Watertown announced yesterday that due to the COVID-19 emergency they will be postponing the effective date of their new regulation (Biotechnology and the Use of Recombinant DNA Molecule Technology) from May 1 until July 1, 2020. Existing facilities located in Watertown will have one year from the effective date to come into compliance.
Overall, the new regulation is similar to other cities and towns in the area. One difference is that Watertown will be regulating non-recombinant DNA (rDNA) research involving biologic agents at Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) and Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3). (BSL-4 work is prohibited in Watertown.) Examples of agents at BSL-2 include non-recombinant work with Salmonella enterica, Staphylococcus aureus, Hepatitis B, and Herpes Simplex Virus. BSL-2 agents can also include toxins of biological origin requiring BSL-2. In comparison, Cambridge, Lexington, and Boston only regulate biologic agents at BSL-3.
The Watertown regulations do not apply to finished products which contain rDNA molecules and which have been approved by other government regulatory […]