City of Fitchburg, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Fitchburg 6-6-1995 by Ord. No. 44-95. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish regulations governing the use of rDNA in research and production in the City of Fitchburg. These regulations have been promulgated to protect the safety and health of the City's residents and the employees of facilities where rDNA is used in Fitchburg. Further, the regulations are intended to promote the growth of the biotechnology industry in the City of Fitchburg by establishing reasonable rules that are clear and consistent with federal law.
For the purpose of these regulations the following definitions are adopted:
DNA
Refers to deoxyribonucleic acid.
INSTITUTION
Any public or private entity (including federal, state and local government agencies).
NIH GUIDELINES
Refers to the "Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant DNA Molecules; Notice," promulgated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services and published in the Federal Register, Volume 51, Number 88, on May 7, 1986, and as the same may from time to time be amended by the NIH. In the event that the NIH rescinds its guidelines without promulgating new guidelines, the most recent guidelines in effect shall remain in effect in the City of Fitchburg.
PERSON
Includes any individual, partnership, copartnership, firm, company, corporation, association, joint-stock company, trust, estate, governmental entity, whether federal, state or local, or any other entity or legal representative agency or assigner of any of them.
RECOMBINANT DNA (rDNA) or RECOMBINANT DNA MOLECULES 
 Either:
A. 
Molecules which are constructed outside living cells by joining natural or synthetic DNA segments to DNA molecules that can replicate in a living cell; or
B. 
DNA molecules which result from the replication of a molecule described in Subsection A above.
These regulations shall apply to all institutions and persons within the City of Fitchburg which experiment with or use rDNA technology, except for those activities that are exempt from the NIH Guidelines because their safety has been adequately documented. In addition, the growing of crops produced by recombinant DNA technology and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is exempt from this chapter.
Recombitant DNA use classified by NIH guidelines as requiring BL4 level of containment shall be prohibited in the City of Fitchburg.
Each institution or person in the City of Fitchburg which experiments with or uses rDNA technology shall comply with NIH guidelines, including but not limited to the following administrative practices:
A. 
The establishment of an Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) which shall contain at least five members, of whom at least two (but not less than 20%) shall not be affiliated with the institution and shall represent the interests of the community with respect to health and the protection of the environment.
(1) 
The IBC shall contain at least one representative from the institution's laboratory technical staff.
(2) 
The nonaffiliated representatives on the IBC shall be appointed by the institution.
(3) 
The nonaffiliated representatives on the IBC shall be bound by the same rules prohibiting use and disclosure of proprietary information and trade secrets as the other members of the IBC.
B. 
The preparation of safety plans and manuals which shall be subject to the approval of the IBC.
C. 
The provision of proper training and appropriate safeguards and procedures for minimizing potential environmental and personal exposure.
D. 
If the institution is engaged in rDNA research at the BL3 containment level, the appointment of a Biological Safety Officer who shall be a member of the IBC.
No institution may employ rDNA technology in the City of Fitchburg without a permit issued by the Director of the Board of Health. All permits are issued for one year and may be revoked for good cause.
A. 
Institutions seeking a permit from the Director of the Board of Health shall submit the following:
(1) 
A completed application form (forms can be obtained from the Fitchburg Board of Health in City Hall).
(2) 
An annual permit filing fee of $400.
(3) 
Certification by the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) to the Director of the Board of Health or his or her designee that the institution is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the NIH guidelines. Thereafter, the IBC shall, each six months, renew the certification that the institution is in compliance with this chapter and the NIH guidelines.
[Amended 6-3-2014 by Ord. No. 100-2014]
(4) 
A plan for validation of waste systems to assure that surviving rDNA organisms which may present a public health threat will not be released into the environment.
(5) 
A plan for systematic security of the premises.
(6) 
A plan for systematic pest control in laboratories, contiguous facilities and food service establishments in the same building.
(7) 
Copies of the institution's health monitoring, health surveillance and safety manuals.
(8) 
Three copies of the emergency plans covering accidental spills and personal contamination (copies will be distributed to the Fitchburg Police and Fire Departments).
(9) 
A list of the names, titles, addresses and phone numbers of each of the current members of the IBC.
B. 
Institutions seeking the renewal of a permit from the Director of the Board of Health shall submit the following:
(1) 
An annual permit filing fee of $400.
(2) 
Certification by the IBC to the Director of the Board of Health that the institution is in compliance with the provisions of this chapter and NIH guidelines.
(3) 
All documents required when initially filing for a permit unless no significant changes to the documents as previously submitted are required.
C. 
The Director of the Board of Health shall take final action on a permit application within 90 days after the application is filed. The time for final action may be extended by written mutual consent between the Director of the Board of Health and the applicant.
D. 
The Director of the Board of Health may retain a professional consultant to review permit applications, to perform inspections and to complete any other task necessary to implement these regulations. The salaries and expenses paid by the City for staff and consulting work directly related to carrying out the requirements of these regulations shall be assessed to the permit holders under these regulations. Only expenses exceeding the permit filing fee of $400 shall be assessed, in which case an accounting of these expenses will be furnished by the City.
E. 
Any institution aggrieved by a final decision to deny or to grant a permit may seek relief in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this commonwealth.
F. 
The Director of the Board of Health shall inspect at least annually each institution holding such a permit to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the NIH guidelines.
G. 
The Director of the Board of Health may require from an institution such information and data as is necessary to ensure compliance with this chapter.
H. 
The Director of the Board of Health and any other employee, consultant or official of the City shall maintain the confidentiality of all proprietary information released to them in the performance of their duties pursuant to this chapter.
I. 
The IBC shall notify the Director of the Board of Health within 30 days of any significant problems with, or violations of, the guidelines and any significant research or production-related accidents or illnesses.
J. 
The Fitchburg Board of Health, the Fitchburg Fire Department and the Fitchburg Police Department shall be notified of any special procedures to be used in the event of an emergency.
K. 
Any releases into the environment of recombinant organisms posing a threat to public health shall be immediately reported to the Director of the Board of Health.
The Director of the Board of Health may vary the application of any of these regulations when, in the Director's opinion, enforcement of the regulation would do manifest injustice, provided that the decision of the Director is not in conflict with the spirit of these regulations.
Any person or institution who violates any provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of up to $500 for each separate violation. Each day or portion thereof of continuing violation shall constitute a separate offense.
Enforcement of this chapter shall be the duty of the Board of Health of the City of Fitchburg.