Concord, Mass: Review Period for Bylaw Extended Until Mid-September

Published On August 6, 2012 | By Hannah Ellsbury | News

Concord resident Jean Hill will have to wait at least another month before she finds out if the Attorney General will approve her bylaw banning drinking water in single-serving plastic bottles in Concord.

Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office announced on Thursday that it has extended the 90-day period for reviewing the proposed bylaw by 45 days. This means the attorney general has until Sept. 16 to make a decision.

According to Concord Town Clerk Anita Tekle, since Sept. 16 falls on a Sunday, the decision is anticipated to arrive no later than Monday, Sept. 17.

While Hill, 84, said the extension is a bit of a “cliffhanger” she’s glad the attorney general’s office is taking its time to make the best decision.

“I’m a little bit nervous but I think it will be alright,” said Hill in a phone interview on Thursday. “I think the reason for the extension is because this bylaw will set a precedence if it’s passed. This is something brand new and the attorney general has to do her research.”

The bottled water bylaw, Article 32, passed at this year’s Town Meeting (403-364), bans the sale of non-sparkling, unflavored drinking water in single-serving polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles of 1 liter (34 ounces) or less in Concord on or after Jan. 1, 2013. Originally, the attorney general had until Aug. 2 to make a decision.

In a letter that the attorney general sent to Concord Town Clerk Anita Tekle on Thursday, it stated that the attorney general needs time to further discuss any conflict between Article 32 and the Constitution or laws of the Commonwealth.

Jill Appel, co-petitioner for Article 32, said on Thursday that both she and Hill received emails from Assistant Attorney General Margaret Hurley this week informing them of the extension. She hopes the attorney general will express support for the bylaw.

“I know we’ve provided a bunch of great information to them,” Appel said. “This is a very important bylaw and I hope they will reaffirm our intent.”

[via Kimberly Hooper WickedLocal]

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