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Session Law

2004

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Chapter 255 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSIONER OF THE DIVISION OF CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE TO CONVEY EASEMENTS FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF NATURAL GAS OVER LANDS FORMERLY UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE COUNTY OF ESSEX IN THE TOWN OF MIDDLETON AND THE CITIES OF PEABODY AND SALEM TO MARITIMES & NORTHEAST PIPELINE, L.L.C.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to grant forthwith an easement to facilitate the construction of an interstate natural gas pipeline, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. The commissioner of the division of capital asset management and maintenance may, notwithstanding sections 40E through 40J, inclusive of chapter 7 of the General Laws, convey permanent and temporary easements, and any improvements located thereon over, under and through portions of certain parcels of land formerly owned by Essex county located in the town of Middleton and in the cities of Peabody and Salem which are currently under the control of the division and are used for electric transmission, bridge and conservation and recreational purposes, as the case may be, to Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C., a Delaware company, its successors and assigns, solely for the purposes of laying, constructing, maintaining, operating, replacing, repairing, abandoning and removing an interstate pipeline and appurtenant facilities for the transmission of natural gas, subject to sections 2 and 3, and to such reasonable additional terms and conditions consistent with this act as the commissioner may prescribe. The parcels are more particularly described in deeds recorded in the Southern District of the Essex county registry of deeds at Book 5935, Page 65 and Book 6066, Page 445 and in an Order of Taking recorded in said registry of deeds at Book 2340, Page 326 (which Order of Taking also refers to County of Essex Layout Plans of 1916 for Bridge Street, authorization under chapter$N132 of the acts of 1916 and a county of Essex layout of 1788). The pipeline shall be situated on such land for 629 linear feet in the aggregate, more or less, and the permanent easement to be granted shall apply to .64 acres of land in the aggregate more or less, as more fully described on 3 plans each entitled "Owner-N/F Commonwealth of Massachusetts", prepared by Maritimes & Northeast Pipelines, L.L.C. and numbered respectively as Dwg. No. ME-P-9225, .wg. No. ME-P-9226 and Dwg. No. ME-P-9305.2, which plans are on file with the division. Those portions of such plans that identify the temporary easement as "M&N Temporary Easement" shall expire and revert to the commonwealth upon completion of initial pipeline construction and restoration of permanent easement areas. Minor modifications to the easement description set forth in the plans described above may be made in order to conform with a final land survey, as accepted by the division, before any conveyance to carry out the purposes of this act.

SECTION 2. There shall be an independent appraisal, or appraisals, of the easements described in section 1 to be conveyed by this act to determine the diminution in the full and fair market value of the lands described in section 1 resulting from the easements, based upon 1 or more professional appraisals as commissioned by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance. To expedite the conveyance authorized by this act the commissioner may in establishing value, take into consideration any prior appraisal or appraisals of these easements which the commissioner determines are timely and relevant. The grantees of the easements shall compensate the commonwealth an amount greater than, or equal to, the diminution in the full and fair market value of the land described in section 1 resulting from the easements, or the value in use of the easements as proposed, whichever is greater, as determined by the independent appraisal or appraisals. The grantees of the easements shall assume all costs associated with any engineering, surveys, appraisals, deed preparation and other expenses deemed necessary by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance to execute the conveyances authorized by this act. All money paid to the commonwealth by Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. as a result of the conveyance of the easements authorized by this act at shall be deposited in the General Fund of the commonwealth. `tf The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall submit the appraisal or appraisals and a report of his determination of value to the inspector general for his review and comment. The inspector general shall review and approve the appraisal or appraisals, and his review shall include an examination of the methodology utilized for the appraisal or appraisals. The inspector general shall prepare a report of his review and file the report with the commissioner for submission by the commissioner to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the chairmen of the joint committee on state administration. The commissioner shall submit copies of the appraisals, his report, and the inspector general review and approval and comments, if any, to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the chairmen of the joint committee on state administration before the execution of said conveyances.

SECTION 3. No instruments conveying, by or on behalf of the commonwealth, the easements described in section 1 of this act shall be valid unless such instruments provide that said easements shall be used solely for the purposes described in said section N1. The easement instruments shall include a clause which shall state that in the event that the easements cease to be used by Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. for the purposes described in said section 1 at any time, the easement shall revert to the commonwealth under the control of and used by the division of capital asset management and maintenance upon such terms and conditions the commissioner may determine. Should the easements revert to the commonwealth, any further disposition of the easements shall be subject to sections 40E through 40J, inclusive, of chapter 7 of the General Laws, and the prior approval of the general court.

Approved August 9, 2004.

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