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General Laws

Section 31C. A board of health, or other legal authority constituted for such purpose by vote of the town or city council shall have jurisdiction to regulate and control atmospheric pollution, including, but not limited to, the emission of smoke, particulate matter, soot, cinders, ashes, toxic and radioactive substances, fumes, vapors, gases, industrial odors and dusts as may arise within its bounds and which constitutes a nuisance, a danger to the public health, or impair the public comfort and convenience.

Said board of health or other legal authority, subject to the approval of the department of environmental protection, in this section called the department, may from time to time adopt reasonable rules and regulations for the control of atmospheric pollution. Before the board of health or other legal authority submits such rules and regulations to the department for approval, such board or other legal authority shall hold a public hearing thereon, of which notice shall be given by publication for one day in each of two successive weeks in a newspaper published in the town, the first publication to be at least fourteen days prior to the date of the hearing, or if no newspaper is published in such town, by posting a copy of such notice in a public place therein. Said rules and regulations, when approved by the department, and after publication in a newspaper published in the town, or, if no newspaper is published in such town, after posting a copy in a public place, shall have the force of law.

The department shall advise the board or other legal authority in all matters of atmospheric pollution. The department may, upon request of the board of health or other legal authority of a town adversely affected by atmospheric pollution arising in another town, after a hearing to all parties interested, assume joint jurisdiction to regulate or control such cause of atmospheric pollution and may exercise all powers of the local board of health or other legal authority under provisions of the General Laws or any special laws.

Whoever violates any order, rule or regulation promulgated or adopted under the provisions of this section shall be punished, for the first offense, by a fine of not less than one thousand nor more than five thousand dollars and for a subsequent offense, by a fine of not less than five thousand nor more than ten thousand dollars. For the purpose of this paragraph each day or part thereof of violation of such an order, rule or regulation whether such violation be continuous or intermittent, shall be construed as a separate and succeeding offense.

Rules and regulations promulgated or adopted under the provisions of this section shall be enforced by said board of health or other legal authority either of which may delegate the power to enforce specific regulations to other agencies or departments of the same city or town. The superior court shall have jurisdiction in equity to enforce such rules and regulations and may restrain by injunction any violation thereof.

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