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The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 47: Unsafe or inadequate dams; action by commissioner; enforcement; regulations

Section 47. (a) If the owner fails to take corrective action or fails to file an evaluation report, within the time specified in the order, as required in section 46, or if the owner of the dam cannot be determined, the commissioner may take such action as he deems necessary to repair or mitigate the unsafe condition and put the dam in an acceptable structural and operational condition or remove the dam in accordance with the existing rules and regulations of the department. Any emergency action taken by the owner of a dam pursuant to the commissioner's order or any emergency action taken by the commissioner may be taken without any prior filing with the conservation commission under section 40 of chapter 131. If water has been drawn off or the structure has been altered pursuant to an order by the commissioner, the impoundment shall not be refilled without approval of the commissioner. The commissioner may enter private property to take action to enforce sections 44 to 47, inclusive. The commissioner may enter into contracts to take actions, draw off water or make temporary repairs without complying with the competitive bidding requirements in chapter 149, if such action is necessary to abate a threat to safety or property.

(b) Any person performing substantial repairs without complying with sections 44 to 48A, inclusive, or who fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter or of any order, regulation or requirement of the department relative to dam safety, shall be fined an amount not to exceed $5,000 for each offense, to be fixed by the court. Each violation shall be a separate and distinct offense and, in case of a continuing violation, each day's continuance thereof shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.

(c) The attorney general, upon notice by the commissioner, shall institute an action to recover such fine and to enjoin the alteration, construction and use of such structure.