Skip to Content

General Laws

Section 8. The department of environmental protection shall include the bureau of environmental sanitation and all the powers and duties assigned to said bureau which relate to environmental health, air pollution control, noise regulation, community sanitation, water supply and water quality, noisome trades and sanitary landfills, and including those set forth in sections two B, two C, five E, five F, five G, seventeen, twenty-three, twenty-four, thirty-one C, thirty-one D, one hundred and forty-two A to one hundred and forty-two E, inclusive, one hundred and forty-three, one hundred and forty-seven, one hundred and fifty A, one hundred and fifty-two, one hundred and fifty-nine, one hundred and sixty to one hundred and sixty-six, inclusive, and one hundred and seventy-five of chapter one hundred and eleven, the division of water pollution control, and the powers and duties contained in section forty of chapter one hundred and thirty-one. The department of environmental protection shall maintain, in one location, copies of all city and town sanitary codes, and all rules, regulations and standards that pertain to public health, and any amendments and additions thereto, which have been adopted by boards of health pursuant to section thirty-one of chapter one hundred and eleven. The department shall make said information available for public inspection and reference, and shall charge a fee for reproducing and mailing said information which shall be in an amount sufficient to cover the expense of providing such services.

In regulating or approving any pollution prevention, control or abatement plan, strategy, or technology, through any permit, license, regulation, guideline, plan approval or other departmental action affecting or prohibiting the emission, discharge, disposal, release, or threat of release of any hazardous substance to the environment, or in establishing standards for such emission, discharge, disposal, release, or threat of release, pursuant to any statute administered by said department, the department may consider the potential effects of such plans, strategies and technologies on public health and safety and the environment that may arise through any environmental medium or route of exposure that is regulated by the department pursuant to any statute; and said department shall act to minimize and prevent damage or threat of damage to the environment. In no event shall the department authorize implementation of any plan, strategy or technology less protective of the environment than required by any applicable federal statute, regulation, permit, license, or plan approval.

The department of environmental protection shall assist in the implementation of chapter 21N.

The provisions of this section shall not limit or restrict any existing authority of the department of environmental protection.

The department of conservation and recreation shall include a division of state parks and recreation and a division of water supply protection.

The department of agricultural resources shall include, the board of food and agriculture, the pesticide board, the state reclamation board, and any divisions or bureaus created under said department pursuant to section six of chapter twenty.

The department of fish and game, shall include the fisheries, wildlife and environmental law enforcement advisory board, division of fisheries and wildlife, fisheries and wildlife board, boating and recreational vehicle safety advisory board, public access board, division of marine fisheries and the marine fisheries advisory commission.

The department of fisheries, wildlife and environmental law enforcement shall have the power to take by eminent domain under the provisions of chapter seventy-nine and chapter eighty A lands and interests therein determined by the commissioner thereof as necessary or desirable to carry out the policies, programs or authorities of said department, including, but not limited to, the acquisition of locations of public access, designated by the public access board pursuant to section seventeen A of chapter twenty-one. Said department shall administer and maintain a riverways program that shall provide, in addition to other services, technical assistance to cities, towns and citizens groups regarding protection and restoration of the ecological integrity of rivers, streams and riparian lands and promotion of public access to such rivers, streams and riparian lands.

There shall be within the department of fisheries, wildlife and environmental law enforcement an advisory board to be known as the fisheries, wildlife and environmental law enforcement advisory board. Said board shall consist of two members of the fisheries and wildlife board, one member of the natural heritage and endangered species advisory committee, three members of the marine fisheries advisory commission and three members of the boating and recreational vehicles safety advisory board, of which at least one member shall represent boating interests. The fisheries and wildlife board, the natural heritage and endangered species advisory committee, the marine fisheries advisory commission and the boating and recreational vehicles safety advisory board shall each appoint from its own members by majority vote the persons on said board representative of such board, committee or commission. Each member appointed to the advisory board will serve for a term of three years and may be reappointed for similar terms. The advisory board shall advise the commissioner on matters relevant to the affairs of the department, shall meet at least quarterly and at the request of the commissioner. The members of the advisory board shall receive no compensation but shall be reimbursed by the department for expenses necessary to the performance of their duties.

The office of the secretary shall include the office of law enforcement, the division of conservation services, including the committee for conservation of soil, water and related resources, and the water resources commission and the Massachusetts coastal zone management office.

Error