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Session Law

2008

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Chapter 498 AN ACT ESTABLISHING A CHARLES RIVER WATER QUALITY COMMISSION.

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

(a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there shall be a Charles river water quality commission which shall consist of: the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture who shall serve as co-chairs of the commission; 2 members of the house of representatives 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader; 2 members of the senate 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader; 7 members who shall be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the environmental protection agency selected from 3 nominations recommended by the environmental protection agency, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the department of conservation and recreation, 1 of whom shall be a representative of the department of environmental protection, 1 of whom shall be a representative from the swimmable Charles river working group selected from 3 nominations made by the Charles River conservancy, 1 of whom shall be an environmental water expert from a college or university and 1 of whom shall be a representative from the Charles river watershed association selected from 3 nominations made by the Charles river watershed association. All members shall serve without compensation. The commission may consult individuals and entities outside of its membership for research, advice, support and other functions necessary and appropriate to accomplish the commission’s objectives.

(b) The commission shall make an investigation and study relative to improving the conditions necessary to, and determining the feasibility of, bringing the water quality in the Charles river lower basin to a level safe for swimming. The commission shall support the goals established in 1995 by the Clean Charles River 2005 environmental protection agency initiative and assist with the objectives of the swimmable Charles river working group to improve water quality in the Charles river. The commission shall study the water quality of the lower Charles river basin through sources which shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) the collection of existing data concerning bacteria, viral, turbidity, clarity and all other water quality and environmental parameters that may affect human exposure to water from the Charles river; (2) the collection of existing data concerning sediment volume and quality; (3) identification of additional data, technologies, engineering solutions or environmental solutions necessary with cost estimates to decontaminate toxic sediments from the Charles river; (4) identification of additional data, various technologies, engineering solutions or environmental solutions necessary with cost estimates to improve water quality that may impact human exposure to water from the Charles river and the creation of public swimming areas and facilities in the lower Charles river on department of conservation and recreation property; and (5) sites for the development of public swimming areas along the lower Charles river basin, taking into account current uses, public transportation and environmental factors.

(c) The commission shall submit a report of its findings together with legislation, if any, to the chairs of the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture and the chairs of the house and senate committees on ways and means not later than March 1, 2010.

Approved January 13, 2009


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