Wetland Laws & Policies

Wetland Laws and Regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Administered by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the Woburn Conservation Commission

Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act

MGL c. 131 s. 40


Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act

MGL c. 258, Acts of 1996


Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Regulations:

310 CMR 10.00
310 CMR 12.00
310 CMR 13.00
310 CMR 23.00


Additional Local Wetland Law, Regulations and Policies

Administered by the Woburn Conservation Commission

Woburn Wetlands Ordinance

The City of Woburn has a Wetlands Ordinance (Title VII) which is a local law to protect wetlands and adjoining areas.


Rules and Regulations for the Administration of the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance

The Conservation Commission has established Rules and Regulations for the Administration of the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance.

On February 28, 2019, the Conservation Commission voted to amend the Rules & Regulations for the Administration of the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance, effective April 1, 2019.
To see the Rules and Regulations for the Administration of the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance effective April 1, 2019, click here.


Conservation Commission Policies

The following policies have been adopted by the Woburn Conservation Commission (“the Commission”) with regard to activity or intent to do work in or near wetlands in the City of Woburn.

Policy #1

Work Within 50 Feet of a Resource Area
The Commission has established a Policy that would cause any person proposing groundwork within 50 feet of a Resource Area to file a Notice of Intent (or Abbreviated Notice of Intent) as opposed to a Request for a Determination of Applicability.

Policy #2

Minor Work Within 50 Foot Zones From Resource Area
The Conservation Administrator shall be allowed to: (1) sign-off on building permit applications for additions, pools and decks between 100 and 150 feet of a wetland resource area, and (2) make site-specific decisions as to whether or not a permit from the Commission is required for projects within 50 and 100 feet of a wetland resource area.

Policy #3

Revised Plans
If during the course of the public hearing, the applicant requests to provide a revised plan, the Commission will not issue an Order/Permit until a copy of the plan has been received, reviewed and approved by the Commission.

Policy #4

Resource Area Determinations
When a determination regarding the status of a resource area cannot be made by the Administrator or any member of the Commission, it is the Policy of the Commission to have the petitioner engage the services of a professional botanist and/or wetland scientist to make that determination.  If, in the professional opinion of the botanist/ wetland scientist, the area is not a resource area, then the petitioner shall file a Request for Determination of Applicability that shall include a report of that finding.  If the area is determined to be a wetland resource area, then the petitioner shall file in accordance with Policy  #1

Policy #5

Agenda Limits Policy
The Woburn Conservation Commission has established a Policy by which meeting agendas are limited to a total of 7 public hearings.  All items submitted after the agenda is full will be placed on the next available agenda.

Policy #6

25-Foot No Disturb Zone
The Conservation Commission will expect proposals not to locate any alteration or disturbance of land closer than 25 feet to a wetland boundary.  Special justification will be required for any proposal that seeks a lesser distance.  Applications for lesser distances will be required to show in detail that no damage occurs to the adjacent wetland.

Policy #7

Evidence of Abutter Notification
Evidence of notification of abutters shall be submitted by 12:00 Noon at least three (3) business days prior to the scheduled hearing.  This evidence shall include:  one hundred percent (100%) of the “white” certified mail slips (evidencing attempted notification), and all of the certified mail receipt “green cards” (evidencing receipt of notification), received by that date.  Any remaining green cards that are returned to the applicant shall be submitted to the Commission at the meeting or as soon as practical before hand.

Policy #8

Outstanding Violations
Regarding enforcement actions for wetland resource area, riverfront, and/or buffer zone infractions it shall be the Policy of the Conservation Commission to require the property owner to complete the remediation of violations including the submission of “after-the-fact” filings, with appropriate fees.  Enforcement action shall not be lifted from the property until the violation has been remedied to the satisfaction of the Commission, and all applicable fines have been paid.  No new submittals for the subject site will be accepted or reviewed by the Commission while enforcement action is in place.

Policy #9

Submittal Deadlines
All filings shall be submitted to the Commission by 12:00 Noon, at least ten (10) business days prior to a scheduled public meeting in order to be placed on the agenda for that meeting.  In the case of public hearings which have been opened and continued, all additional and/or revised information shall be submitted to the Commission by 12:00 Noon, at least five (5) business days prior to the date of the public meeting to which the hearing was continued, or the Applicant will be expected to consent to the further continuation of the scheduled public hearing to the next available Commission meeting date which is at least 5 business days after said submission is or will be made.

Policy #10

Peer Reviews
To properly administer the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, as well as the City of Woburn Wetlands Ordinance, the Woburn Conservation Commission shall require Peer Review of Notices of Intent (NOI) and Requests for a Determination of Applicability (RDA) for the following categories:

1. Commercial and/or Industrial projects (sites);

2. Residential, Industrial, or Commercial Subdivision roadways

3. Residential Subdivisions creating three or more parcels.

Applicants will be expected to consent to a continuation of the Public Hearing to allow sufficient time for the Commission to receive and fully review the comments and recommendations of the Peer Review. The Commission will not close the Public Hearing for the NOI / RDA until the peer reviewer has completed their work to the satisfaction of the Commission.

Policy #11

Kiosk Postings 
Requests for postings to be displayed in the kiosks on Conservation Land shall be submitted to the Conservation Commission for approval.  The Commission has the sole discretion to approve postings for official public information releases, postings about approved organized events on Woburn Conservation Lands, and information about the Conservation Commission or Conservation Commission activities.  The Commission may reject postings if they are larger than 11 inches by 17 inches or deemed by the Commission to be in poor taste or poor condition.  The Conservation Commission shall not allow postings of commercial advertisements, political advertisements, illegal activities, or hate-related materials.  The Commission shall not allow postings of information regarding fundraising or service clubs unless they are related to Commission approved organized events on Woburn Conservation Land.


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