Section 23: Detailed site characterization plan for candidate sites; public review and comment; selection of superior site
Section 23. (a) Each community supervisory committee shall assist the board in developing a detailed site characterization plan for a candidate site located within the community and participate throughout the implementation of such detailed site characterization plan. Appropriate board officials and consultants shall meet monthly with each community supervisory committee. Each community supervisory committee shall be kept informed of the progress of the detailed site characterization; be furnished copies of all data, reports and memoranda pertaining to said detailed site characterization including raw data, draft reports and memoranda; and given reasonable opportunity to review and comment upon all work performed.
(b) Within thirty days of the acceptance of the candidate site identification report pursuant to section twenty, the board and the community supervisory committee shall jointly conduct a public meeting in each candidate site community to discuss the draft plan for the detailed site characterization of the candidate site located within such community. The detailed site characterization plan adopted by the board shall include investigations and tests, both in the field and in the laboratory, which shall be conducted so as to demonstrate whether the site complies with the site selection criteria adopted under section fourteen; to provide information necessary for licensing of any facility at the site pursuant to section thirty-one, including an evaluation of the ability of the site characteristics to contribute to isolation of waste, data necessary for the proposed design of such a facility, an identification of potential interactions between the site characteristics and any low-level radioactive waste or waste containers located at the site to establish data collection points and baseline data suitable for use in an environmental monitoring program adopted pursuant to section thirty-six; and to identify, for inclusion in any environmental impact report prepared pursuant to section thirty, potential environmental impacts resulting from the development, operation, closure, post-closure observation and maintenance or institutional control of a facility at the site. Prior to its adoption of the final plan, the board shall consider and evaluate all comments made at a public meeting or in writing.
(c) Within one year and two months of the acceptance of the candidate site identification report pursuant to section twenty, the board shall issue a draft report of the detailed site characterization of each candidate site, and shall transmit a copy of such report to the secretary of the executive office of environmental affairs and the community supervisory committee. The draft report shall describe the procedures used to characterize each candidate site and establish that such procedures fully conform to the requirements of the regulations adopted under section fourteen.
(d) Upon issuance of the draft detailed site characterization report, the board shall widely publicize its availability for public review and comment, and the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall issue a notice, satisfying the requirements of section forty I of chapter seven, to all persons entitled thereby to review such notice. Within sixty days of the issuance of such report, the board shall conduct at least one public meeting on the report, in each candidate site community, 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 by the community supervisory committee or any other interested person within sixty days of the public notice of its availability.
(e) Upon receipt of the draft detailed site characterization 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 seventy-five days of the issuance of the 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 and the community supervisory committee.
(f) No sooner than seventy-five days and no later than ninety days after the issuance of the draft detailed site characterization report, the board shall conduct a vote to determine whether to accept or amend the report. Such a vote shall be based on the technical adequacy of the report and its conformance with the regulations adopted pursuant to section fourteen. Prior to its acceptance of the report, the board shall consider and evaluate all comments made at a public meeting or submitted in writing. If the board fails to accept or amend the detailed site characterization report, the report shall be set aside, and the procedures established in this section shall be repeated; provided, however, that the board shall meet with each community supervisory committee to discuss the draft plan for implementing the revised detailed site characterization within thirty days of the expiration of the time for the board to accept or modify the detailed site characterization report; and provided, further, that the board shall issue its revised detailed site characterization report within one year and two months of the expiration date of the time for the board to accept or amend the prior detailed site characterization report.
(g) Upon voting to accept or modify a detailed site characterization report, the board may select any superior site by a two-thirds vote of its members. Upon such vote, 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 fee simple interest in the superior site, together with such other land, easements, rights-of-way or other property interests necessary to construct and operate a facility thereon and to conduct an environmental monitoring program pursuant to section thirty-six, or, in the case of real property of the commonwealth, to transfer the control and use of such property to the board. Such acquisition or transfer shall be subject to the requirements of sections forty E to forty M, inclusive, of chapter seven; provided, however, that the superior site shall be deemed to possess unique qualities for the purposes of section forty H of said chapter seven. Upon the acquisition of such interest, each site community, during the period prior to the issuance of a facility license, shall be entitled to receive an amount in lieu of local property taxes in accordance with section seventeen of chapter fifty-eight. No facility developed at a superior site selected pursuant to this section shall be subject to the department of environmental protection site assignment pursuant to section one hundred and fifty B of chapter one hundred and eleven.