[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Boxford as Regulation 1-96. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The majority of dwellings in the Town of Boxford, Massachusetts, rely on private wells as their source of potable water and on septic systems for the disposal of solid waste. The Board of Health hereby finds that major earth removal or earth filling projects in the town may introduce added burdens on groundwater quality and aquifer recharge, that such burdens need to be assessed by the Board and that the town will incur significant expense in reviewing applications for such major projects in order to assess the resulting health impacts. For this reason, the Board of Health for the Town of Boxford, acting under MGL c. 111, §§ 31, 122 and 143; MGL c. 44, § 53G; MGL c. 41, § 81U; and MGL c. 40B, § 21, as amended, in the interest of and for the protection of public health, and in order to provide for timely and adequate review of applications as required by statute, has established and adopted the following regulation concerning requirements for proposed major earth removal or earth filling projects and any fees associated with review required by the Board for such projects in Boxford.
These regulations are intended to protect the public and environmental health, provide adequate water supply and ensure that there will be adequate protection of wells and septic systems against flooding, siltation and other drainage problems. These regulations are also intended to make certain that earth removal or earth filling projects:
Will maintain a depth to groundwater which is adequate for the construction of subsurface wastewater disposal systems under both local and state regulations;
Will not be injurious to water supplies;
Will be carried out so as to provide adequate protection against flooding, siltation and other drainage problems; and
Will not introduce hazardous materials into the environment.
As used in this regulation, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The owner of any property that lies within 500 feet radially from any lot line of the subject property, including those properties across a traveled way or body of water. In the case of property that has frontage on a body of water, abutters shall include owners of all those properties with frontage on the body of water.
- Board of Health.
- COMPREHENSIVE PERMIT
- Any application or permit received and to be reviewed by the Board pursuant to MGL c. 40B, § 21.
- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
- EARTH REMOVAL-RESTORATION PLAN (ERRP)
- A plan for a specific earth removal project which contains all information necessary to evaluate the site, a detailed description of the proposed earth removal operation and the proposed plan for restoration of the site after the operation is complete.
- Any single parcel of land in the Town of Boxford.
- MAJOR EARTH FILLING PROJECTS
- Any proposed action in which fill material in excess of 500 cubic yards per lot or 2,000 cubic yards per project (in the case of a subdivision project) is brought to a site in Boxford from another site either in Boxford or from another locality. Movement of fill between the lots of the same subdivision or in the construction of a road within a single subdivision or for the construction of a septic system approved by the Board of Health is not considered a major earth filling project.
- MAJOR EARTH REMOVAL PROJECTS
- Any proposed earth removal operation in which material is removed from a lot and in which the total amount of material removed exceeds the lesser of 500 cubic yards per lot or 2,000 cubic yards per project (in the case of a subdivision or project) in aggregate. Major earth removal projects include the moving of earth between lots of a subdivision and/or to other developments or subdivisions. Normal earth removal during road construction or during landshaping on the same lot or during the construction of a septic system approved by the Board of Health is not considered a major earth removal project.
- Any individual, family, partnership, association, firm, company, corporation, trust, agency, group (including a city, town, county, state or other governmental unit) or any other entity responsible in any way for an activity subject to this regulation.
- Any application or permit received and to be reviewed by the Board pursuant to MGL c. 41, § 81U. For the purposes of this regulation, a subdivision shall include all ANR (approval not required) properties formed from the original land subdivided during, after or two years prior to the subdivision.
This regulation shall apply to all lots, subdivisions and developments in the Town of Boxford.
All plans for major earth removal projects proposed in the Town of Boxford shall be submitted to the Board for review under this regulation. No such projects shall be started without the written approval of the Board.
When reviewing an application and plans for, or when conducting inspections in relation to major earth removal projects, the Board may determine that the assistance of outside consultants is warranted due to the size, scale or complexity of the proposed project, because of the project's potential impact on health and the environment or because the town lacks the necessary expertise to perform the work related to project. Therefore the Board, whenever reviewing the ERRP for a major earth removal project, may employ outside consultants to assist in the review or inspection of such projects and may require that the proposer of the project pay a project review fee to cover the costs of such outside consultants and a fee to cover the costs of other reasonable expenses incurred by the Board of Health incident to its review or inspection services.
The Board will act to determine the need for analysis and assistance in reviewing a major earth removal project and define the scope of such needs and assistance within 30 days of receiving the ERRP and supporting plans and documentation at its offices.
After its review of the application and plans for a major earth removal project, the Board may require that determinations be made by independent consultants and contractors hired by the Board to determine and establish specific information relative to the project. For example, specific information may be required relative to the operation of the existing on-site and proposed septic systems, including soil conditions, surface drainage calculations, hydrogeologic determinations and descriptions of groundwater resources and movement, effects of precipitation and irrigation and any wastewater treatment methodology. Information on the impact of the project on private and public water supplies and supply sources, such as surface waters and aquifers and wetlands, may also be required.
Earth removal plans and standards.
Any removal of earth from any lot or subdivision or development in the Town of Boxford, including the movement of earth between lots of a subdivision as defined in § 205-2 of this regulation and without the written approval of the Board constitutes a violation of this regulation.
An earth removal-restoration plan (ERRP) for any proposed earth removal operation exceeding the lesser of 500 cubic yards per lot or 2,000 cubic yards per project in aggregate shall be filed with the Board for its review and approval. The Board shall review and approve or disapprove of the plan within 30 days of receiving said plan at its offices. The Board may also grant a preliminary approval of the project conditional on the successful completion of additional information and studies related to the proposed project as described in § 205-4A through D, inclusive, of this regulation.
The ERRP must be prepared by a registered engineer or registered land surveyor, at a scale of 80 feet to the inch or less, and must contain all information necessary to evaluate the site, the proposed earth removal operation and the proposed restoration of the site after the operation is complete. The ERRP shall include, at a minimum, the following:
The location of the perimeter of the proposed excavation.
Property lines, abutting owners of record and buildings or other structures on the property or within 200 feet of the site boundaries or within 500 feet of the earth removal operation site.
The location of all private wells within 150 feet and public wells within 1,000 feet of the earth removal operation site.
The location of walls, fences, test pits, test borings, observation wells with logs, streams and pools and wetlands on the site and any steams, pools, water bodies and wetlands on abutting properties within 150 feet of the earth removal operation site.
At least one permanent bench mark, with elevations thereon, used in the topographical surveying of the property, and referenced to the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD).
The location of adjacent public streets, private ways and service roads.
The perimeter and topography of any existing excavation as of the date of the application.
The depth of removal within the area, shown by five-foot contours or other contour interval found to be appropriate by the Board, and final spot elevations.
The proposed lateral support to all adjacent properties.
Details on the proper provision for safe and adequate water supply and sanitary sewage disposal, and for the temporary and permanent drainage on the site.
Topography shown by five-foot contours or other contour interval found to be appropriate by the Board, and spot elevations of the area of removal as restored and to at least 200 feet beyond the perimeter of that area.
The location and method used in providing permanent drainage and erosion and sediment control on the site.
The location of proposed lot lines, if any, as shown on a preliminary or definitive subdivision plan filed with the Boxford Planning Board.
Written evidence that health and safety concerns have been adequately addressed with provisions which shall be maintained throughout the proposed operation.
Further, the following, minimum requirements must be met for an earth removal project in areas which may be used for installation of septic systems:
Further, the following requirements must be met during earth removal and restoration activities:
There shall be no potential adverse effect on public health or safety, or to the health and safety of persons living, working or otherwise present in the neighborhood, due to excessive noise, dust or any other condition which may result from the proposed operation.
There will be no potential adverse impact on surface waters or public or private wells as a result of the proposed operation.
Lateral support shall be maintained for all adjacent properties, and no banks shall be left after completion of operations with a slope which exceeds one foot vertical rise in four feet of horizontal distance.
Any access to an excavated area shall be adequately posted with "Keep Out" and "Danger" signs.
During operations, any excavation quarry, bank or work face having a depth of 10 feet or more and/or creating a slope of more than 30° downward shall be fenced. Such fence shall be located 10 or more feet from the upper edge of the excavation and shall be at least six feet in height.
No boulders in excess of a volume of 20 cubic yards, and no trees, stumps, demolition materials or construction waste materials shall be buried on the site.
Notwithstanding any standard otherwise required in this regulation, operation and restoration of the site shall comply with the standards contained in the Massachusetts Conservation Guide, Volumes I and II, United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service.
At the end of the restoration, the areas subject to this regulation shall be covered with a minimum of four inches of compacted topsoil and seeded with an appropriate grass or legume.
Any project in the Town of Boxford proposing to move more than 500 cubic yards of fill to a single lot or more than 2,000 cubic yards of fill to a single project, except as defined above in § 205-2 of this regulation, must be reported to the Board of Health and must receive the Board's approval.
In order for the Board to review and approve the moving of fill, the following information must be submitted to the Board in writing:
The address and owner of the site in Boxford to receive the fill.
The approximate amount of fill to be moved to the accepting site.
The origin of the fill, including address, property owner and the nature of the site (such as residential industrial, landfill, hazardous waste site, etc.). If the site is a nonresidential site, a site plan shall be submitted showing the approximate location of the fill origin on the site.
The name, address and contact person of the company moving the fill.
If the fill is from a site under DEP directive, the name, address and telephone number of the LSP (licensed site professional) in charge of the site.
Any letters, test results and plans related to the site from the DEP or to the DEP. If none are known to exist, the applicant shall state this.
Upon receipt of the information stipulated in § 205-5B of this regulation, the Board shall review and approve or disapprove the proposed filling operation within 30 days. The Board may also grant a preliminary approval of the proposed filling operation conditional on receiving additional information and testing results on the material to be moved.
The Board may require that additional testing be carried out at the expense of the applicant on the proposed fill material. This may include, but is not inclusive of, the following tests:
Total metals (EPA method 3005/3050 or equivalent).
Volatile organics (EPA method 8260 or equivalent).
Polychlorinated biphenys (EPA method 8080 or equivalent).
Organochlorine pesticides (EPA method 8080 or equivalent).
Hydrocarbon scan (EPA method 8100M or equivalent).
Polyaromatic (polynuclear) aromatics (EPA method 8260 or equivalent).
All analyses shall be carried out by an EPA certified laboratory certified for each method. All samples shall be traceable to the specific site of origin on the site plan. Chain-of-custody documentation shall be provided to the Board for all samples.
When reviewing an application for or data in relation to a major earth filling project, the Board may determine that the assistance of outside consultants is warranted due to the nature of the fill material and proposed site where the fill will be deposited. In such cases the Board may employ outside consultants and may require that the proposer of the project pay a project review fee to cover the costs of such outside consultants and an additional fee to cover the costs of other reasonable expenses incurred by the Board incident to its review or inspection services. The Board will act to determine the need for assistance within the thirty-day review period defined in § 205-5C of this regulation.
In hiring outside consultants, the Board may engage engineers, planners, legal counsel, urban designers or other appropriate professionals who can assist the Board in analyzing a project to ensure compliance with all relevant laws, ordinances and bylaws and regulations. Such assistance may include, but is not limited to, analyzing the ERRP, monitoring or inspecting a project or site for compliance with the Board's decision or regulations or inspecting a project during operations.
The minimum qualifications for any outside consultant employed pursuant to this regulation shall consist of an educational degree in or related to the field at issue or three or more years of practice in the field at issue or a related field.
For purposes of expediency, the Board may, in advance, prequalify outside consultants and form a list of such prequalified consultants. This list shall then be used by the applicant to select the outside consultant, subject to final approval by the Board.
Funds received by the Board pursuant to this regulation shall be deposited with the Town Treasurer who shall establish a special account for this purpose. Expenditures from this special account may be made at the direction of the Board without further appropriation. Expenditures from this special account shall be made only for services rendered in connection with a specific project or projects for which a project review fee has been or will be collected from the applicant. Accrued interest may also be spent for this purpose. Failure of an applicant to pay a review fee shall be grounds for denial of the ERRP or an earth filling application.
Upon completion of the Board's review of a project, any excess amount in the account, including interest, attributable to a specific project shall be repaid to the applicant or the applicant's successor in interest. A final report of said account shall be made available to the applicant or the applicant's successor in interest. For the purpose of this regulation, any person or entity claiming to be an applicant's successor in interest shall provide the Board with documentation establishing such succession in interest.
Every request for a variance from this regulation shall be made in writing to the Board of Health within 15 days of a determination by the Board and shall state the specific variance sought and the reason for the request. The Board will notify the applicant of a date for a hearing to consider the variance within 30 days of receiving said request. The person requesting the variance shall also be responsible for notifying all abutters of the variance request as well as the time and place of the hearing to consider the variance. The Board of Health shall make a determination on the variance request within 30 days following the variance hearing.
No well permits nor disposal works construction permits shall be granted for any project subject to this regulation until the Board has approved the ERRP, the earth filling proposal or any additional studies required under this regulation.
An administrative appeal may be taken from the selection of the outside consultant to the Board of Selectmen. Such appeal must be made in writing and must be received within 20 days after the Board of Health has recorded its selection of the outside consultant with the Town Clerk. The Board shall give notice to the applicant of its selection by mail or hand delivery. The grounds for such appeal shall be limited to claims that the consultant selected has a conflict of interest or does not possess the minimum required qualifications. The minimum required qualifications shall consist either of an educational degree in, or related to, the field at issue or three or more years of practice in the field at issue or a related field. The required time limits for action upon an application by the Board shall be extended by the duration of the administrative appeal. In the event that no decision is made by the Board of Selectmen with 30 days following the filing of the appeal, the selection made by the Board of Health shall stand.
If the Selectmen find in favor of the appeal, then the applicant may choose another outside consultant subject to the approval of the Board.
Other appeals resulting from the decisions of the Board may be taken to any court of competent jurisdiction as provided by the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Each section of this regulation shall be construed as separate, and to the end that if any section, item, sentence, clause or phrase shall be held invalid for any reason, the remainder of these rules and regulations shall continue in full force and effect.
The Board of Health, its agents, officers and employees shall have the authority to enter upon privately owned land for the purpose of performing their duties for the administration and review of this regulation, and may make or cause to make such examinations, surveys or samplings as the Board deems necessary.
The Board shall have the authority to enforce this regulation and orders and permits issued thereunder by violation notices, administrative orders and civil and criminal court actions.
Any person who violates any provision of this regulation or orders or permits issued hereunder shall be subject to a fine of not more than $300 per truckload of material removed or brought to a property. Estimates on total truckloads of material taken from or brought to a property shall be made by the Board of Health or its Agent.
This regulation will take effect on or about June 12, 1996, and after publication of a notice of this regulation in a newspaper circulated in the Town of Boxford. As required by MGL c. 111, § 31, an attested copy of this regulation has been filed with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and with the Boxford Town Clerk.