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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 111 PUBLIC HEALTH
  • Section 160 Examination of water supply; assistance to cities, towns and districts for groundwater aquifers and recharge areas

Section 160. The department may cause examinations of such waters to be made to ascertain their purity and fitness for domestic use, or the possibility of their impairing the interests of the public or of persons lawfully using them or of imperilling the public health. It may make rules and regulations and issue such orders as in its opinion may be necessary to prevent the pollution and to secure the sanitary protection of all such waters used as sources of water supply and to ensure the delivery of a fit and pure water supply to all consumers. It may delegate the granting and withholding of any permit required by such rules or regulations to state departments, boards and commissions and to selectmen in towns, and to boards of health, water boards and water commissioners in cities and towns, to be exercised by such selectmen, departments, boards and commissions, subject to such recommendation and direction as shall be given from time to time by the department; and upon complaint of any person interested, the department shall investigate the granting or withholding of any such permit, and make such orders relative thereto as it may deem necessary for the protection of the public health and to restrain the use of such waters to the extent as in its opinion such use will tend to adversely affect the public health. Whoever violates any such orders, rules or regulations: (a) shall be punished by a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars, to the use of the commonwealth, for each day that such violation occurs or continues, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment; or (b), shall be subject to civil penalty not to exceed twenty-five thousand dollars per day for each day such violation occurs or continues.

The department shall, within one hundred and eighty days of the adoption of a national primary drinking water regulation for lead, promulgate state regulations for lead in drinking water that are no less stringent than the federal standard. Such regulations shall also specify sampling procedures to be followed by water suppliers that are adequate to ensure detection of dangerous levels of lead at all appropriate points in the distribution system, including residential tap water. The department shall monitor the results of such sampling. The department shall also, by July first, nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, promulgate regulations specifying corrosion control measures to be taken by communities in which the drinking water supplied to consumers poses a risk of exposure to dangerous levels of lead.

The department of environmental protection shall establish a program to assist the cities, towns and districts of the commonwealth to acquire, by purchase, gift, lease, eminent domain, or otherwise lands and waters and easements therein to protect and conserve groundwater aquifers and recharge areas, surface water resources and watersheds, and land adjacent to, or nearby said resources, as it determines necessary to meet further water resource needs of the commonwealth for municipal or regional water supply. Said department shall develop criteria and procedures for the administration of said program subject to the approval of the water resources commission. No such city, town or district shall receive such assistance hereunder unless such city, town or district has adopted or is in the process of adopting a local water resources management plan pursuant to regulations established by the water resources commission.