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General Laws

Section 49B. The department shall remove or cause to be removed any wharf or pier located in the tide waters or tide lands of the commonwealth, which in the opinion of the department is dilapidated, unsafe, a menace to navigation or is a source of floating debris that is, or is liable to become, a menace to navigation.

If the owner of record of such wharf or pier is known to the department, the department shall give such owner written notice to remove such wharf or pier within a reasonable time therein specified. Such notice shall be deemed sufficient if delivered to the owner in hand, if left at his usual place of business or abode or if sent by certified mail to his last known post office address.

If such wharf or pier is not removed in a manner satisfactory to the department within the time specified in such notice, the department may revoke forthwith any license or authority applicable to such wharf or pier issued or granted under the provisions of sections fourteen through eighteen, inclusive. If such wharf or pier is not removed in a manner satisfactory to the department within the time specified in such notice, or if the department has been unable to make sufficient service of such notice, the department shall remove, complete that removal or cause to be removed such wharf or pier. The owner of such wharf or pier shall be liable to the commonwealth for the costs and expenses for such removals, and the sum so received shall be credited to the Harbors and Inland Waters Maintenance Fund established by section ten B. If the owner fails to reimburse the commonwealth within thirty days of such removal, the department, in the name of the commonwealth, may take a lien on any real property held by the owner of said wharf or pier. The commonwealth shall place on record in the proper registry of deeds or registry district of the land court, as the case may be, an instrument in writing and under seal executed in common form and acknowledged in the same manner as deeds for real property creating a lien upon such real estate for the amount of the costs and expenses of such removal. The instrument shall be recorded or registered without fee. Such lien shall be enforceable by a petition or bill in equity filed by the attorney general in the superior court or in the probate court for the county wherein the real estate is situated. The subpoena shall be returnable not more than thirty days subsequent to the entry of the bill and shall contain a brief description of the property, sufficient to identify it, and a statement of the amount alleged to be due. Upon reimbursement for the amount due under the terms of such lien, the attorney general shall execute and deliver a satisfaction thereof, and, upon its being recorded or registered, the lien shall be dissolved as of the date of such recordation or registration.

The department may make application to the government of the United States for reimbursement of any amounts expended under any provision of this section.

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