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General Laws

Section 5. The department shall on a continual basis determine in cooperation with the department of public health (1) whether the air emissions and the ash residue from refuse burning facilities pose a threat to public health through the release of dioxins, furans, or other hazardous constituents, (2) the nature and extent of any such threat, and (3) the appropriate measures to be undertaken to protect public health if a significant threat is identified. To protect public health as required by this section, the department shall have the authority to:

(a) develop and establish procedures to be followed when the department tests or requires other persons to test for the presence of dioxins, furans, heavy metals or other hazardous constituents in the environment;

(b) conduct tests for the presence of dioxins, furans, or other hazardous constituents in the ambient air at locations in the commonwealth, as determined by the department;

(c) require that persons who own or operate refuse burning facilities test the air emissions, bottom ash, and fly ash from the facilities for the presence of dioxins, furans, heavy metals or other hazardous constituents; provided, however, that such persons shall conduct dioxin testing according to clause (a) at least once every nine months;

(c1/2) require baseline testing prior to the operation of any new facility;

(d) retain the results of such tests for comparison purposes over time and initiate proper responses when the results of such tests indicate a potential violation of department standards and policies;

(e) make available to interested parties, the general public and residents of municipalities in which refuse burning facilities exist or border the results of such tests together with an explanation of such results as to the adherence by such facilities to department standards and policies;

(f) cause to be designed and established an acute toxics laboratory at the Lawrence Experimental Station capable of analyzing extremely low levels of contaminants in air, water and soil samples; and

(g) promulgate rules and regulations for the land disposal of bottom ash and fly ash from refuse burning facilities which shall protect the public health and environment from any significant adverse effects from the disposal of such ash residue. Said rules and regulations may include, but not be limited to, provision for ash residue landfills to operate with liners, leachate collection systems, daily cover, groundwater monitoring and other systems necessary to prevent contamination of the air, groundwater and surface water.

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