The Conservation Commission is concerned with the acquisition and preservation of existing open space, and with the protection of our natural resources and wetlands.
The Commission administers the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Ch 131, Sec.40), the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance (Title VII), and the state and local wetlands regulations.
It has the authority to regulate activities within wetlands, riverfront (land within 200 feet of a river), and the buffer zone of land that is within 150 feet of a wetland. The Commission holds Public Hearings, conducts site visits, and issues permits.
The Conservation Commission supports the acquisition and preservation of open space and is concerned with the protection of our natural resources; wetlands in particular. The Commission organizes Conservation Day and runs the Community Gardens Program. The Commission has promoted the planting of trees in the City through its Tree Program.
Meeting notices are posted in City Hall at least 48 hours prior to Public Meetings. Check the online calendar or contact the Conservation Department office for the dates of upcoming meetings.
The Conservation Department office is located in the lower level of City Hall:
Woburn Conservation Commission
City Hall – 10 Common Street
Woburn, MA 01801
The Conservation Commission has a professional Conservation Administrator. The Conservation Administrator is available to the general public, attorneys, developers, engineers, and others as an informational resource to answer questions about wetland issues, the public hearing process, and filing procedures. The Conservation Administrator coordinates with other City Departments as well as state and federal agencies.
The Conservation Administrator assists the Commission in administering the Wetlands Protection Act and the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance. The Administrator reviews applications and plans for completeness and compliance with wetlands laws and regulations, ensures filing fees are submitted and calculated correctly, performs site inspections, makes recommendations to the Commission, drafts special conditions for the Commission’s consideration, and prepares legal documents for the Commission review, approval and issuance. The Administrator attends training sessions and professional meetings. The Administrator manages the Conservation office.
*Note: Due to limitations in staffing, the office may be closed at times during regular City Hall hours to allow the Conservation Administrator to do field work, site inspections, attend off-site meetings with contractors and/or other state and municipal officials, and to coordinate within City Hall with other City Departments. Appointments are strongly recommended.
An official copy can be obtained in person from DEP or at the state bookstore in Boston. An unofficial copy of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act can be found online at DEP’s website.
Unofficial copies of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act Regulations 310 CMR 10.00, are available online from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. An official copy may be obtained from the state bookstore.
Forms are available from the Conservation Commission office. Forms are also available online.
A river is any natural flowing body of water that empties into any ocean, lake, or other river and that flows throughout the year. The definition includes all perennial rivers, including streams and brooks that flow throughout the year. Rivers end where they meet the ocean, a lake, or pond. Intermittent streams are not subject to the Rivers Protection Act.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)is a state agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment. DEP’s Wetlands Program administers and enforces the Wetlands Protection Act.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal agency whose stated mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment – air, water, and land – upon which life depends.
EPA’s Office of Water is responsible for the Agency’s water quality activities including the development of national programs, technical policies, and regulations related to drinking water, water quality, ground water, pollution source standards, and the protection of wetlands, marine, and estuarine areas.