[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Springfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted as Title 7, Ch. 7.28, of the 1986 Code]
Motor vehicle service stations which provide toilet facilities for employees and/or patrons shall keep all toilet facilities, including rooms and fixtures, in a clean condition, and in good repair, and free of objectionable odors. The Health Department of the City shall, along with the Police Department, have the power to enforce this article.
Due to the high levels of mercury found in freshwater fish in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has established guidelines for the safe consumption of freshwater fish caught in bodies of water in Massachusetts. Specifically, these safe eating guidelines advise that pregnant women, women who may become pregnant, nursing mothers, and children under the age of 12 should not eat any freshwater fish caught in the streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds in Massachusetts.
The purpose of this article is to require the City of Springfield to construct and maintain signs informing the public of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's blanket advisory regarding the high levels of mercury in the state's freshwater fish. The signs will advise the public that women of childbearing age and children under the age of 12 should not consume any freshwater fish caught in the streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds in Massachusetts. These warning signs are necessary to promote the public health and safety of the citizens of the City of Springfield through increased awareness of this mercury contamination.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BODIES OF WATER
- Any lake, pond, river, stream, tributary, brook, creek, but is not exclusive to the above list.
- DAMAGE/DESTRUCTION BY NATURAL CAUSES
- Any damage or destruction caused by weather, natural disaster, deterioration such as rust, damage caused by felled trees, or any other natural wear and tear. This is not an exclusive list. Damage by natural causes does not include any man-made damage to the signs.
- ESTABLISHED ENTRANCE
- Any commonly used access point and/or highly traveled path to the body of water.
- FRESHWATER FISH
- Species of fish that spend a period of time in their lifecycle, including reproductive cycle, in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds. Species include, but are not limited to: Atlantic Salmon, Black Crappie, Bluegill, Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Catfish, Chain Pickerel, Common Dace, Lake Trout, Largemouth Bass, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Pumpkinseed, Rainbow Trout, Smallmouth Bass, White Crappie, and Yellow Perch.
- MAN-MADE DAMAGES
- Any damage or destruction not naturally caused, including, but not limited to, vandalism.
- A heavy metal element that in high levels can be toxic to humans.
- MERCURY CONTAMINATION
- Levels of mercury deemed to be hazardous to life by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
Warning signs shall be constructed, erected, and maintained in accordance with this article, at every public body of water in the City of Springfield.
The signs shall be located at every established entrance to a body of water, or within 20 feet of the body of water's banks, placed in highly visible areas.
Each sign shall state: "WARNING - Women of childbearing age, and children under the age of 12, should avoid consumption of the freshwater fish in these waters due to high levels of mercury and other contaminants." Each sign shall be bilingual; posted in English and Spanish.
To ensure uniformity of the signs throughout the City of Springfield, the signs shall be in conformance to the type, size, style, color, material, placement, and any other specifications mandated by other applicable City of Springfield ordinances or other binding legal authority.
The City of Springfield shall be responsible for any and all fees to install and maintain all signs erected in accordance with this article.
Bodies of water privately owned within the City of Springfield limits are exempted from this article; however, they are still encouraged to comply. Privately owned bodies of water in compliance with § 213-4A through D of this article shall have all sign construction and maintenance fees paid for by the City of Springfield per § 213-4E.
Freshwater fish that are stocked in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, tributaries, brooks, or creeks in Massachusetts are deemed safe to consume and thus exempted from this article.
Any public body of water within the City of Springfield that is tested by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and found to have safe levels of mercury contaminants for all freshwater fish shall be deemed exempt from this article. If deemed safe under this Subsection C exemption, testing must be done every two years to maintain exempt status.
If any public body of water within the City of Springfield is tested by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and found to have safe levels of mercury contaminants for some or certain species of freshwater fish, signs shall be amended, as per Subsection E, at said body of water in accordance with the new guidelines.
The City of Springfield shall designate a specific department within the City to construct and maintain these signs.
The City of Springfield Board on Signs shall approve or disapprove each notice received by the City, relative to an application for the location of a sign.
Signs constructed in accordance with this article, which are damaged or destroyed through natural causes, shall be the responsibility of the department assigned to maintenance by the City of Springfield. The department responsible for maintenance of the damaged sign shall have the authority to recover the costs of replacing the sign from the City of Springfield.
Signs constructed in accordance with this article, which are damaged or destroyed by man-made causes, shall be the responsibility of the person who is found to have caused the damages. Any such person found to be responsible for damage or destruction of any sign constructed through this article shall pay to the City of Springfield all of the costs for such damage or destruction, including, but not limited to, costs for sign removal and replacement. Failure to pay for damage or destruction may result in legal action against the responsible party for all costs, such as court costs and reasonable attorney fees.
This article will take effect on October 24, 2016.
Each separate provision of this article shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and if any provision of this article is declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions of this article shall remain valid and enforceable.