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The original item was published from 4/2/2018 12:48:00 PM to 5/5/2018 12:00:11 AM.

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Posted on: April 2, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Severe Weather Emergency Declaration by MassDEP - EXTENSION TO 5/2/18

DEP declared a Severe Weather Emergency after the Nor’easter of 3/2/18. This temporarily suspended standard WPA permitting provisions. On 3/30/18, MassDEP issued an Emergency Declaration Extension until May 2, 2018 subject to certain special conditions. For see the Extension Declaration Click here.


This extension is limited to those activities for which a notice of work is provided to MassDEP by close of business April 2, 2018 and a signed acknowledgement is issued by MassDEP;

All proposed activities comply with the terms of the Emergency Declaration (3/2/2018); and

All work conforms to the terms of the MassDEP Guidance For Cities and Towns on Emergency Repairs Following Winter Storm Riley, 2018 (3/5/2018) 

The Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) must be notified in writing of any work proposed in Priority and Estimated Habitat of Rare Species, as indicated in the Massachusetts Natural Heritage Atlas (14th Edition; Please note that additional review and approval by MassWildlife may be required pursuant to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act and its emergency provisions (321 CMR 10.15). Unless otherwise approved by MassWildlife, a qualified shorebird monitor must survey the work area to determine if state-listed coastal birds are present, and provide regular monitoring to ensure ongoing protection of state-listed coastal birds. Suitable, occupied nesting habitats must be protected with symbolic fencing (as directed by the qualified shorebird monitor), avoided during all work, and restored to conditions existing as of March 2, 2018 (prior to the storm). MassWildlife is committed to providing expedited feedback and guidance; please contact us at for more information.

All work must be completed by May 2, 2018. After that time, all work must be conducted in accordance with the Wetlands Regulations, 310 CMR 10.00.

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has declared a Severe Weather Emergency in the aftermath of the March 2018 Nor’easter on or about March 2, 2018. This temporarily suspends standard WPA permitting and emergency certification provisions.

As noted in a previous News Flash, this means that people with damage to property from the storm, where the repair work is in Conservation Commission jurisdiction, may proceed without having to submit a request for an Emergency Certificate (EC) or other WPA permit application to do repairs that abate their emergency, as long as certain conditions are met.

"By this Emergency Declaration, DEP suspended the standard permitting and emergency certification provisions contained at 310 CMR 10.00 for the activities described herein, in order to allow for post-storm recovery efforts necessary to protect public health and safety from damage caused by the March 2018 Nor’easter on or about March 2, 2018. The following post-storm activities are allowed by this Emergency Declaration without filing for a Determination of Applicability, a Notice of Intent, or requesting an Emergency Certification, provided that:

(a) the post-storm activities are necessary to protect public health and safety from damage caused by the March 2018 Nor’easter on or about March 2, 2018;

(b) The post-storm activities are necessary as a result of damage caused by the March 2018 Nor’easter;

(c) any wetland resource areas altered while carrying out emergency actions authorized by this Emergency Declaration, as defined below, are restored to their pre-storm conditions;

(d) written notification is mailed by post, emailed, or hand delivered to, and received by, the conservation commission of the municipality in which the post-storm activities are to be performed and the appropriate Regional Office of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection prior to April 2, 2018; the written notification to each agency must indicate that the other agency has been notified.

(e) the written notification provides a detailed description of the post-storm activities performed or to be performed and certifies that the post-storm activities are limited to those necessary to restore conditions existing on March 2, 2018 (prior to the storm) and are necessary to protect public health or safety from damage caused by March 2018 Nor’easter on or about March 2, 2018;

(f) the post-storm activities are completed by May 2, 2018 (revised 3/30/18);

(g) the post-storm activities do not include any work on any structures that were previously condemned as uninhabitable by a local or state building official on or prior to March 2, 2018;

(h) armouring of coastal dunes is prohibited; and

(i) the post-storm activities are limited to, and do not exceed, what is described in the list below of post-storm activities allowed by this Emergency Declaration.

Post-Storm Activities:

  • Removal of objects and debris, including fallen trees, tree limbs, wood, plaster, foundation materials, motor vehicles, refuse, and plant or animal matter, but only if removal does not require filling, dredging, or excavating a wetland resource area. Debris shall be disposed of lawfully and may not be disposed of in any wetland resource area...
  • Repair, stabilizing, and shoring up, but not expanding, of any building, foundation, or other structure...
  • Repair to septic systems not requiring a variance of Title 5 (310 CMR 15.000) where damage to the septic system was caused by erosion due to March 2018 Nor’easter...
  • Removal of debris necessary to clear a roadway or railway...
  • Repair, but not the expansion or realignment, of a roadway, bridge, causeway, or railway passing over or through a wetland resource area, dam, or culvert. ...
  • Repair, but not the expansion or realignment, of a culvert through which a stream or river flows, that is necessary to abate the emergency...
  • Removal of objects and debris blocking culverts, bridges, streams, or river channels to restore conditions...
  • Repair of publicly owned wastewater or drinking water treatment plants...
  • Repair or replacement of utility lines, poles and pipes...
  • Repair, but not the expansion, of manmade stormwater management structures...
  • Installation of temporary diversion structures to divert floodwaters or urban drainage...
  • Discharge of water pumped from flooded buildings to wetland resource areas, provided the discharge is not contaminated with oil or other toxic or hazardous material."

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