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General Laws

Section 3. (a) The department shall take all action appropriate to secure to the commonwealth the benefits of FWPCA, CERCLA and other pertinent federal laws including the Oil Pollution Act.

(b) For the purpose of implementing this chapter, FWPCA, CERCLA, and other pertinent federal laws and regulations, the department is authorized and directed to prepare and from time to time update a Massachusetts Contingency Plan which, as nearly as the department deems appropriate and practicable, shall comport with and complement the National Contingency Plan prepared under the authority of 33 USC Sec. 1321(c) and 42 USC Sec. 9605. In preparing said plan the department shall consider and take into account regionally and locally developed contingency plans.

(c) The department shall promulgate such regulations as it deems necessary for the implementation, administration and enforcement of this chapter, FWPCA, CERCLA and other pertinent laws. Such regulations may include provisions waiving or limiting the applicability of this chapter as to any matter which the department determines to be adequately regulated by another program or government agency. The department shall integrate its implementation and enforcement of this chapter with other programs established for the protection of the public health, safety, welfare and the environment.

(d) The department shall adopt and from time to time amend or repeal regulations establishing classes or categories of persons or response actions or sites or vessels, or any combination of the foregoing, so that such persons may carry out such response actions at such sites or vessels only after prior issuance of a permit issued by the department; and establishing classes or categories of persons or response actions or sites or vessels, or any combination of the foregoing, so that such persons may carry out such response actions at such sites or vessels without prior issuance of a permit issued by the department.

The department shall adopt and from time to time amend or repeal regulations establishing one or more classes or categories of permits for carrying out response actions in those cases for which a permit is required.

In adopting, amending, and repealing all regulations pursuant to this subsection, the department shall consider at least the following:—

(1) the existence, source, nature, and extent of a release or threat of release of oil or hazardous materials,

(2) the nature and extent of danger to public health, safety, welfare, and the environment,

(3) the magnitude and complexity of the actions necessary to assess, contain, or remove the oil or hazardous material in question,

(4) the extent to which there are legally enforceable standardized methods and criteria for the class or category of response action in question,

(5) the extent to which the department needs to be persuaded, or is persuaded, or both, that persons who would obtain permits, or who would be allowed to carry out a response action without a permit, have demonstrated that they are able and willing to carry out the response actions in question in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, all regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, and all other applicable statutes and regulations, and

(6) the extent to which department oversight is necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.

Persons may carry out any response action without the prior issuance of a permit issued by the department for such response action if such response action is otherwise in compliance with the provisions of this chapter, all regulations promulgated pursuant to this chapter, and all other applicable statutes and regulations until all of the following have occurred: (a) licenses have been issued to hazardous waste site cleanup professionals pursuant to sections nineteen through nineteen J of chapter twenty-one A, and (b) standards and requirements for the class or category of permit and response action in question have been promulgated by the department and are in effect.

Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, no person shall carry out any response action without the prior issuance of a permit issued by the department for such response action, or in any manner not in conformity with the terms and conditions of such permit.

By no later than July first, nineteen hundred and ninety-three, the department shall promulgate in accordance with section two of chapter thirty A, and shall submit to the state secretary for publication in the Massachusetts Register in accordance with sections five and six of chapter thirty A, regulations, standards, and requirements required by this subsection. By no later than January first, nineteen hundred and ninety-three, the department shall submit to the state secretary for publication in the Massachusetts Register, and the state secretary shall publish in the Massachusetts Register, in accordance with sections five and six of chapter thirty A, the notice required by section two of chapter thirty A and a draft of the regulations, standards, and requirements described in the preceding sentence. After the initial promulgation of regulations, requirements, and standards required by this subsection (d), the department may amend or repeal them, or adopt additional ones, in accordance with all applicable requirements of chapter thirty A.

(e) The department shall adopt and from time to time amend or repeal regulations establishing classes or categories of response actions or sites or vessels, or any combination of the foregoing, so that persons who carry out such response actions at such sites or vessels shall be required to cause to be rendered a waste site cleanup activity opinion, as that term is defined in section nineteen of chapter twenty-one A. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, said regulations (1) shall set requirements for reasonable documentation to support such opinions, and (2) shall set requirements for the availability of such opinions to the department and to other persons, and (3) may authorize one or more of the opinions described in clauses (1) through (5) of the definition of waste site cleanup activity opinion, as that term is defined in section nineteen of chapter twenty-one A, to be rendered by persons who are not in possession of a valid license issued pursuant to sections nineteen through nineteen J of chapter twenty-one A, and (4) may establish classes or categories of response actions or sites or vessels, or any combination of the foregoing, for which a waste site cleanup activity opinion need not be rendered. The department may impose terms and conditions on the applicability of such regulations.

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