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  • Acts
  • 2014
  • Chapter 246 AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE DIVISION OF CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE TO GRANT EASEMENTS TO NSTAR ELECTRIC COMPANY

     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 32 to 37, inclusive, of chapter 7C 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 convey permanent subsurface easements over, under and through portions of the median strip located between Columbia road and William J. Day boulevard between H street and just beyond G street and across Columbia road at H street, located in the city of Boston, which land is currently under the control of and used by the department of conservation and recreation, to NSTAR Electric Company, a Massachusetts corporation, its successors and assigns, solely for the purposes of laying, constructing, maintaining, accessing, operating, replacing, repairing, abandoning and removing underground electric transmission lines and appurtenant facilities for the transmission of electricity, subject to the provisions of sections 3 and 4 and 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 as a portion of the land subject to an order of taking dated January 18, 1962 and recorded in the Suffolk registry of deeds in book 7624, page 575.  The underground electric transmission lines shall be situated on Columbia road at H street for approximately 48 linear feet, and on the median strip between Columbia road and William J. Day boulevard between H street and just beyond G street for approximately 831 linear feet, and appurtenant structures shall be located in such land on the median strip and under G street just beyond G street for approximately 34,483 square feet, more or less, and the permanent easement to be granted shall apply to approximately 0.79 acres of land in the aggregate, more or less, and is shown as Figure 1 on a plan entitled “South Boston 115kV Project Proposed Pipe Type Cable Alignment Within Carson Reservation” prepared by TRC Companies, Inc. and dated September 17, 2013,  which is on file with the department of conservation and recreation.  Modifications to the easement descriptions set forth in the plan may be made in order to conform to the requirements of a decision by the department of public utilities and with a final land survey, as accepted by the departments, prior to any conveyance to carry out this act. The final survey shall be recorded in the Suffolk district registry of deeds. 
     SECTION 2.  The fair market value of the easements described in section 1 and the land in section 5, or the value in use as proposed, shall be based on independent professional appraisals, as commissioned by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance.  NSTAR Electric Company shall compensate the commonwealth in an amount greater than or equal to the full and fair market value, or the value in use of the easements as proposed, whichever is greater, as determined by the independent appraisals.  NSTAR Electric Company 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 NSTAR Electric Company as a result of the conveyances authorized by this section shall be deposited in the General Fund. The commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall submit the appraisals and a report thereon to the inspector general for review and comment.  The inspector general shall review and approve the appraisals and the review shall include an examination of the methodology utilized for the appraisals.  The inspector general shall prepare a report of the review and file the report with the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance for submission by the commissioner to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on state administration.  The commissioner shall submit copies of the appraisals, the report thereon and the inspector general’s review and approval, and comments, if any, to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the senate and house chairs of the joint committee on state administration prior to the execution of the conveyances authorized by this act.
     SECTION 3.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, on the effective date of this act, the department of conservation and recreation may grant a temporary license, not to exceed 5 years, at a nominal amount to NSTAR Electric Company in order to provide NSTAR Electric Company with immediate and complete access to, control of and liability and responsibility for the property described in section 1 shall for the purposes of this act until the conveyances authorized by this act take effect. 
     SECTION 4.  No instrument conveying by or on behalf of the commonwealth any easement described in section 1 shall be valid unless such instrument provides that the easements shall be used solely for the purposes described in this act.  The easement instrument shall include a provision which shall state that in the event that the easements cease to be used by NSTAR Electric Company, or its successors or assigns, for the purposes described in this act the easements shall revert to the commonwealth under the control of and use by the department of conservation and recreation, upon such terms and conditions as the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may determine.  If the easements revert to the commonwealth, any further disposition of the easements shall be subject to sections 32 to 38, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws and the prior approval of the general court. The terms of the easements shall require that for any installation, maintenance, repair or other work performed in the easement area, the easement holder shall not limit surface access to parkland or roadways for a period of time longer than that deemed acceptable by the department of conservation and recreation and shall restore the surface condition to the equivalent or better condition as determined by the department.
     SECTION 5.  To ensure a no-net-loss of lands protected for natural resource purposes and as a condition of the conveyance authorized in section 1, NSTAR Electric Company shall, in addition to any compensation from NSTAR to the commonwealth required pursuant to section 2,  compensate the commonwealth for the easements described in this act through the transfer to the department of conservation and recreation of land or, an interest therein or funding for the acquisition of land or an interest therein equal to or greater than the appraised value of the easements as determined pursuant to this act. The fair market value of any land or interest in land proposed to be conveyed by NSTAR Electric Company to the department shall be included within the appraisal required by section 2. The land or, interest therein or funding shall be acceptable to the department of conservation and recreation and any land or interest therein, whether conveyed by NSTAR Electric Company or acquired by the department, shall be permanently held and managed for conservation and recreation purposes by the department. If the appraised value of any land or interests therein conveyed pursuant to this section shall be determined to be greater than the appraised value of the easements described in section 1, the commonwealth shall have no obligation to pay the difference. All payments paid to the commonwealth as a result of this section shall be deposited in the Conservation Trust established in section 1 of chapter 132A of the General Laws.

Approved, August 6, 2014.