The Department of Public Health (DPH) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is in the process of doing a massive rewrite of the state sanitary code. In the interest of making documentation describing the proposed changes more accessible, the author has downloaded them from the DPH web site and then converted them to text and pdf formats, and then uploaded them with links from this SPOA web site.

The next and only remaining public hearing on this subject is to be held on October 4, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. at the Western Regional Health Office, 23 Service Center Road, Northampton, MA.

Public comment by email is supported by the DPH on these matters, but the requirements are complex, so I will leave it to the dear reader to open the 105cmr410-hearing-notice document to read the details for yourself. One of the DPH stated requirements is that you need to attach a Word document to your email; presumably that means a document with file extension docx. You can produce such document using Libre Office if you want to avoid having to purchase a commercial product in order to avail yourself of your constitutional right to petition your government.

  • 105cmr410-proposed-revision in PDF 350KB ready for printing, 48 pages.
  • 105cmr410-phc-memo in text or PDF
  • 105cmr410-hearing-notice in text or PDF

The orignal source for the above documents is The Official Website of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS)

Editorialization

The author would like to make one and only one salient point.

There is a new Paperwork/Documention/Planning/RecordKeeping requirement in this proposal, allowing the DPH, on its own volition, to demand that the landlord present sufficient documentation of an integrated pest management plan (IPM), along with all transactions within that plan, such that, if anything about the plan or the documented execution of the plan does not meet whatever requirements are being enforced by the DPH bureaucracy at the time, a property would be in violation of the health code, and would therefore not meet some of the Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation.

This violation could result in the usual transactional government promoting groups telling their client tenants to begin witholding rent. This is a new, and wonderfully diabolic extension, an innovation of the first order, in the power of the free rent trick.

The DPH will over time have opportunity to acquire vast amounts of information from property owners; The IPM documents submitted by landlords, if considered to be public records, then one could easily imagine a continuous feed of the information flowing to concerned parties of all stripes.

On the other hand, having an IPM is not a bad idea, and the author could easily imagine himself creating a web site to help small property owners maintain an IPM. What a great place on which to host advertisements for pest management companies. Stay tuned.