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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts


Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to forthwith declare the Asian longhorn beetle and oak wilt public nuisances and to provide penalties for the knowing resistance or obstruction of efforts to suppress or eradicate said public nuisances, 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. Section 11 of chapter 132 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “way”, in line 9, the following words:- , and any invasive plant or animal species, diseases and insects which damage the health, safety or quality of forest, shade or other trees including, but not limited to, the Asian longhorned beetle or oak wilt.

SECTION 2. Said chapter 132 is hereby further amended by striking out section 12, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 12. Whoever knowingly resists or obstructs the commissioner, any local superintendent or employee or authorized agent of any of them, while any of those persons is engaged in suppressing or eradicating the Asian longhorned beetle, oak wilt or any public nuisance described in section 11, or whoever knowingly violates any rule, regulation, order or quarantine issued by the commissioner, in writing, relative to the suppression or eradication of public nuisances shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each violation. Each day that such violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate violation. The penalty may be assessed by the department, and may be recovered in an action brought on behalf of the commonwealth in the superior court. The commonwealth also may bring an action for injunctive relief in the superior court for any such violation, and the superior court shall have jurisdiction to enjoin such violation and to grant such further relief as it may deem appropriate.

Approved January 13, 2009