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General Laws

Section 1. As used in this chapter the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:-

“Act of God”, an unanticipated grave natural disaster or other natural phenomenon of an exceptional, inevitable and irresistible character, the effects of which could not have been prevented or avoided by the exercise of due care or foresight. A natural disaster is unanticipated when it is of a type unexpected given the area, the season and the past history of conditions.

“Advisory board”, the hazardous materials mitigation emergency response advisory board established in section 2.

“Department”, the department of fire services.

“Division”, the division of hazardous materials response within the department of fire services.

“Emergency mitigation response”, those actions taken by the hazardous materials mitigation emergency response team due to the release or threatened release of hazardous materials which the department reasonably believes poses an imminent threat to the life, health or safety of the public.

“Fiduciary”, a person (a) who is acting in any of the following capacities:  as an executor or administrator as described in section 1 of chapter 197, including a voluntary executor or a voluntary administrator; a guardian; a conservator; a trustee under a will or inter vivos instrument creating a trust under which the trustee takes title to, or otherwise controls or manages, property for the purpose of protecting or conserving such property under the ordinary rules applied in the courts of the commonwealth; a court-appointed receiver; a trustee appointed in proceedings under federal bankruptcy laws; an assignee or a trustee acting under an assignment made for the benefit of creditors pursuant to sections 40 to 42, inclusive, of chapter 203; or a trustee, pursuant to an indenture agreement or similar financing agreement for debt securities, certificates of interest of participation in any such debt securities or any successor thereto; and, (b) who holds legal title to, controls or manages, directly or indirectly, any site or vessel as a fiduciary for purposes of administering an estate or trust of which such site or vessel is a part.

“Hazardous material”, material including, but not limited to, material, in whatever form which, because of its quantity, concentration, chemical, corrosive, flammable, reactive, toxic, infectious or radioactive characteristics, either separately or in combination with a substance, constitutes a present or potential threat to human health, safety or welfare or to the environment when improperly stored, treated, transported, disposed of, used or otherwise managed. Hazardous materials shall include, but not be limited to, oil and all substances which are included under 42 USC §9601(14).

“Hazardous materials mitigation emergency response plan”, a contingency plan developed by the hazardous materials mitigation emergency advisory board to be followed by the hazardous materials mitigation emergency response team when responding to a release or threat of release of hazardous materials which pose an imminent threat to the life, health or safety of the public.

“Imminent threat”, a threat which poses a significant risk of harm to the life, health or safety of the public if it were present or left unabated for even a short period of time.

“Incident commander”, the local fire chief of the jurisdiction in which there has been a release or threat of release which requires a hazardous materials mitigation emergency response.

“Indicia of ownership primarily to protect a security interest”, only those interests in real or personal property typically acquired and held as security or collateral for payment or performance of an obligation. Such interests shall include, but not be limited to, a mortgage, deed of trust, lien, security interest, assignment, pledge or other right or encumbrance against real or personal property, including those security interests which have a contingent interest component, which are furnished by the owner thereof to assure repayment of a financial obligation, and contractual participation rights in such interests; provided, however, that the contract conferring such rights shall confer no other interest in the site or vessel.

“Marshal”, the state fire marshal.

“Oil”, insoluble or partially soluble oil of any kind or origin or in any form including, but not limited to, crude or fuel oil, lube oil or sludge, asphalt and soluble or partially soluble derivatives of mineral, animal or vegetable oil.

“Owner” or “operator”, “Owner” or “operator” as defined in section 2 of chapter 21E.

“Person”, an agency or political subdivision of the federal government or the commonwealth, a state, public or private corporation or authority, an interstate body, foreign nation, individual, trust, firm, joint stock company, partnership, association or other entity and any officer, employee or agent of such person and any group of persons.

“Public utility company”, a public utility as defined in clause (7) of paragraph (j) of section 5 of chapter 21E.

“Release”, a spilling, leaking, pumping, emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping or disposing into the environment, but excluding: (a) emissions from the exhaust of an engine; (b) release of source, byproduct or special nuclear material from a nuclear incident, as such terms are defined in 42 USC §2014, if such release is subject to requirements with respect to financial protection established by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission under 42 USC §2210; (c) the normal application of fertilizer; and (d) the application of pesticides consistent with their labeling.

“Secured lender”, (a) a person who holds indicia of ownership in a site or vessel primarily to protect that person’s security interest in such site or vessel; (b) two persons when one holds indicia of ownership in a site or vessel primarily to protect the other person’s security interest in such site or vessel if the person holding the indicia of ownership is:  (1) wholly-owned by the person holding the security interest; or (2) an affiliate of the person holding the security interest and both are wholly-owned, directly or indirectly, by the same person; and (c) persons who hold contractual participation rights in a security interest and any of the following which hold indicia of ownership in a site or vessel primarily to protect that security interest:  (1) a wholly-owned subsidiary of any such person; (2) an affiliate of any such person if both are wholly-owned, directly or indirectly, by the same person; and (3) any entity formed among such persons, subsidiaries or affiliates.

“Site”, a building, structure, installation, equipment, pipe or pipeline, including a pipe into a sewer or publicly-owned treatment works, well, pit, pond, lagoon, impoundment, ditch, landfill, storage container, motor vehicle, rolling stock or aircraft, or any other place or area where oil or hazardous material has been deposited, stored, disposed of, or placed or otherwise come to be located and which requires an emergency mitigation response. Site shall not include a consumer product in consumer use or a vessel.

“Team leader”, an individual vested with the authority to oversee and command the operation of the hazardous materials mitigation emergency response team during an emergency mitigation response action.

“Threat of release”, a substantial likelihood of a release which requires action to prevent or mitigate an imminent threat to the life, health or safety of the public which may result from such release.

“Trade secret”, anything tangible which constitutes, represents, evidences or records a secret scientific, technical, merchandising, production or management information, design, process, procedure, formula, invention or improvement.

“Vessel”, every description of watercraft or other artificial contrivance used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.

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