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March 2, 2018 Nor'Easter Declaration


Friday, March 2, 2018:

MassDEP Commissioner’s Emergency Declaration for Coastal Communities, March 2 –April 2, 2018, due to March Nor’easter.  Questions should be directed to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency Bunker Phone Number at (508) 820-2000.  Questions may also be directed to the MassDEP Northeast Regional Office Main Line at (978) 694-3200 or the MassDEP Southeast Regional Office Main Line at (508) 946-2700.  Additional information is available [HERE].


Great news – Mass Audubon’s priority climate adaptation bill has been reported favorably as amended out of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means. It now has a new bill number –S.2196– and it will be debated on the floor of the Senate this Thursday. We will be urging Senators to vote in favor of the bill and will attend the Senate session.

You can help by contacting your Senator and asking them to VOTE YES onS.2196. Let them know that this bill helps prepare Massachusetts for the impacts of climate change by identifying where we are most vulnerable to its impacts and taking measures to protect public health, public safety, and the economy.



December 23, 2016: DEP Letter to Municipalities re Snow Disposal: On December 23, 2016DEP sent a letter to municipalities, reminding them of the DEP Snow Disposal Guidance, to identify upland snow disposal areas, and to dispose of snow in a manner that minimizes environmental impacts. Snow disposal to water bodies may not be done without prior approval. For the Snow Disposal Guidance, go HERE.

Drought Declaration July 8, 2016: On July 8, 2016, Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton declared a Drought Watch for Central and Northeast Massachusetts and a Drought Advisory for Southeast Massachusetts and the Connecticut River Valley. The announcement is HERE. A Drought Watch is a more severe level than a Drought Advisory. 

The declaration is important for implementation of the Wetlands Protection Act. “Extended drought" conditions exist where an Advisory or more severe level has been declared. In those geographic areas, observations of no flow in rivers made on or after the declaration date may not be used to prove a perennial river is an intermittent stream with no Riverfront Area. 310 CMR 10.58(2)(a)1.d. and f. Similarly, an inland pond would contain water year round except during extended drought. 310 CMR 10.04.

The Extended Drought remains in effect until water resource conditions return to normal and the Secretary issues a written declaration ending the drought advisory. We expect the written declaration and updates will be posted HERE.


           Executive Order 562

To Do:

Comment at the state website here: Look at theSeptember 10 letterfrom MACC, MLTC and MassRivers for suggestions.


March 31, 2015:Governor Baker issuedExecutive Order 562, “To Reduce Unnecessary Regulatory Burden.” It requires state agencies to review all their regulations and “sunset” each regulation by March 31, 2016, that does not meet a set of standards set forth in the Order, including that the regulation: not exceed federal requirements or duplicate local requirements; not unduly and adversely affect Massachusetts citizens and customers of the Commonwealth or the competitive environment in Massachusetts; the costs do not exceed the benefits; and more. It also requires all new regulations to meet those standards and all proposed new regulations to be accompanied by a business/competitiveness impact statement and be approved by the Secretary of Administration and Finance.


Previous governors have ordered review of regulations, but this Order far exceeds that review in a number of troubling aspects, including:

  1. requiring agency staff to review tens of thousands of regulations provisions against a set of self-imposed and vague criteria in less than one year while at the same time all other work must continue and as many experienced staff took an early retirement incentive package and left the agencies;
  2. sunsetting regulations that exceed federal requirements without any consideration of whether federal regulations are sufficient and whether more protective state regulations are desirable;
  3. attempting cost benefit analyses of environmental regulations that cannot be quantified solely along economic lines; and
  4. authorizing economic competitiveness to override all reasons for regulations.

April 28, 2015:Environmental protection, public health and welfare, labor, and consumer organizations sent ajoint letterto the Undersecretary of Administration and Finance, expressing concern about the Order and how it would be implemented. On the same day, those organizations sent aletter of concernto Attorney General Healey.

July 20, 2015:More than seventy-five organizations, including business, labor, consumer, public health, energy, environmental protection, elder care, housing, poverty and social servicewrote to Governor Bakerto express concerns about the Order and offer suggestions on how to proceed. No substantive reply has been received.

September 10, 2015:MACC, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, and Massachusetts Land Trust Alliance sent ajoint letterto the Undersecretary of Administration and Finance, with a goal to “ensure that any review of environmental regulations is fair and balanced, taking into account not just the financial costs to regulated entities, but the long term-public interests served by safeguarding the state’s outstanding environmental resources for current and future generations.” The letter highlights many regulations whose weakening would jeopardize our state’s ability to protect its land and water.

December 21, 2015:MACC letter to DEPopposing a suggestion made to DEP to reduce the protections afforded wetlands for dam repair projects.


September 14, 2015:MA DEP invited MACC Executive Director Eugene B. Bensonto participate in a stakeholder advisory group for review of its regulations under the Order. The first meeting of the advisory group is scheduled for September 28. The letter lists seventeen regulations under consideration for amendment, ten regulations under consideration for rescission, and one regulation for ongoing work.

October 16, 2015:MA DEP regulatory recommendations. These recommendations may change based on comments DEP receives; they are DEP’s current thinking on the its regulations revisions.

December 9, 2015:DEP held its second EO 562 Advisory Committee meeting. It noted that its regulations review and amendment process would not be completed by the March 2016 deadline given in EO 562. It continues to consider the suggestions and comments that have been made about regulations. It is posting those comments on itsEO 562 webpage.

More info:

See the DEP webpage on E.O. 562

MassDEP EO 562 Proposed Changes - 10-16-15

The Administration & Finance webpage on E.O. 562

To view MACC comment letters click HERE


more Calendar

FUNDAMENTALS UNIT 105: Writing Effective Orders of Conditions -- WEBINAR

Monitoring Conservation Restrictions Workshop - WEBINAR

Featured Members

Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC)
10 Juniper Road
Belmont, MA 02478
Phone: (617) 489 - 3930
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