Bill: HR 1333
*An Act* TO PRESERVE PUBLIC WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS.
/Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General
Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:/
SECTION 1. Whereas, multinational private water companies are currently
going from town to town in Massachusetts attempting to convince
municipalities that they will save money and provide better service by
privatizing their water and sewer systems in the face of mounting
evidence to the contrary; and
/Whereas/, the very idea of turning such a basic resource as water—and
one absolutely necessary for human existence—into a commodity should be
repugnant to a democratic society.
/Whereas/, the policy of the Commonwealth should be to protect every
Massachusetts resident's right to a reasonably priced, publicly
administered supply of clean water.
/Whereas/, the Commonwealth should defend the principle of water as a
/Therefore/, the Great and General Court hereby approves this bill that
will ban the privatization of public water and sewer systems as well as
the use of local springs and municipal taps for commercial bottling
purposes in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
SECTION 2. Chapter 165 of the General Laws is hereby amended by
inserting the following new sections:
Section 29. A city, town, or other political subdivision of the
Commonwealth shall not sell the municipal water or sewer infrastructure,
nor shall it sell or contract out the operation and maintenance of the
municipal water or sewer department, which serves that city or town in
whole or in part to a company or any other legal entity that is not
controlled by elected officials of the city, town or other political
Section 30. A private company which serves, in whole or in part a city
or town with water or sewer service shall no later than five years from
the effective date of this section offer to sell to said city or town
the corporate property and all the rights and privileges of said company
at the actual cost of the same as determined by an independent auditor
appointed by the Attorney General or at such price and terms as may be
mutually agreed upon between said corporation and the city or town which
it serves in whole or in part; provided further that any dispute of the
price or terms shall be determined by the department upon appeal from
either party; provided further that all such sales shall be completed no
later then five years following the offer for sale.
A city or town may exempt itself for a period of ten years from the
provisions of the previous paragraph, in a town by two-thirds vote of
town meeting and in a city by two-thirds vote of the city council. At
the expiration of said exemption period said private company shall offer
the corporate property and all rights and privileges of the water
company as required in the previous paragraph.
Section 31. A private company may not draw from any municipal water
supply or any privately owned spring of any city or town or other
political subdivision of the Commonwealth in order to commercially sell