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...............................Wetland Permits...............................

Wetlands Identification                781-652-0008                   das@WetlandsID.com

Town and State Approvals for projects near wetlands



  • Notice of Intent
  • Order of Conditions
  • Determination of Applicability
  • Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation

Under Massachusetts and local laws, town Conservation Commission review is required whenever you do work within 100 feet of a wetland.  This includes building additions/demolitions, regrading a yard, installation of sod (in some cases), and removing/installing a driveway.  It also includes using an area for construction staging within 100 feet of a wetland.  Some minor activities, such as planting native shrubs, do not require review.  Contact us or your local Conservation Commission if you have questions about whether your work would require review.

The permit needed for this kind of work is called an Order of Conditions and is issued by your local Conservation Commission after you file a Notice of Intent (NOI).  Sometimes another process, called a Determination of Applicability (DoA), is used to allow projects that are small and/or have minimal impact on wetland ecology.   A DoA or an Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation (ANRAD) can also be used if you just want to find out where the wetland line is.  You might want to know so that you can plan or design a project which complies with wetland setbacks and other regulations.


Wetland Delineations

If your town's GIS map shows your anticipated work area is within 100 feet of a wetland, you will probably need to hire a wetland delineator or wetland scientist to locate the wetland on the ground.  The GIS maps are approximations of wetland locations, and a delineation, using vegetation and soil characteristics, will mark out a wetland more accurately.

Sometimes wetlands exist where there is no visible water at the surface of the ground.   Wetlands can even be present in some lawn areas.  One reason for this is that any land area where groundwater is below, but near the surface creates wetland conditions.  That area can act as a "savings bank" for groundwater, buffering nearby streams, roads and low areas from more severe flooding during intense rain events. 

Wetlands also help to recharge streams during dry spells.  And many animals, from dragonflies to hawks to possums depend directly or indirectly on the plants and animals that thrive in wetlands.  Although water levels in wetlands may swell and recede depending on weather patterns and season, these low-lying areas are the most dependable locations for living things to find the resources they need.  There is always something happening in a wetland.

If the delineation finds that your work area is within 100 feet of a wetland, the local Conservation Commission will want to review the details of your project before approving it.  To do this, they usually require a survey plan be prepared, showing the proposed work and the location of the wetland.  The survey plan can be prepared by most Professional Land Surveyors.

Setbacks to Wetlands

Some towns have required setback distances from new building construction to wetlands.  The delineation will help clarify whether your planned construction will meet these setback requirements.


Stormwater Treatment

If you are building an addition, demolishing or rebuilding a home, or installing a new driveway or other impervious surface, you may need to install a system to prevent increases in stormwater flow towards the wetland. Most towns do not have this requirement, unless you are developing four or more parcels, but check with your town's Conservation office.   A Professional Civil Engineer can design a stormwater infiltration system that complies with town wetland regulations.


Contact Wetlands Identification for wetland delineations and assistance with obtaining approvals for your project

Copyright 2014 David A. Sperduto

Wetlands Identification                781-652-0008                   das@WetlandsID.com

Sperduto Land Survey    Building Permit Plans    Boundary Surveys    Wetlands Identification
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David Sperduto,
Dec 14, 2014, 6:03 PM
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