General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 21G Massachusetts Water Management Act - Section 11 Issuance of permits; conditions; findings

Section 11. In accordance with rules adopted under section seven, the department may issue permits for any new withdrawal of water if it determines that the withdrawal will conform to the regulatory standards established. The department may attach to any permit whatever conditions it deems necessary to further the purposes of this chapter or to assure compliance with its regulations. If the department finds that the combined volume of existing, permitted and proposed withdrawals exceeds the safe yield of a water source or that existing, permitted or proposed water withdrawals are otherwise in conflict, it shall deny all applications for permits for withdrawals from that water source.

The department shall make written findings of fact in support of its decision and shall state with specificity the reasons for issuance or denial of the permit and for any conditions of approval imposed and may, in the case of any denial of a permit, advise the applicant in negotiating an agreement pursuant to section eight, so as to allow the permit to be granted. Every permit issued pursuant to this chapter may include provisions:—

(1) fixing the term of the permit;

(2) fixing the maximum allowable withdrawal expressed in terms of an average annual daily withdrawal;

(3) identifying and limiting the use or uses to which the water may be put;

(4) requiring the applicant to meter the water being withdrawn and report the amount and quantity of the water being withdrawn;

(5) governing the operation and maintenance of the specific facilities, equipment or premises;

(6) allowing the department to enter the applicant’s facilities or property to inspect and monitor the withdrawal;

(7) permitting the department to modify, suspend or terminate the permit, after notice and hearing, for violations of its conditions, of this chapter, or of regulations adopted or orders issued by the department, and when deemed necessary for the promotion of the purposes of the chapter.

The department shall, by regulation, specify a schedule of expiration dates applicable to each water source from which withdrawals are to be permitted. All permits for withdrawals from that water source shall be valid until the next expiration date thus specified; provided that no permit issued under this section shall be valid for a term greater than twenty years. Each person to whom a permit has been issued pursuant to this section shall file an annual statement of withdrawal, in accordance with regulations adopted by the department.

No permit shall be issued under this section after January first, nineteen hundred and ninety-four unless the city or town in which the water is to be used has obtained approval from the commission of its water resources management plan.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015