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Summary

The proposed law would require the state Department of Environmental Quality Engineering (DEQE) to search for sites in the Commonwealth where oil or hazardous materials have been disposed of and to take all steps necessary to clean up those sites within specified time limits, Provisions are made for informing the public about sites in their communities.

Beginning on January 15,1987, DEQE would be required to publish lists every three months of all sites where it has confirmed that uncontrolled oil or hazardous materials have been disposed of and locations to be investigated as possible disposal sites, The lists would describe what actions have been taken at each site or location, DEQE would be required to list, to the extent is a disposal site, and whether it poses an imminent or substantial hazard to health, safety, public welfare or the environment.

For sites found to pose a substantial hazard, DEQE would be required, within the next two years, to ensure that those hazards are eliminated and to develop a plan to eliminate permanently future risks from those sites, Imminent hazards would have to be eliminated immediately, For sites found not to pose any substantial hazards DEQE must, within seven years after the listing, ensure that the full extent of contamination is evaluated and that a plan to eliminate permanently future risks is developed.

The proposed law would require DEQE to provide public notice and encourage public participation, Within 30 days after completing a site investigation, DEQE would have to inform the public through local newspapers of the results of that investigation and of the rights of local citizens under the state law, If ten citizens of a town potentially affected by a site submit a request, DEQE would be required to develop a plan for involving the public in its cleanup decisions and present that plan at a public meeting, The chief municipal officer of a city or town in which a disposal site is located could appoint that it has identified, at least 400 possible disposal sites by January 15,1987, 600 additional locations by January 15,1988, and 1,000 additional locations in each subsequent year.

Within one year after a location is listed as a possible disposal site DEQE would be required to determine if further investigation is warranted If so, within two years after the listing, DEQE must confirm whether the location individual(s) to inspect the site on behalf of the community.

Massachusetts residents could bring lawsuits to enforce the provisions of the proposed law or to lessen a hazard related to oil or hazardous materials If such a lawsuit is brought, a court could award costs, including reasonable fees for attorneys and expert witnesses.

1986 Nov 4 :: State of Massachusetts :: Question 4 :: Initiative PetitionDo you approve of a law summarized below, which was approved by the House of Representatives on May 5, 1986, by a vote of 145 - 0, and on which no vote was taken by the Senate before May 7, 1986?

View as: # | %  
Ward
Yes
No
Blank Votes Total Votes Cast Total Ballots Cast
Totals
 
16,330
4,269
3,191
20,599
23,790
Precinct 1
 
465
117
147
582
729
Precinct 2
 
272
95
78
367
445
Precinct 3
 
351
104
69
455
524
Precinct 4
 
374
90
73
464
537
Precinct 5
 
307
71
62
378
440
Precinct 1
 
144
41
57
185
242
Precinct 2
 
377
119
91
496
587
Precinct 3
 
196
56
38
252
290
Precinct 4
 
401
100
70
501
571
Precinct 5
 
409
110
64
519
583
Precinct 6
 
351
73
58
424
482
Precinct 1
 
505
129
116
634
750
Precinct 2
 
435
110
82
545
627
Precinct 3
 
457
110
94
567
661
Precinct 4
 
423
120
56
543
599
Precinct 5
 
391
109
61
500
561
Precinct 1
 
518
132
102
650
752
Precinct 2
 
305
69
100
374
474
Precinct 3
 
510
120
92
630
722
Precinct 4
 
549
155
90
704
794
Precinct 5
 
444
124
142
568
710
Precinct 6
 
438
138
101
576
677
Precinct 1
 
377
128
106
505
611
Precinct 2
 
414
95
88
509
597
Precinct 3
 
514
111
70
625
695
Precinct 4
 
443
109
75
552
627
Precinct 5
 
376
103
78
479
557
Precinct 6
 
438
134
103
572
675
Precinct 1
 
564
118
79
682
761
Precinct 2
 
563
146
61
709
770
Precinct 3
 
500
122
78
622
700
Precinct 4
 
425
96
62
521
583
Precinct 5
 
399
102
49
501
550
Precinct 1
 
512
118
105
630
735
Precinct 2
 
449
117
53
566
619
Precinct 3
 
528
141
79
669
748
Precinct 4
 
697
204
160
901
1,061
Precinct 5
 
509
133
102
642
744
Totals
 
16,330
4,269
3,191
20,599
23,790