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May 28, 2024 Clouds | 81°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 4: Division of hazardous waste; duties of department

Section 4. The department shall establish a division of hazardous waste which shall be administered by a director appointed by the commissioner and who shall serve at the pleasure of the commissioner. The appointment of said director shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter thirty-one or section nine A of chapter thirty. The department shall adopt rules, regulations, procedures and standards as may be necessary for the implementation of this chapter. Such regulations, procedures and standards shall be developed by the department with input and review by interested and affected persons and agencies as determined by the department including, but not limited to, the hazardous waste advisory committee, the department of public health and representatives of local health officials, and shall, where practicable, be consistent with those promulgated under the RCRA.

The responsibilities of the department shall include the developing and establishing of: (a) a list of hazardous wastes; (b) criteria and standards for the identification of hazardous wastes; (c) provisions for waiver by the department for any waste which the department determines is insignificant as a potential hazard to public health, safety, welfare of the environment, or the handling, treating, storing, use, processing, or disposal of which is adequately regulated by another governmental agency, consistent with regulations promulgated under RCRA; (d) standards and requirements for the treating, storing, transporting, use and disposal of such hazardous waste; and (e) for the recovery of resources from such hazardous waste.

The department shall take all action necessary or appropriate to secure for the commonwealth the benefits of RCRA, cooperate and enter into agreements and contracts with federal agencies, other states, interstate agencies, other agencies of the commonwealth or its political subdivisions, or private or nonprofit organizations in matters related to this chapter and RCRA, and may receive from, and dispense to, such agencies such funds as may be available for such matters.

The department shall conduct programs of public participation to assure that, before undertaking actions of programmatic and policy level significance, interested and potentially affected members of the public are afforded an opportunity to be heard regarding such actions. There shall be no less than six public hearings throughout the state, before the initial adoption of such actions or the promulgation of regulations.

The department shall adopt standards and procedures and shall establish fees for a hazardous waste licensing program pursuant to section eighteen of chapter twenty-one A, integrate with other laws pertaining to air, land and water resources all the provisions of this chapter for the purposes of administration and enforcement, avoiding duplication or inconsistency to the maximum extent practicable. Such integration shall be effected only to the extent that it can be done in a manner consistent with the provisions of this chapter and other laws pertaining to air, land and water resources. Any disposal or facility permitted by a valid permit issued pursuant to section forty-three of chapter twenty-one shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter.

The department shall conduct a survey and prepare and publish a list of sites in the commonwealth where hazardous waste has been deposited or abandoned.

The department shall establish a manifest system that conforms with the requirements of RCRA.

The department shall be responsible for the supervision of the maintenance and operation of all facilities in order to ensure the public health, safety, welfare and the environment and shall coordinate research and development regarding methods of hazardous waste handling, storage, use, processing, and disposal and shall conduct appropriate studies relating to hazardous wastes.

The department shall require that a licensee obtain and maintain in effect a contract of liability insurance, a surety bond or other evidence of financial responsibility in favor of the commonwealth sufficient to assure financial responsibility in the event of damages resulting from accidents, negligence, misconduct, or malfunctioning in the construction, maintenance and operation of a facility, or from any other circumstances reasonably foreseeable occurring during or after construction or in the course of the maintenance and operation of hazardous waste facilities.

The department shall furnish a copy of each permit or license application for the collection, storage, treatment, or disposal of hazardous waste to the local board of health, which shall be responsible for notifying the local governing authorities of any municipality within whose territorial jurisdiction a hazardous waste facility or activity is or will be located.

The department shall furnish, on an annual basis, to the local board of health, which shall be responsible for notifying the local governing authority of the municipality, information identifying the types and quantities of hazardous waste generated, stored, treated or disposed within the municipality unless exempted by the commissioner under the provision of section twelve.

The department shall provide for appropriate surveillance of hazardous waste processing, use, handling, storage, and disposal practices in the state and shall determine existing and expected rates of production of hazardous waste.

The department may: maintain a technical reference center on hazardous waste disposal recycling practices, and related information for public and private use; render technical assistance to state and local agencies in the planning and operation of hazardous waste programs; coordinate research and study in technical and managerial aspects of management and use of hazardous wastes, and recycling and recovery of resources from hazardous wastes; investigate market potential and the feasibility of use of hazardous wastes and recovery of resources from hazardous wastes; promote recycling and recovery of resources from hazardous wastes; conduct studies for the purpose of improving departmental operations; encourage the reduction or exchange, or both, of hazardous waste; and establish and maintain an information clearinghouse, which shall consist of a record of wastes which may be recyclable, and require every generator of hazardous waste to supply the department with the information for the clearinghouse while assuring each generator that the information shall be made available in such a way that the trade secrets of the generator are protected.