Skip to Content

General Laws

Section 7. The department may license persons to undertake the collection, transportation, treatment and disposal of hazardous waste.

The department shall grant a license to construct, maintain and operate a facility on a site if it determines that said construction, maintenance, and operation does not constitute a significant danger to public health, public safety, or the environment, does not seriously threaten injury to the inhabitants of the area or damage to their property, and does not result in the creation of noisome or unwholesome odors. In making this determination, the department shall consider, but not be limited to, the following information which the applicant for a license shall submit in such form and manner as the department shall prescribe and require: detailed engineering plans and specifications; a description of maintenance and operating procedures; a description of the applicant’s qualifications and experience in constructing, managing, and operating a facility; a plan for closure and post closure care of the facility and site; a statement of the applicant’s financial condition; a statement of the amount and types of waste to be received at the facility; the results of chemical analysis of the surface and groundwaters in the area of the site’s locus; and a hydrogeological study of the site area, for any proposal to dispose of hazardous waste into or on the land, or for other proposals if the department has sufficient reason to believe that the potentialities exist for groundwater contamination. The applicant shall be required to submit such other information as the department finds to be relevant and useful in making its determination. The department shall, where appropriate in making its determination, further consider such factors including, but not limited to, the following: topography; geological and soil conditions; climate; surface water and groundwater hydrology, including water run-off and run-on characteristics, wetlands and flooding conditions; drinking water supplies; and compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, and judicial decisions regarding the protection of air, water and land resources. Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny or limit the right of the department to obtain and use such other information which it deems necessary to assist it in making its determination.

The department may issue a license subject to such terms, restrictions, conditions and requirements as it determines to be necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter. No facilities shall be constructed, maintained or operated except pursuant to the terms, restrictions, conditions and requirements established by the department in a license duly issued hereunder and pursuant to the terms of an assignment of a site for said facilities if said assignment is required pursuant to the provisions of section one hundred and fifty A of chapter one hundred and eleven. No storage, treatment, use or disposal for which a license is required pursuant to this chapter, and no construction, maintenance, or operation of a facility for which such license is required, shall proceed until notice that such license has been recorded in the registry of deeds, or if the land affected thereby be registered land, in the registry section of the land court for the district wherein the land lies. No land on or in which hazardous waste has been disposed, and no interest in such land, shall be conveyed or leased, and no such land shall be devoted to any use other than as a facility for such disposal, until notice of such disposal is recorded in the registry of deeds, or if the land affected thereby be registered land, in the registry section of the land court for the district wherein the land lies.

The department shall not issue a license to persons to undertake the transport of hazardous waste unless the applicant has furnished a certification issued by the department of telecommunications and energy that said applicant has conformed to all of the requirements of chapter one hundred and fifty-nine B.

The department shall issue vehicle identification devices to any person licensed under this section. Such vehicle identification devices may be issued for a period not to exceed one year, shall not be transferred to any vehicle other than the one for which it has been issued, and shall not be issued unless the applicant therefor has paid an annual fee for each vehicle in an amount established by the department pursuant to section eighteen of chapter twenty-one A.

The department shall consult with the department of telecommunications and energy with respect to the adoption, amendment, or repeal of such regulations relating to the transportation of hazardous waste.

The commissioner of administration, in consultation with the commissioner of the department of environmental protection, shall establish and annually review a schedule of reasonable fees to be paid by persons licensed to transport hazardous waste under this section. To the extent practical such fees shall be established at a rate or rates intended to generate monies equal to the costs, including costs of debt service, incurred by the commonwealth on account of projects to assess, contain and remove releases and threats of release of oil and hazardous material, less amounts recovered by the commonwealth from persons liable for such releases and threats of release. Such fees shall be established by regulations adopted after public hearing and in accordance with section two of chapter thirty A. Such fees shall be based on the quantity and type of hazardous waste transported or such other factors as the commissioner of administration may deem appropriate; provided, however, that said commissioner may provide reasonable exemptions from such fees for the transport of hazardous waste for recycling or reuse in a manufacturing process. Annually, the commissioner of administration shall report to the house and senate committees on ways and means the amounts received as fees and expended on account of projects to assess, contain and remove releases and threats of release of oil and hazardous material during the preceding year, and the amounts anticipated to be received as such fees and to be expended on account of such projects during the following year.

The department may deny, suspend or revoke a license at any time, if it determines that any of the terms or conditions thereof have been violated, that the holder of or applicant for the license has violated any provision of this chapter, of the RCRA, or of any regulation, standard, order, license or approval issued thereunder, or that the holder of, or applicant for, the license is not competent with respect to the licensed activity. Any person whose license is suspended, revoked or denied hereunder shall also be subject to such other penalties, sanctions or liabilities as may be provided by law. The department may on its own initiative, or upon request by a board of health, or upon request by a licensee, or municipal authority, modify a license where necessitated by a proposed change in the scope or method of the licensee’s operation or by a change in applicable federal or state law or regulations or where necessitated by the receipt of evidence that the terms and conditions of such license are not providing the necessary protection of human health and the environment.

The denial, suspension or revocation of a license for any class of hazardous waste or category of hazardous waste license may be grounds for the denial, suspension or revocation of a license to that licensee for all other hazardous waste classes and license categories. Any person whose license renewal is denied or whose license is revoked for cause shall be barred from applying for any class or category of license issued under this section for a period of not more than five years. The term during which reapplication is barred shall be established as part of the determination or decision of the department in the proceedings relative to the denial or revocation.

Each license issued pursuant to this section shall be valid only for the person to whom it is issued and may not be transferred. All licenses shall be for a period not to exceed five years, unless a shorter term be specified therein by the division, or unless sooner revoked or suspended by the division. Every facility shall be inspected at least once a year.

Before any license to dispose of hazardous wastes shall be granted, the applicant shall prepare a detailed set of maps of the disposal site and the surrounding area as determined by the department. The maps shall be drawn to a scale of one hundred feet to one inch and shall include but not be limited to the names and locations of all streams, creeks, above and below ground water systems, including all aquifers, and shall also include a detailed statement describing the quality and chemical analysis of the water in the area where the proposed site is to be located.

No person shall establish, construct, or operate a facility for the landfill disposal of hazardous waste in a location overlying an actual, planned, or potential underground drinking water source as described on the groundwater maps of pertinent United States Geological Studies and the Massachusetts water resources commission.

No landfill for the treatment or disposal of hazardous waste shall be operated in such a manner as to cause discharge of hazardous waste into surface waters or groundwaters which the department or the water resources commission has determined are presently used, or may reasonably be expected to be used in the future, as sources for the supply of drinking water.

Hazardous waste shall be disposed of in a landfill only (a) after said hazardous waste has been given all treatment as directed by the department pursuant to rules, regulations, procedures and standards duly prescribed including, but not limited to, the requirement of treatment at the place of generation when determined to be appropriate by the department and (b) where the department finds that said hazardous waste cannot be recycled, destroyed, or disposed of by some other means approved by the department pursuant to its rules, regulations, procedures or standards.

Error