The environmental laws in Massachusetts are crafted with a focus on the protection of plant and animal life. The laws are part of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act stipulates that individuals and entities must take measures to protect the environment. The legislations are enforced by the Massachusetts Environmental Police.
Scope of the Legislation
Some of the issues addressed by the legislation are hazardous waste transportation, storage and disposal, air quality, asbestos control, water quality, oils spills and wetlands protection.
Air and Climate Legislation
The laws of Massachusetts speak to the preservation of favourable climatic conditions as well as safe air quality. Sanctions are applied to those who are charged as offenders by the Massachusetts environmental police. In Massachusett’s environmental law, any substance in the air that is offensive may be considered pollution. Additional reasons for emissions in the air to be categorized as pollution are if they are dangerous to human life, as well as plant or animal life or if they hinder the normal enjoyment of life and property.
Since open fires tend to be triggers of or producers of air pollution, the state regulates the frequency and scope of these occurences. Open fires are generally restricted but may be approved for certain purposes. These purposes include open fires started for agricultural purposes such as land clearing or pest control.
Water and Watershed Legislation
The environmental laws of Massachussets require the acquisition of a permit in order for individuals or entities to emit pollutants .Water is one of the natural resources into which pollutants are often emitted. All water bodies within the state (lakes, ponds, streams, rivers and springs among others) are protected under this legislation. Additionally, the Massachussetts Watershed Protection Act restricts and governs the use of land located near to water bodies.
Solid and Hazardous Waste Disposal
Solid and hazardous waste disposal is restricted to those levels accepted by federal legislature. The laws are designd to ensure the safe use, transportation, storage and disposal of solid and hazardous waste.
The Massachussetts Environmental Police
The Massachussetts Environmental police website provides an avenue for complaints of pollution or environmental hazards to be made. Additionally, they provide information on the guidelines that citizens need to be aware of in order to avoid being found on the wrong side of the law.
Violation of the environmental laws of the state of Massachusetts may result in the application of sanctions ranging from fines to revocation of licenses or state enforced closing down of operations.