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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 111 PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Section 142B Metropolitan air pollution control district; establishment; composition; powers of department of environmental protection

Section 142B. There is hereby established a metropolitan air pollution control district, to consist of the territory and waters comprised within the cities and towns of Arlington, Belmont, Boston, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Canton, Chelsea, Dedham, Everett, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Milton, Needham, Newton, Peabody, Quincy, Revere, Saugus, Somerville, Stoneham, Wakefield, Waltham, Watertown, Weymouth, Winchester, Winthrop, and Woburn, and such other cities and towns as may, after application for admission to the said district, be admitted thereto by the department; provided, that said district shall at all times be composed of contiguous territory.

The department shall control the pollution of the atmosphere within said district. The department may from time to time, after a public hearing, prescribe and establish, amend or repeal, rules and regulations to prevent pollution or undue contamination of the atmosphere within said district.

Personnel of the department may in the performance of their duties under this section enter and inspect any premises, providing said personnel receive the consent of the owner or person in control of such premises. A court, judge or justice authorized to issue warrants in criminal cases may, upon sworn testimony by said personnel that consent for such entry and inspection has been requested and refused, and upon further sworn testimony either (1) that a reasonable inspection of industrial or commercial premises is necessary to detect, prevent or warn against conduct or conditions which may threaten the public health, comfort and convenience by contributing to air pollution, or (2) that a reasonable nondiscriminatory public health inspection, of which the inspection of the particular premises is a part, has been authorized by the department and is being undertaken to detect, prevent or warn against conduct or conditions which may threaten the public health, comfort and convenience by contributing to air pollution, if satisfied that such testimony is true, issue a warrant identifying the particular premises and authorizing said personnel seeking the warrant to conduct a reasonable search of such premises during daylight hours if the premises is residential, or during operating hours if the premises is industrial or commercial. For the purposes of securing a warrant under this section, belief or knowledge regarding actual conduct or conditions in a particular premises shall not be necessary. Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, any information, record, or particular part thereof, other than emission data, submitted to the department pursuant to this section, shall, upon request, be kept confidential and not considered to be a public record when it is deemed by the commissioner that such information, record, or report relates to secret processes, methods of manufacture, or production or that such information, record, or report if made public would divulge a trade secret.

This section shall not operate to abrogate any of the powers and duties, as defined by general or special law, of any agency or political subdivision of the commonwealth.

The department shall have power to order any person, corporation, or political subdivision having control of an air contamination source, other than an employee, to stop or abate violation of any of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section or of any of the rules and regulations adopted under the provisions of section one hundred and forty-two A and standards adopted under section one hundred and forty-two A and regulations adopted under section one hundred and forty-two D. Said order shall inform the alleged violator in writing of his right to request, within ten days, a hearing under the provisions of chapter thirty A, but if no such request is made within ten days, said person, corporation, or political subdivision shall be deemed to have consented to the order. If said person, corporation, or political subdivision requests a hearing, the commissioner of environmental protection, in this section and section one hundred and forty-two E called the commissioner, or his designee, shall within a reasonable time hold a hearing under the provisions of said chapter thirty A. The commissioner may reissue such order as is warranted and all orders, permits, or other determinations of the commissioner, except those consented thereto, shall be subject to judicial review as provided in chapter thirty A. In addition, any person who participates in any public participation process required by the federal Clean Air Act, section 502 (b) (6), 42 U.S.C. section 7661a (b) (6), or any amended version thereof or any regulation enacted thereunder, with respect to the department’s final action on operating permits governing air emissions, and who has standing to sue with respect to the matter pursuant to federal constitutional law, may initiate an adjudicatory hearing pursuant to chapter thirty A, and may obtain judicial review, pursuant to chapter thirty A, of a final decision therein. Any person, corporation, or political subdivision violating any order of the department (a) shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment; or (b), shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars for each such violation. The civil penalty may be assessed in an action brought on behalf of the commonwealth in any court of competent jurisdiction. For the purpose of this paragraph each subsequent day or part thereof of violation of such an order, whether such violation be continuous or intermittent, shall be construed as a separate and succeeding offense. The superior court sitting in equity, on petition of the department or any person authorized by the department shall have jurisdiction to enforce any such order and to restrain violations of any rules or regulations adopted pursuant to this section until such rules and regulations have been complied with.

The department may, for the purpose of conducting a continuing inventory of air pollution source emissions, require any person owning, operating, or having control of any air contamination source to register said source with the department and to supply such information pertaining to said source as the department may specify. Registration shall be on a form supplied by the department and shall be accomplished within a period of time specified by the department after public notice, provided said period of time shall be not less than thirty days.

Nothing in this section or in any rule or regulation adopted hereunder shall be construed as relieving, under any circumstances, any person, corporation, or political subdivision from responsibility or liability for any damages which may occur or for civil or criminal proceedings arising out of or as a result of any action of said person, corporation, or political subdivision, regardless of any action of the department, and persons other than the department shall not acquire actionable rights by virtue of such action.

The department shall maintain and operate such air sampling stations and devices; make or perform such routine and special examinations, inspections, observations, determinations, laboratory analyses, and surveys; maintain such records; and perform such other acts as it deems necessary to conduct an adequate air pollution control program within the metropolitan air pollution control district.

The commonwealth shall be reimbursed, as hereinafter provided, for all appropriations made by the general court and expended by the department for such purposes. The state treasurer shall issue his warrant requiring the assessors of the cities and towns of the metropolitan air pollution control district to assess a tax in the amount of the sums expended, one half of which shall be in proportion to their assessed valuations and one half of which shall be in proportion to their respective populations; provided, that any such city or town may in any year anticipate in whole or in part its assessment, and appropriate, raise, and deposit the amount thereof with the state treasurer, and any sum so deposited shall be credited against such assessment. The assessed valuations of the several cities and towns shall be the last preceding valuations made for purposes of apportioning the state tax.