Town of Williamstown, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Town of Williamstown 6-3-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Poultry — See Ch. 10, Art. I.
Hazardous materials — See Ch. 29.
Noise — See Ch. 40.
Solid waste — See Ch. 56.
Fuel storage tanks — See Ch. 92.
Food establishments — See Ch. 143.
Refuse and recycling — See Ch. 153.
Septic systems — See Ch. 157.

§ 150-1 Authority.

This chapter is adopted under MGL c. 111, § 31, which gives the Williamstown Board of Health (hereinafter designated as "the Board of Health") authority to make reasonable health regulations. This chapter is also adopted under MGL c. 111, § 122, which directs the Board of Health to assess all nuisances, sources of filth, and potentials for sickness within its Town, which may, in its opinion, be injurious to the public health and to destroy, remove, or prevent the same. This chapter is also adopted under MGL c. 111, § 143, which addresses trade or employment, assignment of places, and prohibition attendant with noisome and injurious odors.

§ 150-2 Purpose.

This chapter is intended to restrict and/or prohibit any trade or employment, nuisances, sources of filth, injurious odors and potentials for sickness, which may endanger the public health, safety, or welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Williamstown.

§ 150-3 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases have the meanings indicated:
BOARD
The Williamstown Board of Health or its designated agent(s).
BOARD OF HEALTH
The Williamstown Board of Health unless otherwise specified.
DEP
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
Any substance or mixture of physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics posing a significant, actual or potential hazard to water supplies or to human health if such substance or mixture were discharged to land, water, or air of the Town of Williamstown.
NOISOME TRADE
A trade or employment which may be harmful to the inhabitants of the Town of Williamstown, dangerous to the public health, or may be attended by injurious odors. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following activities are hereby declared to be examples of noisome trades:
A. 
The exterior storage of hazardous materials in excess of 55 gallons in connection with any commercial or industrial use; and
B. 
The operation of piggeries.
NUISANCE
An act or failure to perform a legal duty which causes or permits a condition to exist which injures or endangers the public health, safety or welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Williamstown. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the following activities are hereby declared to be examples of nuisances:
A. 
Parcels of land maintained in an unsanitary manner so as to cause objectionable odors or sickness; and
B. 
Any condition which would create harborage for vermin, rodents, or other pests.

§ 150-4 Offensive or noisome trades.

A. 
Site assignments. After the adoptive date of this chapter, all noisome trades as identified by the Board of Health are prohibited within the Town of Williamstown except in places so assigned by the Board of Health. All such assignments shall be entered into the records of the Town of Williamstown.
B. 
Appeal of site assignment. Any persons, including persons in control of public land, aggrieved by the action of the Board of Health in assigning certain places for the exercise of any noisome trade may, within 60 days, appeal from said assignment to the Department of Environmental Protection.
C. 
Orders of prohibition. The Board may issue orders of prohibition to persons in violation of this chapter or a particular site assignment. An officer qualified to serve civil process upon the person or occupant having charge of the premises where such trade or employment is exercised shall serve said order of prohibition.
D. 
Appeal of order of prohibition. Whoever is aggrieved by an order of prohibition may, within three days after service of said order upon him, give written notice of appeal to the Board of Health of the Town of Williamstown and the Department of Environmental Protection and file a petition in Superior Court in Berkshire County.
E. 
Said trade or employment shall not be exercised contrary to the order while such proceedings are pending unless specifically authorized by the Board of Health.

§ 150-5 Nuisances.

A. 
Examination into nuisances. The Board shall assess all nuisances, sources of filth or potentials for sickness, which may, in its opinion, be injurious to the public health.
B. 
Agricultural exemption. Any odor from normal maintenance of livestock or the spreading of manure upon agricultural, horticultural, or farming lands, or noise from livestock or farm equipment used in normal, generally acceptable farming procedures or from plowing or cultivation operations upon agricultural, horticultural, or farming lands shall not be deemed to constitute a nuisance.
C. 
Supply of water. Upon a determination by the Board that the available supply of water for drinking, culinary and/or other domestic purposes in any place of habitation, or in any place where food or drink is prepared, handled or served to the public, is so unsafe or inadequate as to constitute a nuisance, the Board of Health may issue a written order to the owner of such place requiring that said owner discontinue the use of the water supply or that said owner supply an alternate water supply safe and adequate for such purposes.
D. 
Abatement of nuisance.
(1) 
The Board shall order the owner or occupant of any private premises, at his own expense, to remove any nuisance, sources of filth or potentials for sickness found thereon within 24 hours or such other time it considers reasonable.
(2) 
If the owner or occupant fails to comply with such order, the Board may cause the nuisances, sources of filth and potentials for sickness to be removed, and all expenses incurred thereby shall constitute a debt due the Town of Williamstown.

§ 150-6 Enforcement.

A. 
The Board shall have the authority to enforce this chapter by:
(1) 
Inspection and investigation;
(2) 
The issuance of violation notices and administrative orders;
(3) 
Civil and criminal court actions.
B. 
Whoever, himself or by his servant or agent or as the servant or agent of any other person or firm or corporation, violates any of the provisions of this chapter is subject to a fine as stated in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, Noncriminal Disposition, of the Code of the Town of Williamstown. Each day of violation, after written notice, is a separate violation.

§ 150-7 Waivers.

The Board of Health may, in its discretion, waive compliance with a particular requirement of this chapter when, in its opinion:
A. 
The enforcement of the regulation would do manifest injustice; and
B. 
The applicant has proved that the same degree of protection of the public health, safety and welfare can be achieved without strict application of the particular provision. Any alternative means of protection shall be detailed and documented by the applicant to the satisfaction of the Board of Health.

§ 150-8 Appeals.

[Amended 2-7-2011]
A. 
Any person or persons aggrieved by any order issued under this chapter may appeal by filing a written petition for hearing to the Board of Health, which must be received within 10 days after the day the order was served.
B. 
The hearing shall be commenced not later than 14 days after the receipt of a petition.
C. 
At the hearing the petitioner and other affected parties shall be given an opportunity to be heard, to present witnesses or documentary evidence, and to show why an order should be modified or withdrawn. Failure to hold a hearing within the time period specified herein shall not affect the validity of any order.
D. 
The Board of Health shall sustain, modify, or withdraw the order and shall inform the petitioner.
E. 
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Board of Health may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this commonwealth.

§ 150-9 Severability.

If any portion, or sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter shall be held invalid for any reason, the remainder of this chapter shall continue in full force and effect.

§ 150-10 Effective date.

The effective date of this chapter is July 1, 2002.