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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE II EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS
    OF THE COMMONWEALTH
  • CHAPTER 9 DEPARTMENT OF THE STATE SECRETARY
  • Section 27C Projects; notice; adverse effect; review

Section 27C. As early as possible in the planning process of a project undertaken by a state body, or prior to a state body’s funding or licensing, in whole or in part, a private project, the state body undertaking, funding or licensing such project shall notify the commission of such project and the commission shall, within thirty days of receipt of such notice, determine whether such project will have any adverse effect, direct or indirect, on any property listed in the state register of historic places. If the commission does not make a determination within thirty days, the state body or the proponent may proceed with the project. Upon a determination of adverse effect, the commission, the state agency and, in the case of a private project, the project proponent shall immediately consult to discuss ways to eliminate, minimize or mitigate the adverse effects; provided, however, that such property was included in the inventory of the historic assets of the commonwealth prior to the thirtieth day following the submission of an application for building, demolition, special permit, or the submission of a plan under the provisions of section eighty-one O, eighty-one P, or eighty-one S of chapter forty-one, or the application for the required state permits for the project. The state body undertaking the project or the private entity proposing the project shall adopt all prudent and feasible means to eliminate, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effects. The commission’s review shall not be limited to the subject matter of the license, but shall extend to the entire project whether licensed or funded in whole or in part. The commission shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section. This section shall be interpreted and administered so as to eliminate, minimize or mitigate adverse effects to properties listed in the state register of historic places.

Any person, corporation, agency or authority of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions supervising any survey, excavation or construction on any lands of the commonwealth, its agencies or political subdivisions shall report to the state archeologist the existence of any archeological, paleontological or historical site or object discovered in the course of such survey, excavation or construction, and shall take all reasonable steps to secure its preservation. No person, corporation, agency or authority of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions shall conduct field investigation activities on any land owned or controlled by the commonwealth, its agencies or political subdivisions or on any historic or archeological landmarks or on any lands restricted by section thirty-one of chapter one hundred and eighty-four of the General Laws without first securing a permit from the state archeologist. The state archeologist shall issue permits for exploration and field investigation to be undertaken on said lands, with the consent of the owner or agency in charge of said lands, to those persons or institutions which he deems to be qualified to conduct such activity, and subject to such rules and regulations as the commission may prescribe; provided, however, that any such activity shall be conducted with the objective of disseminating the knowledge gained by it; provided further, that a summary report of such activity, containing relevant maps, documents, drawings and photographs be submitted to the commission; and provided further, that all specimens collected through such activity shall be the permanent property of the commonwealth. The commission may make arrangements for the disposition or display of any such specimens in appropriate institutions located within the commonwealth. Information reported to the state archeologist pursuant to this section shall be regarded as confidential.

Any person, corporation, agency or authority of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions who shall conduct field investigations on any land owned or controlled by the commonwealth, its agencies, or any political subdivisions thereof or in which the commonwealth has an interest, without first obtaining a permit therefor as provided in this section, or any person, corporation or municipality who shall appropriate, deface, destroy or otherwise alter any site, specimen or landmark except in the course of activities authorized under said permit, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. All specimens, objects and materials collected or excavated in violation of this section shall be forfeited to the commonwealth.

Any person, corporation, agency or authority of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions who shall reproduce, retouch, rework or forge any archeological, paleontological or historical object, or falsely label, describe, identify or offer for sale or exchange any object, with intent to represent said object as an original and genuine archeological, paleontological or historical specimen, or any person who shall offer for sale or exchange any object with knowledge that it has been previously collected or excavated in violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months or both. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce the provisions of this section and, on the petition of any party in interest, may alter, amend or revoke any order of the commission or state archeologist.

The commission may adopt any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section.

Any person, corporation, agency or authority of the commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions who shall discover unmarked human burial or skeletal remains suspected of being one hundred years of more pursuant to section six C of chapter thirty-eight, shall immediately cease any activity, including but not limited to, construction and agricultural activity, which would deface, alter, destroy or otherwise impair the integrity of the site until such time as the state archeologist has completed a site evaluation pursuant to paragraph six of section twenty-six A of chapter nine of the General Laws and until disposition of the remains has been agreed upon pursuant to either section thirty-eight A of chapter seven or pursuant to paragraph seven of section twenty-six A, of chapter nine.