AN ACT TO CONDUCT A STUDY OF CHEMICALS INFILTRATING AQUIFERS AND BEDROCK FISSURES ALONG THE INTERSTATE 95 CORRIDOR.
Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith safe drinking water, 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. As used in this act, the following words shall, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“I-95 Corridor” as the area within the town of Boxford located approximately 1,500 feet from any portion of interstate highway route 95.
“Safe drinking water” water meeting or exceeding all primary and secondary standards and recommended guidelines for drinking water as defined by the department of environmental protection.
SECTION 2. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation shall conduct a comprehensive study to determine the cumulative and immediate effects of deicing chemical storage and deicing operations on the groundwater aquifers and bedrock fissures within the I-95 corridor. Specifically, the study shall determine how and why deicing chemicals applied to interstate highway route 95 have infiltrated the ground water aquifers and bedrock fissures and what measures need to be taken to prevent it from occurring in the future. The study shall provide recommendations as to: (1) the proximate causes of deicing chemicals, including sodium and chloride, infiltration into the groundwater aquifers and bedrock fissures within the I-95 Corridor; (2) short-term and long-term remedial actions necessary to restore groundwater quality to a safe drinking water standard within the I-95 corridor; (3) a plan to modify highway drainage systems to prevent storm water run-off and highway drainage from adversely impacting aquifers, bedrock and adjacent wetland resource areas; and (4) an alternative means to provide a reliable and adequate safe drinking water supply to the residents located within the I-95 corridor meeting all state and local requirements.
SECTION 3. The department shall conduct the study utilizing an independent consultant. The development of the study scope of work, the selection of the independent consultant and the review of study recommendations shall all be conducted jointly by department and a committee to be appointed by the Boxford board of selectmen and the Boxford board of health. Within 2 years of the effective date of this act, the department shall file a report of its activities and the developed recommendations with the governor and the clerks of the senate and house of representatives who shall forward the same to the house and senate committees on ways and means and other committees as appropriate. To the extent the report provides for disbursement of appropriations or other moneys authorized by the general court, the plan shall be subject to the approval of the secretary of transportation and the secretary of administration and finance.