AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSIONER OF CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE TO GRANT EASEMENTS WITHIN MONROE STATE FOREST.
Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to facilitate forthwith easements necessary for the maintenance of electrical tie lines within Monroe State Forest, 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. Notwithstanding sections 40E to 40J, inclusive, of chapter 7 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the commissioner of conservation and recreation, may grant permanent easements over, under and through portions of certain parcels of land in the Monroe State Forest in the town of Monroe, to Iberdrola Renewables, LLC and Massachusetts Electric Company d/b/a National Grid, their successors and assigns, for the purposes of clearing vegetation and the installation, operation, and maintenance of poles, guy wires, anchors, and equipment in connection with the construction, operation and maintenance of an electrical tie line for a wind power facility, subject to sections 3 and 4, and subject to such reasonable additional terms and conditions consistent with this act as the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance, in consultation with the commissioner of conservation and recreation, may prescribe. The parcels are more particularly described in a deed to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts recorded in the Franklin county registry of deeds in book 690, page 231. The permanent easements to be granted shall apply to 6,400 square feet of land in the aggregate, more or less, as more fully described on certain plans titled “Hoosac Wind Project/Distribution Line Tie-In,” prepared by Westwood Professional Services, Inc., numbered Sheets 1 through 5 of 5, and dated December 15, 2011, as filed with the department of conservation and recreation; provided, however, that the plans shall also indicate certain clearing mitigation areas which are not part of the permanent easement. 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 and the department, before any grant of easements to carry out this act.
SECTION 2. The full and fair market value of the easements described in section 1, or the value in use as proposed, shall be determined by 1 or more independent appraisals as commissioned by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance. The grantee of these easements shall compensate the commonwealth in an amount greater than or equal to the full and fair market value, or the value in use of these easements as proposed, whichever is greater, as determined by the independent appraisals. For the purposes of any appraisal, the full and fair market value of the easement area to be granted shall be calculated with regard to its full development potential as assembled with other abutting lands owned or otherwise controlled by Massachusetts Electric Company, if any. The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall submit any such appraisals and any report thereon to the inspector general for review and comment. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the inspector general shall review and approve each appraisal, including an examination of the methodology used for the appraisal. The inspector general shall prepare a report of the review and file the report with the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance and copies of the same shall be filed with the house and senate committees on ways and means and the house and senate committees on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets.
The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall, 30 days prior to executing a grant of easements authorized by this act, or any subsequent amendment thereto, submit the proposed grant of easements or amendment and a report thereon to the inspector general for review and comment. The inspector general shall issue the review and comment within 15 days after receipt of the proposed grant of easements or amendment. The commissioner shall submit the proposed grant of easements or amendment, the report and the comments of the inspector general to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the house and senate committees on bonding, capital expenditures and state assets at least 15 days before the execution of the grant of easements or amendment.
SECTION 3. To ensure a no-net-loss of lands protected for conservation purposes, the granting of any easements authorized in section 1 shall only occur if the easement holder has mitigated, or caused to be mitigated, the impact and conveyed, or caused to be conveyed, to the commonwealth or its designee land or an interest in land to be held by the department of conservation and recreation or its designee, for conservation purposes. The land or interest in land shall be of greater value than as determined in accordance with section 2 and shall be acceptable to the department, in its discretion.SECTION 4. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, Massachusetts Electric Company, or its successors and assigns, shall be responsible for all costs and expenses including, but not limited to, costs associated with any engineering, surveys, appraisals and deed preparation directly related to the grant of easements authorized in this act, as those costs may be determined by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance.
Approved, June 1, 2012.