Governor Deval Patrick's Budget Recommendation - House 1 Fiscal Year 2012

Governor's Budget Recommendation FY 2012

Outside Section 15



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Improve Department of Environmental Protection Efficiencies

SECTION 15.   (A) Subsection (o) of section 3A of chapter 21E of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sentences:- In each year the department shall, at a minimum, audit a statistically significant number, as determined by the department, of all sites for which annual compliance assurance fees are required to be paid pursuant to section three B. In determining this statistically significant number, the department shall take into account the need for audits to ensure a high level of compliance with this chapter and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, and the need to target audit resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

(B) Chapter 91 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 18B the following section:-
Section 18C. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department may issue a general license authorizing small-scale docks, piers, and similar structures, but not commercial marinas or large-scale docks, piers, or similar structures, in tidelands, great ponds, rivers and streams, otherwise subject to individual licensing under sections 12, 12A, 13, 14, 18 and 19. The licensee shall comply with all general license performance standards to be issued as regulations by the department. Proponents of projects eligible for such a general license must certify their compliance with its terms and conditions to the department, and shall pay all applicable fees required by this chapter, before beginning construction. In addition, the following provisions of this chapter shall not apply to a general license issued under this section:-
(a) The first two paragraphs of section 18 shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that the project proponent shall submit to the planning board of the city or town where the work is to be performed the proposed use, the location, dimensions and limits and mode of work to be performed, before its certification to the department.
(b) The first sentence of the third paragraph of section 18 shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that the project proponent shall specify by metes, bounds and otherwise the location, dimensions, and limits and mode of performing the work in its certification to the department.
(c) The second sentence of the third paragraph of section 18 shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that any changes in use or structural alteration of a licensed structure or fill, whether the structure or fill first was licensed before, on or after the effective date of this section, shall require a new certification for projects eligible for certification or a license for structures which are ineligible for the general license, in accordance with the provisions and procedures established in this chapter and the general license.
(d) The sixth paragraph of section 18 shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that before certification, the project proponent shall give notice to the selectmen of the town or the mayor of the city and the conservation commission of the town or city where the work is to be performed and published at the same time in a newspaper or newspapers having a circulation in the area affected by the project , at the expense of the proponent.
(e) The seventh and eighth paragraphs of section 18, regarding public and adjudicatory hearings, shall not apply to projects subject to a general license.
(f) The ninth paragraph of section 18 regarding recordation shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that the project proponent shall submit a plan of the work or structure to the department in its certification. The general license for these projects shall be void unless, within 60 days after certification, the certification and the accompanying plan are recorded in the registry of deeds for the county or district where the work is to be performed. Work or change in use shall not commence until the certification is recorded and the department has received notification of the recordation.
(g) The tenth paragraph of section 18, regarding zoning approval, shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that the project proponent shall submit a certification by the clerk of the affected cities or towns that the work to be performed or changed in use is not in violation of local zoning ordinances and by-laws, in its certification to the department.
(h) The eleventh paragraph of section 18, regarding assessments for tidewater displacement and occupation of commonwealth tidelands, shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that these assessments shall be paid by the project proponent, in its certification to the department.
(i) Section 20 shall not apply to projects subject to a general license, except that the project proponent shall submit to the department plans of any proposed work to be performed and a copy of any legislative grant in its certification to the department.
The department shall adopt regulations to implement this section. The regulations shall protect the public rights in tidelands in accordance with this chapter.

(C) Section 43 of chapter 206 of the acts of 1998 is hereby amended by striking out the first sentence and inserting in place thereof the following 2 sentences:- The department of environmental protection shall perform a targeted audit of a statistically significant number, as determined by the department, of sites at which an activity and use limitation has been implemented in order to ensure that response actions not overseen or conducted by the department are performed in compliance with chapter 21E and regulations adopted under that chapter. In determining this statistically significant number, the department shall take into account the need for audits to ensure a high level of compliance with this said chapter 21E and the Massachusetts Contingency Plan, and the need to target audit resources in the most efficient and effective manner.
 
 

Summary:
This section increases efficiencies at the Department of Environmental Protection by allowing DEP to: * audit a statistically significant percentage of hazardous waste cleanup sites, rather than an arbitrary 20 percent; and * issue a "general license" for smaller, non-commercial projects under the waterways and tidelands law.



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