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WHEREAS, it is the Commonwealth's responsibility to ensure the safety of all of its citizens;
WHEREAS, the recent and tragic death of Milena Del Valle in the 1-90 connector tunnel and the subsequent discovery of systemic problems in the tunnels and facilities that are part of the Metropolitan Highway System (MHS) have called into question the safety of the Commonwealth's citizens as they travel; and
WHEREAS, the Del VaIle tragedy warrants an immediate, objective, and careful evaluation of any deficiencies in the design and/or construction of the MHS tunnels and facilities in order to ensure the their soundness as well as to sustain the public's confidence in these tunnels and facilities;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Mitt Romney, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, do order as follows:
Section 1: There is hereby established an Independent Safety Review Team (the "Safety Review Team"). The Safety Review Team shall consist of a Safety Review Director, reporting directly to the Governor, and shall include all necessary staff to carry out the Safety Review Team's mission. The Safety Review Team shall also include an independent consulting firm or firms, managed and coordinated by the Safety Review Director. In accordance with Chapter 153 of the Acts of 2006, the Safety Review Team shall have access to such funds as are necessary to accomplish its mission.
Specifically, the Safety Review Team's mission shall be to conduct an independent, comprehensive critical infrastructure public safety review of the MHS tunnels and facilities and to provide an independent assessment of both the near and long-term safety of these tunnels and facilities.
Section 2: There is hereby established within the Office of the Governor a Special Safety Review Advisory Panel (the "Panel") which shall advise and support the Governor and the Safety Review Team. The Panel shall consist of five persons possessing relevant experience and who shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Panel shall advise the Governor and the Safety Review Team as to any actions it believes are necessary to ensure that the safety review is thorough, objective, and effective.
Section 3: The Safety Review Team, including the independent consultant(s) and the Panel, shall have unlimited access to all Massachusetts Turnpike Authority facilities, plans, reports, drawings, documents, and other information deemed necessary to carry out the safety review. All Executive Office of Transportation and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority personnel shall cooperate fully with the Safety Review Team and Panel.
Section 4: The Safety Review Team, with the input of the Panel, shall establish the appropriate work plan for the safety review and shall ensure that the most safety-critical elements of the MHS tunnels and facilities are given priority. The Safety Review Team, with the input of the Panel, shall complete a report for the Governor on these priority elements within 90 days of commencing its work.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 16th day of August in the year two thousand and six, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty.
Mitt Romney, Governor
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of State