) encourage recycling, resource recovery and environmentally sound purchasing practices to conserve resources and reduce waste;
(20) monitor the environment to identify changes and to insure efficient and effective control practices;
(21) develop environmental data management capabilities to aid environmental planning and decision-making;
(22) encourage, support, and undertake research and development and maintain laboratory and other research facilities to produce information relating to the ecological system, pollution prevention and abatement, resource management, and other areas essential to implementing the environmental policies of the commonwealth;
(23) advise and assist local governments, private and public institutions, organizations and associations, businesses, industries, and individuals by providing and acting as a clearinghouse for environmental information, data, and other materials;
(24) promote the development of sound environmental education programs;
(25) represent and act on behalf of the commonwealth in connection with federal grant programs;
(26) keep accounts, records, personal data, enter into contracts, adjust claims, accept gifts, grants, bequests and devises, and subject to appropriation acquire real or personal property by eminent domain or otherwise;
(27) advise and assist state agencies, cities, towns, and other units of local government in the preparation of grant or loan applications with respect to any environmental protection or enhancement programs;
(28) promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out their statutory responsibilities;
(29) consistent with their statutory responsibilities, implement the coastal zone management program established pursuant to section four A.
(30) consistent with chapter 21N, oversee state agency efforts to address and diminish the impacts of climate change by coordinating state agency actions to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions limits established in chapter 21N.
In order to assist the office in the discharge of its duties, the secretary may request from any agency or political subdivision of the commonwealth any information relevant to the discharge of such duties.
An information copy of each application submitted by any state agency, including all state institutions of higher learning or any political subdivision to any public or private agency for a grant or loan with respect to any environmental protection or enhancement program, including the acquisition of land and facilities for these purposes shall be filed with the office not later than the twentieth day after submission.
As the primary agency of the commonwealth for environmental planning, the office shall utilize the services and plans of regional planning agencies, conservation districts, conservation commissions and historical commissions in fulfilling its environmental planning responsibilities.