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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSIONER OF CAPITAL ASSET MANAGEMENT AND MAINTENANCE TO CONVEY AN EASEMENT IN CERTAIN LAND IN THE CITY OF PEABODY.

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 may grant an easement to Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline, L.L.C. and its managing member, M&N Management Company, LLC, hereinafter “Maritimes”, and their successors and assigns, to construct, install, upgrade, maintain, operate, alter, repair, replace and remove a cathodic protection system solely for the purpose of maintaining Maritimes’ existing high-pressure natural gas transmission pipeline used in the transmission of natural gas in interstate commerce on land described in section 2, located in the city of Peabody and is currently held by the commonwealth for conservation purposes. The consideration for the easement shall be fair market value as described in section 3.

SECTION 2.  The easement shall contain approximately 5,266 square feet of land and is within a certain portion of a parcel of land deeded to the county of Essex in 1975 and recorded in the Essex southern district registry of deeds at book 6159, page 155, containing 6.4 acres, more or less. The dimensions of the easement are detailed on a plan of land entitled “Exhibit A, Essex County, Massachusetts, City of Peabody, Tract PEA-249B”, prepared by Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. and dated February 29, 2016. The dimensions of the easement shall be further reviewed and confirmed by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance after review of the survey details. Modifications to the easement description set forth in the plan may be made by the commonwealth for conformance with this act. The easement shall be granted without warranties or representations by the commonwealth. The final plan and grant of easement shall be recorded in the Essex southern district registry of deeds.

SECTION 3.  (a) The fair market value of the easement described in section 2 shall be based on an independent professional appraisal commissioned by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance. The commissioner shall submit the appraisal and a report thereon to the inspector general. The inspector general shall review and approve the appraisal and the review shall include an examination of the methodology utilized for the appraisal. The inspector general shall prepare a report of the review and file the report with the commissioner. The commissioner shall submit copies of the appraisal, 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 joint committee on state administration and regulatory oversight before the execution of the grant of the easement pursuant to this act.

(b)  As a condition for the grant of the easement pursuant to this act, Maritimes shall compensate the commonwealth in an amount equal to the full and fair market value or the value in use of the easement as proposed, whichever is greater, as determined by the independent appraisal. The compensation shall be deposited in the George L. Darey Inland Fisheries and Game Fund created by section 2C of chapter 131 of the General Laws.

(c)  Maritimes shall be responsible for all costs associated with any engineering, survey, appraisal, deed preparation and other expenses deemed necessary by the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance to execute the grant of the easement pursuant to this act.

(d)  Notwithstanding sections 32 to 37 inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary and as a further condition of the grant of easement authorized in this act, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance shall transfer to the department of fish and game 4 parcels located in the city of Peabody to be held in perpetuity for conservation purposes. The parcels were acquired for conservation purposes and are more particularly described: (1) in a deed recorded in the Southern Essex registry of deeds in book 6159, page 155 and containing 6.4 acres; (2) as parcel 3 in a deed recorded in the Southern Essex registry of deeds in book 6066, page 445 and containing 2.7 acres; (3) in a deed recorded in the Southern Essex registry of deeds in book 5935, page 65 and containing 9.37 acres; and (4) as parcel 2 in a deed recorded in the Southern Essex registry of deeds in book 6066, page 445 and containing 3.76 acres.

SECTION 4.  Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may grant a license for nominal consideration to Maritimes to provide Maritimes with immediate and complete access to, control of and liability and responsibility for the property described in section 2. The license shall govern until the grant of the easement pursuant to this act takes effect.

SECTION 5.  No instrument granting an easement by or on behalf of the commonwealth pursuant to this act shall be valid unless the instrument states that the easement shall be used solely for the purposes described in section 1. The instrument shall state that if the easement ceases to be used by Maritimes or its successors or assigns for the purposes described in this act, the easement shall revert to the commonwealth upon such terms and conditions as the commissioner of capital asset management and maintenance may determine. If the easement reverts to the commonwealth, any further disposition of the easement shall be subject to sections 32 to 37, inclusive, of chapter 7C of the General Laws and the prior approval of the general court.

Approved, December 23, 2020.