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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 111H MASSACHUSETTS LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE
    MANAGEMENT ACT
  • Section 14 Site selection criteria and application guidelines; adoption of regulations

Section 14. (a) The department of environmental protection shall adopt regulations establishing criteria for the selection of any superior site, guidelines for their application, procedures for the conduct of site selection and plans for the creation within said department of a statewide resource center for the continued collection of data pertaining to site selection. Such regulations shall, at a minimum, be compatible with the federal regulatory program established pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act, 42 USC section 2071 et seq. The primary consideration in adopting such regulations shall be the protection of public health, safety and the environment.

(b) The site selection criteria and application guidelines shall ensure, at a minimum, that any superior site satisfies the following site suitability requirements.

(1) sites shall be capable of being characterized, modeled, and monitored;

(2) sites shall be well drained and free of areas of flooding or frequent ponding, waste management areas shall be outside any one-hundred-year flood plain, coastal high-hazard area, or wetland;

(3) upstream drainage areas shall be minimized to decrease the amount of run-off which could erode or inundate the waste management area;

(4) sites shall provide sufficient depth to the water table so that groundwater intrusion, perennial or otherwise, into the waste will not occur;

(5) the hydrogeologic unit used for waste management shall not discharge groundwater to the surface within the site;

(6) waste management area shall be located so that tectonic processes in the vicinity, such as faulting, folding, seismic activity or volcanism, will not occur which will significantly effect the ability of the site to meet any performance objectives adopted by the department of public health under section sixteen, or preclude adequate modeling and prediction of long-term impacts;

(7) waste management area shall be located so that surface geologic processes in the vicinity, such as mass wasting, erosion, slumping, landsliding, or weathering will not occur which will significantly affect the ability of the site to meet any performance objectives adopted by the department of public health under section sixteen, or preclude adequate modeling and prediction of long-term impacts;

(8) waste management areas shall be located so that nearby activities will not adversely affect the ability of the site to meet any performance objectives adopted by the department of public health under section sixteen, or significantly impair the environmental monitoring program;

(9) sites shall be located in areas with no known economically recoverable resources which, if exploited, would adversely affect the ability of the site to meet any performance objectives adopted by the department of public health under section sixteen, or significantly impair the environmental monitoring program;

(10) sites shall be located outside of, and so as not to adversely affect, the recharge zones of existing or future drinking water source aquifers;

(11) sites shall have sufficient land available to provide for the waste volume and a reasonable buffer around the waste management area;

(12) sites shall be located so as not to adversely affect any national park, monument, lake shore, habitat of endangered species, or area protected by the Wilderness Act, 16 USC sections 1131-1136, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, 16 USC sections 1271-1287, and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, 16 USC sections 661-666C; or the National Historic Preservation Act, 16 USC sections 470-470m; and

(13) sites shall be located away from any structure or area in which are regularly found persons who, because of their age or physical characteristics, are likely to be at significantly higher than normal risk of adverse health effects if exposed to the release of radioactive or associated toxic materials.

(c) The procedures for the conduct of site selection shall include a quality assurance program designed to ensure data reliability, validity, traceability, and retrievability, as well as completeness and technical adequacy, for use in making any site selection decisions or subsequent licensing determination.

(d) The application of the site selection criteria adopted pursuant to this section shall not be subject to waiver by the department of environmental protection or the board.