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General Laws

Section 69M. Upon receipt of a petition for a certificate in compliance with the provisions of section 69L or section 69L1/2, whichever is applicable, the board shall fix a time and place for a public hearing on a date which shall be not less than sixty days nor more than ninety days from the date specified in the notice and publication under section 69L or section 69L1/2, whichever is applicable, as the date for filing, or the actual date of filing, whichever is later. Public notice of such hearings shall be given in the manner provided by section three of chapter thirty A.

The board shall provide for a period of thirty days following the date of the public notice during which time interested persons may submit their written views of the contents of the public notice with respect to the petition for a certificate. All written comments submitted during the thirty day comment period shall be retained by the board and considered in the formulation of its final determinations with respect to the petition. The period for comment may be extended at the discretion of a majority of the board.

Where applicable, the contents of the public notice of a petition for a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit shall include the following: (a) name, address and telephone number of the board; (b) name and address of each applicant; (c) brief description of each applicant’s activities or operations which result in the discharge described in the petition; (d) short description of the location of such discharge, indicating whether such discharge is a new or existing discharge; (e) a statement of the tentative determination to issue or deny a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit for the discharge described in the petition, including a statement of effluent limitations and schedules of compliance, where appropriate, and any other proposed special conditions; (f) a brief description of the procedures for the formulation of final determinations, including the thirty day comment period and any other means by which interested persons may influence or comment upon those determinations; and (g) address and telephone number of state or interstate agency premises at which interested persons may request a copy of the fact sheet described in this section, inspect and copy national pollutant discharge elimination system forms and related documents, and obtain further information.

Where the board is reviewing a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit petition, the board shall notify other appropriate government agencies of the petition for such a permit and shall provide such agencies an opportunity to submit their written views and recommendations. Procedures for such notification shall include

(1) Transmission of a fact sheet to any other states whose waters may be affected by the issuance of a national pollutant discharge elimination system permit at the time of the issuance of public notice pursuant to this section and, upon request, providing such affected state with a copy of the national pollutant discharge elimination system petition and a copy of the proposed permit. Each affected state shall be afforded an opportunity to submit written recommendations to the chairman of the board and to the regional administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency which the board may incorporate into the permit if issued. Should the board fail to incorporate any written recommendations thus received, the board shall provide to the affected state or states and to the regional administrator a written explanation of its reasons for failing to accept any of the written recommendations.

(2) A procedure for notifying any interstate agency having water quality control authority over waters which may be affected by the issuance of a certificate.

(3) Transmission of a fact sheet at the time of issuance of the public notice to the appropriate district engineer of the Army Corps of Engineers of the national pollutant discharge elimination system petitions for discharges, other than minor discharges, into navigable waters.

The hearing shall be conducted as an adjudicatory proceeding under the provisions of chapter thirty A, provided, however, that the board may make such rules or orders as it may deem reasonable in order to exclude repetitive or redundant testimony and other evidence.

For every discharge which has a total volume of more than five hundred thousand gallons on any day of the year, the board shall prepare and, following public notice, shall send upon request to any person a fact sheet with respect to the petition described in the public notice. The contents of such fact sheets shall include the following:

(1) a sketch or detailed description of the location of the discharge described in the national pollutant discharge elimination system petition;

(2) a quantitative description of the discharge described in the national pollutant discharge elimination system petition which includes at least the following:— (a) the rate or frequency of the proposed discharge; if the discharge is continuous, the average daily flow in gallons per day or million gallons per day; (b) for thermal discharge subject to limitation under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the average summer and winter temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit; and (c) the average daily discharge in pounds per day of any pollutants which are present in significant quantities or which are subject to limitations or prohibition under sections 301, 302, 306, or 307 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. 1251, et seq., and regulations published thereunder;

(3) the tentative determination required under this section;

(4) a brief citation, including a brief identification of the uses for which the receiving waters have been classified, of the water quality standards and effluent standards and limitations applied to the proposed discharge; and

(5) a fuller description of the procedures for the formulation of final determinations than that given in the public notice including: the required thirty-day comment period; procedures for requesting a public hearing and the nature thereof; and any other procedures by which the public may participate in the formulation of the final determinations.

The executive secretary shall add the name of any person or group upon request to a mailing list to receive copies of fact sheets.

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