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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 1: Legislative determination and declaration of purpose

Section 1. (a) It is hereby determined that:

(1) There is a critical need to eliminate, mitigate and prevent the nuisances and adverse public health effects associated with the collection, processing and disposal of solid waste from whatever source derived, including municipal, industrial, domestic, commercial and other sources or activities.

(2) There is pending throughout the commonwealth a severe shortage in environmentally safe and financially sound capacity for the storage, disposal and processing of solid waste.

(3) The provision of such capacity is an essential public purpose, will constitute the performance of an essential public function and is necessary to the preservation and improvement of the health, welfare and living conditions of the people of the commonwealth, the promotion of industry and employment and all aspects of commerce, the maintenance, protection, conservation and development of safe water supplies, and the protection of the environment overall.

(4) The financial requirements for the provision of environmentally safe solid waste facilities are substantial and require the use of both public and private sources of financing and of facility development and operation experience, the ability to collect user fees to recover costs of providing such capacity, and the ability to finance capital expenditures without undue reliance on the general obligation credit of the commonwealth or of individual cities and towns.

(b) It is hereby declared to be an essential public purpose to achieve the following:

(1) provide a means whereby new and improved capacity for handling solid waste is established in a manner which takes full advantage of current municipal experience in the collection, disposal and storage of such waste;

(2) encourage cities and towns to act together effectively to operate solid waste facilities;

(3) establish a means whereby the commonwealth can act effectively to provide planning, technical, development, financial and other support for solid waste facilities;

(4) establish a framework which encourages and permits private enterprise to participate appropriately in the development and operation of solid waste facilities;

(5) encourage cities and towns to act together effectively to develop and operate household hazardous waste collection programs and related activities.

(c) It is declared to be in the best interests of the citizens of the commonwealth to enact legislation authorizing the department of environmental protection to provide financial assistance to public bodies for the closure of landfills or other solid waste facilities and for the expansion of landfill capacity or other solid waste facilities.