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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XVI PUBLIC HEALTH
  • CHAPTER 111H MASSACHUSETTS LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE
    MANAGEMENT ACT
  • Section 20 Site selection process; issuance of required reports; public meetings; acquisition of property interest in candidate sites

Section 20. (a) The board shall issue a statewide mapping and screening report using existing data and analysis collected by the statewide resource center established pursuant to section fourteen or obtained by the board as of the date of its vote to initiate site selection. Such report shall identify, and exclude from further consideration in the site selection process, those areas of the commonwealth that are obviously unable to satisfy the site selection criteria adopted by the department of environmental protection under said section fourteen.

(b) After the issuance of the statewide mapping and screening report, the board shall issue a report identifying possible locations, which are likely to contain one or more candidate sites. The report shall describe the procedures used to identify such possible locations and establish that such procedures conform to the requirements of the regulations adopted by the department of environmental protection under section fourteen. Such possible locations shall include all available lands in the commonwealth which, on the basis of such information as is obtained by the board through its own investigations, appear to satisfy the site selection criteria adopted under said section fourteen. The board shall publicize the availability of such report for public review and comment, and shall provide a notice, satisfying the requirements of section nineteen to the chief executive officer of each community in which is located a possible location identified in the report. Within forty-five days of the issuance of such report, the board shall conduct at least one public meeting on the report in the vicinity of each possible location identified in the report at times and locations to be determined after consultation with the public participation coordinator and shall accept written comments thereon. The board shall consider and evaluate all comments and statements made at a public meeting or submitted in writing.

(c) Within ten months of the board vote, pursuant to section seventeen, to initiate the site selection process, the board shall issue a draft candidate site identification report. Such report shall identify at least two, but not more than five, candidate sites which the board considers best able to satisfy the site selection criteria adopted by the department of environmental protection under section fourteen, potentially licensable, capable of being developed, and otherwise appropriate for detailed site characterization pursuant to section twenty-three. Such report shall also include:

(1) a report of the results of a preliminary characterization of the meteorology, surface and groundwater, geology, tectonics, geomechanics, air quality, ecology, land use, cultural resources and social and economic characteristics of each such possible location;

(2) a description of the procedures used to identify the candidate sites based on such preliminary characterization; and

(3) draft plans for detailed site characterization of each candidate site pursuant to section twenty-three.

(d) The preliminary characterization required pursuant to this section shall be conducted, to the extent feasible, so as not to interfere with the quiet enjoyment of private property; provided, however, that, whenever the board deems it necessary to make surveys, soundings, drillings or examinations to obtain information for, or to expedite the preliminary characterization, its authorized agents or employees may, after due notice by registered or certified mail, enter upon any lands, waters and premises, not including buildings, in the commonwealth for the purposes of making surveys, soundings, drillings and examinations as the board may deem necessary or convenient, and such entry shall not be deemed a trespass. The board shall make reimbursement for any injury or actual damage resulting to such lands, water and premises caused by any act of its authorized agents or employees, and the board shall, so far as possible, restore such lands to the same condition as prior to the making of such surveys, soundings, drillings or examinations.

(e) Upon the issuance of the draft candidate site identification report, the board shall transmit a copy of the draft report to the secretary of the executive office of environmental affairs; and widely publicize its availability for public review and comment; and the board and the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall jointly provide a notice satisfying the requirements of section nineteen of this chapter and section forty I of chapter seven, to all persons entitled under said section forty I of chapter seven to receive such notices and to the chief executive officer of each community in which is located all or part of a candidate site identified in such draft report. The board shall request each such chief executive officer to take appropriate action to establish a community supervisory committee for such community in accordance with section twenty-one.

(f) No person owning property identified in the draft candidate site identification report shall take any action or cause to have any action taken with respect to such property prior to the acceptance or amendment of such report by the board pursuant to this section which has the effect of interfering with or rendering more difficult or expensive the conduct of detailed site characterization of the property or the acquisition of a property interest therein pursuant to this section or section twenty-four.

(g) Within sixty days of the issuance of the draft report, the board shall conduct at least one public meeting on the report in each community in which is located all or part of a candidate site identified in the draft report, at times to be determined after consultation with the public participation coordinator. Such public meeting shall be deemed to satisfy the public hearing requirements of section forty I of chapter seven. The board shall accept written comments on the report submitted within sixty days of the public notice of its availability. Prior to its acceptance of the draft report, the board shall consider and evaluate all comments and statements made at a public meeting or submitted in writing.

(h) Upon receipt of the draft report, the secretary of the executive office of environmental affairs shall implement the public review and comment procedures established pursuant to section sixty-two C of chapter thirty; provided, however, that the review period established in such section shall not extend beyond the final date for acceptance of written comments by the board pursuant to this section. Within sixty days of the issuance of the draft report, said secretary shall issue a statement evaluating its technical adequacy and conformance with the regulations adopted under section fourteen. The said secretary shall transmit a copy of such statement to the board.

(i) No less than seventy-five days and no more than ninety days after the issuance of the draft report, the board shall conduct a vote to determine whether to accept the report and to proceed with detailed site characterization of the candidate sites identified therein, or amend the report and proceed with detailed site characterization of the candidate site identified in the report as amended. Such a vote shall be based on the technical adequacy of the report and its conformance with the regulations adopted under section fourteen. If the board fails to accept or amend the report, the report shall be set aside and the procedures established in this section shall be repeated; provided, however, that the board shall issue its revised draft report within four months of the expiration of the time for it to accept or amend the previous candidate site identification report.

(j) Upon the board’s vote to proceed with detailed site characterization, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall, on behalf of the board, take appropriate action to acquire, by purchase or taking, pursuant to chapter seventy-nine, a determinable property interest in each candidate site identified in the candidate site identification report as accepted or amended by the board, or, in the case of real property of the commonwealth, to transfer the control and use of such property to the board. Acquisition or transfer of each such property interest shall be subject to the requirements of sections forty E to forty M, inclusive, of chapter seven; provided, however, that each candidate site shall be deemed to possess unique qualities for the purpose of section forty H of chapter seven. Such property interest shall be adequate to permit the conduct of detailed site characterization of the property, and to restrict the right to develop the property until a facility license is issued, pursuant to section thirty-one, to operate a facility at one of the candidate sites identified in the candidate site identification report as accepted or modified by the board.