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Coastal Erosion

SECTION 191.   Notwithstanding any general or special law, rule or regulation or performance standard to the contrary and in order to promote the protection of shorelines, coastal banks and beaches and coastal properties from the growing dangers of coastal erosion and to further gain experience necessary for the evaluation of innovative coastal protection technologies that have not previously been used in the commonwealth, the department of environmental protection may issue required permits, certifications or approvals for not more than 2 pilot projects to deploy a coastal bank and beach protection technology; provided, however, that 1 project shall be conducted on the coast located north of the city of Boston and 1 project shall be conducted on the coast south of the city of Boston; provided further, that such pilot projects shall be required to seek and obtain all permits, certifications or approvals otherwise required by law, subject to the modifications authorized by this section; and provided further, that the pilot projects shall be required to comply with existing laws, rules and regulations, performance standards and requirements to the maximum extent feasible. In issuing such permits, certifications or approvals, the department of environmental protection may issue reasonable permit conditions to minimize adverse impacts from the construction and operation of the pilot projects and to protect down-drift properties and property owners including, but not limited to, conditions requiring the pilot project's owners and operators to indemnify others for any property damage caused by the pilot project or requiring the establishment of a financial assurance mechanism to provide funds for the costs of decommissioning the pilot project or for repairing any property damage caused by the pilot project. The department of environmental protection, in conjunction with the office of coastal zone management in the executive office of energy and environmental affairs, shall monitor the success of the pilot projects undertaken pursuant to this section and shall report its findings and recommendations for further regulatory or statutory changes to promote the use of innovative coastal protection technologies to the joint committee on environment, natural resources and agriculture not later than 2 years after the deployment of each pilot project.