Town of Abington, MA
Plymouth County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Abington 4-3-2006 ATM by Art. 8.[1]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Dumping — See Ch. 49.
[1]
Editor's Note: This Article also superseded former Ch. 138, Solid Waste, comprised of Art. I, Regulation of Facilities, adopted 10-24-2000 STM by Art. 38; and Art. II, Site Selection Procedures, adopted 10-24-2000 STM by Art. 39.

§ 138-1 Preamble.

General Laws Section 150A, Chapter 111, requires that every person maintaining or operating a solid waste facility shall operate the facility in such manner as will protect public health and safety and the environment. Upon determination by the Board of Health that the operation or maintenance of such a facility results in a threat to public health and safety or the environment the Board shall rescind, suspend, or modify the site assignment following due notice and a public hearing.

§ 138-2 Purpose.

This article establishes the following procedures in addition to the procedures required by state law and regulation, to protect the rights of the people of Abington to clean air and water guaranteed by Article 97 of the Articles of Amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution.

§ 138-3 Statutory authority.

This article is adopted pursuant to the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, Article 89 of the Articles of Amendment, independent of the provisions of Section 150A of Chapter 111 of the General Laws and regulations promulgated thereto.

§ 138-4 Petition.

Any 10 or more residents of Abington or of any town located within 1/2 mile of a solid waste facility (an "abutting town"), if any, may petition the Board of Health in writing alleging that said solid waste facility is operating in violation of its site assignment or of any applicable law, regulation, order, or bylaw or that the maintenance or operation of a solid waste facility results or may result in a threat to public health or safety or the environment.

§ 138-5 Burden of proof.

When an allegation is made that a solid waste facility is in violation of any applicable law, regulation, order, or bylaw or that the maintenance or operation of a solid waste facility results in or may result in a threat to public health or safety or the environment, the burden of proof shall be on the owner or operator of said solid waste facility to prove that the facility is not in violation or that the operation of the facility does not result in a threat to public health, safety, or the environment, as the case may be.

§ 138-6 Preliminary hearing.

No later than 21 days following receipt of such a petition, the Board of Health shall schedule a preliminary hearing. The purpose of the preliminary hearing shall be to decide whether the Board should schedule a site assignment hearing pursuant to Section 150A of Chapter 111 of the General Laws to consider whether to rescind, suspend, or modify the site assignment of said facility. The preliminary hearing shall be held no later than 60 days following receipt of the petition.

§ 138-7 Hearing notice.

Notice of the preliminary hearing shall be made at least 21 days prior to the commencement of the hearing by notice printed in a display advertisement in every newspaper of general circulation in Abington and an abutting town, if any. Said notice shall include the entire text or concise summary of the petition, the date, the time, and place of the preliminary hearing, how residents can participate in the meeting, and where application materials can be reviewed and the deadline for submitting written comments on the petition to the Board of Health. At least 14 days prior to commencement of said preliminary hearing, the Board of Health shall send a copy of said notice of said preliminary hearing by first class mail to all residents and landowners located within one mile of the proposed site, including residents of an abutting town, if any.

§ 138-8 Hearing procedure.

The preliminary hearing shall be conducted as follows:
A. 
The petitioners shall first describe the basis for their petition.
B. 
Then, the owner or operator of the affected facility shall be given a reasonable opportunity to respond.
C. 
The Board shall then allow public testimony, shall accept written comments for a specific period of time that shall be announced at the preliminary hearing. The hearing shall be conducted as informally as possible, and shall follow the rules of evidence commonly followed in the courts. Any resident of Abington or an abutting town, if any, and of the general public, shall be allowed to present oral or written testimony during the hearing.

§ 138-9 Written decision.

No later than 30 days following the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the Board shall render a written decision whether or not to convene a site assignment hearing pursuant to Section 150A, Chapter 111 of the General Laws to consider whether the site assignment should be rescinded, suspended, or modified.

§ 138-10 Severability.

Each of the paragraphs within this article shall be construed as separate to the end that if any sentence, clause, or phrase thereof shall be held invalid for any reason the remainder of that paragraph and all other paragraphs of this article shall continue in force and effect.

§ 138-11 Preamble.

This article establishes public participation requirements to improve the public process following the filling of a site assignment application for a new solid waste facility.

§ 138-12 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to protect the rights of the people of Abington to clean air and water guaranteed by Article 97 of the Articles of Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution, and to protect their right to petition government guaranteed by the Massachusetts Constitution, Article 19 of the Declaration of Rights, and by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

§ 138-13 Statutory authority.

This article is adopted pursuant to the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, Article 89 of the Articles of Amendment, independent of the provisions of Section 15A of Chapter 111 of the General Laws and regulations promulgated thereto.

§ 138-14 Establishment of procedures.

This Bylaw establishes procedures to require an informational meeting by the Board of Health which is held following the filing of an application for a site assignment for a proposed solid waste facility.
A. 
The Board of Health shall hold a public informational meeting no later than 45 days following the receipt by the Board of a site assignment application for a proposed solid waste facility, where the applicant shall be invited to give a short presentation and answer questions from attendees.
B. 
At least 14 days prior to commencement of said informational meeting, the Board of Health shall require the applicant place a large four-foot by eight-foot sign at the proposed site, on the nearest public way, which states in a clearly readable typeface that "This is a proposed site of a (type of facility) proposed by (name of applicant). An informational meeting on the application will be held (date) (time) at (location). For more information, contact, (name, title, phone number and address of Board of Health contact)," and which shall contain a brief description of the proposed project and where application materials can be reviewed.
C. 
At least 14 days prior to commencement of said informational meeting, the Board of Health shall send notice of said meeting, which shall include a brief description of the project, the date, time and location of the meeting, how residents can participate in the meeting, and were application materials can be reviewed, by first class mail to all residents and landowners located within one mile of proposed site, including residents and landowners in an abutting town if the proposed site is within 1/2 mile of that town (an "abutting town").
D. 
At least 14 days prior to commencement of the informational meeting, the Board of Health shall forward a copy of the application for a site assignment to the Abington Public Library and to the public library in an abutting town, if any, and place a copy on the Internet.
E. 
At least 14 days prior to commencement of the informational meeting, the Board of Health shall publish notice as display advertisement in a non-legal section of one or more newspapers in general circulation in Abington and an abutting town, if any, which shall include notice of the informational meeting and where the application materials can be reviewed, and shall send the notice as a press release to all newspapers and media outlets which circulate in the town(s).
F. 
The Board of Health shall provide for either live public broadcast of the informational meeting on the local cable access channel, or if that is not feasible, for the videotaping of the informational meeting for later broadcast.
G. 
The Board of Health may assess upon the applicant the costs for complying with the provisions of this article relative to the informational meeting and providing notice thereof. Said applicant may contest the amount so assessed and may request a hearing before the Board, who may then reconsider the amount of the assessment thereof.

§ 138-15 Severability.

Each of the paragraphs within this article shall be construed as separate to the end that if any sentence, clause, or phrase thereof shall be held invalid for any reason the remainder of that paragraph and all other paragraphs of this article shall continue in force.