Important Updates to Wetlands Protection Act and Stormwater Regulations in Mass

Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (310 CMR 10.00), Wetlands Resilience 1.0:

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection recently released proposed updates to the Wetlands Protection Act (310 CMR 10.00). If you are interested in reviewing the drafted updates, please navigate to the clean or redline/strikeout versions linked below:

Clean 310 CMR 10.00 Proposed Updates

Redline/Strikeout 310 CMR 10.00 Proposed Updates

Public Information Sessions:

MassDEP is hosting three virtual, public information sessions. If you would like to know more about the proposed revisions to 310 CMR 10.00, or are interested in how these changes may affect the Town of Ashland or other MA municipalities, please register for a session using the links below:

Public Information Sessions have since ended. 

If you would have liked to attend the Public Information Session but were not able to, here is a link from the January 23rd, 2024 information session. The first 50 or so minutes contain the proposed changes to the Wetlands Protection Act Coastal Regulations. To view proposed changes to Stormwater and Water Quality Certification Regulations, please scrub ahead to about 55 minutes.

Public Hearings:

MassDEP is conducting three virtual public hearing sessions. If you would like to participate, please feel free to register for a hearing using the links below:

Public Hearing Sessions have since ended.

MassDEP's Wetlands and Waterways Resilience: Office Hours!

MassDEP is pleased to offer three, virtual "office hours" sessions. If you missed the Public Information Sessions and the Public Hearings, this is a great way to ask questions you may have, or to gather more information about the changes in wetlands and stormwater regulations. If you plan to attend, MassDEP kindly asks that you:

  • Submit questions at least one week in advance. Questions submitted beforehand allow for MassDEP to thoroughly review and produce the best possible answer.
    • To submit your questions, please navigate here.
    • Live" questions will only be considered if time allows. MassDEP may choose not to address a question if sufficient time to review is not provided.
  • Refrain from site-specific questions

Below, please find the three office hour sessions and their associated registration dates and times:

Office Hour Session 1Monday, February 26, 2024 at 1:00pm-3:30pmRegister Here

Office Hour Session 2: Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 1:30pm-4:00pm - Register Here

Office Hour Session 3: Wednesday, April 3, 2024 at 1:30-4:00pm - Register Here

Written Comments:

If you were unable to participate in either information sessions, public hearings, or Office Hours, MassDEP is also accepting written comments accepted until 5:00pm on April 30th. Please note that this deadline has been extended from March 1st to April 30th. 

If you would like to submit a written comment, it is strongly encouraged that you do so electronically via email (dep.wetlands@mass.gov) with "Wetlands-401 Resilience Comments" as the subject line. If you would like guidance on writing an effective comment letter, the US EPA provides an in-depth "Tips" page. Place navigate to "Additional Resources" on the bottom of this page. Written comments can also be submitted on paper. Please submit paper comments using the following address:

MassDEP - BWR Wetlands Program

Attn: Wetlands-401 Resilience Comments

100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900

Boston, MA 02114

Updates to Massachusetts Stormwater Management Regulations:

MassDEP is also proposing to update the Massachusetts Stormwater Management Regulations in order to align more closely to the EPA MS4 General Permit. In December 2023, MassDEP made the draft Stormwater Management Handbook available for review. The full draft handbook is available for review here: Similarly, you are also able to submit electronic or written comments you may have to MassDEP about these changes. Please not that all comments have the same deadline.

Massachusetts DRAFT Stormwater Management Handbook

Other Related Regulatory Revisions:

MassDEP is also proposing revisions to the 401 Water Quality Certification (314 CMR 9.00) and Waterways (Chapter 91) Resilience 1.0 Regulations. 

401 Water Quality Certification (314 CMR 9.00)

Please find below the clean and redline/strikeout versions of the proposed amendments to 314 CMR 9.00. 

Clean 314 CMR 9.00 - 401 Water Quality Certification 

Redline/Strikeout 314 CMR 9.00 - 401 Water Quality Certification

Public Information and Hearing Sessions

Public Information and Hearing Sessions have since ended.

If you would have liked to attend the information sessions but were not able to, here is a great resource to review the proposed stormwater regulation changes.

Written Comments for 401 Water Quality Certification (314 CMR 9.00):

Written comments are being accepted for 314 CMR 9.00 until April 30th, 2024. Comment procedures are the same for 314 CMR 9.00 as 310 CMR 10.00, as written above.

Waterways (Chapter  91) Resilience 1.0 (310 CMR 9.00)

Please find below the clean and redline/strikeout versions of 310 CMR 9.00.

Clean Waterways (Ch 91) Resilience 1.0 (310 CMR 9.00)

Redline/Strikeout Waterways (Ch 91) Resilience 1.0 (310 CMR 9.00)

For your convenience, MassDEP has also included a public summary of the proposed changes to 310 CMR 9.00. Please find the Public Summary here.

Public Information Sessions:

MassDEP will be hosting two virtual public information sessions to discuss the proposed changes to 310 CMR 9.00. Please use the hyperlinks below to register if you choose to attend:

Public Information Sessions have since ended.

If you would have liked to attend the information sessions but were not able to, here is the recorded information session from Monday, January 17th, 2024.

Additionally, here is a great resource to review the proposed changes to 310 CMR 9.00.

Public Hearing Sessions:

MassDEP will be conduction two virtual public hearing sessions. If you would like to participate, please use the hyperlinks below to register:

Public Hearing Sessions have since ended.

Written Comment for Waterways (Chapter 91) Resilience 1.0 (CMR 310 9.00):

MassDEP will be accepting written comments, both electronically via email and paper via mail until 5:00pm on April 30th, 2024. Please note that this deadline ahs been extended from March 1st, 20204 to April 30th, 2024. It is strongly preferred by MassDEP that comments are submitted electronically via email to dep.waterways@mass.gov and using the subject line "Waterways Resilience Comments". If you are submitting comments via paper, please mail your comment to the following address:

MassDEP - BWR Waterways Program

Attention: Waterways Resilience Comments

100 Cambridge Street, 9th Floor

Boston, MA 02114

Additional Resources: