MassDEP has issued emergency regulations to specify the procedures for post-storm cleanup in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. The emergency regulations will remain in effect for 90 days from October 26, 2012 to January 24, 2013.
The emergency regulations allow municipalities and others to take action in response to storm damage to restore those conditions that existed immediately prior to the storm, including the repair of damaged utility lines, repair of buildings, and removal of debris from resource areas such as wetlands, rivers and streams. This work is permitted without going through the normal permitting process at the local or state level. Notification to MassDEP and the local conservation commission is the only requirement before undertaking most work. The notification must detail the work to be performed and certify that the work is necessary to restore conditions existing prior to October 26, 2012. The work must be completed by December 26, 2012.
The emergency regulations are not a suspension of the existing regulations under the Wetlands Protection Act. They do not permit the dredging or filling of a stream, river or wetland, or the expansion of existing buildings or roads. The emergency regulations detail what work is permitted. Any other work in the resource areas is not allowed pursuant to the emergency regulations.
For more information, you can review the emergency regulations here or contact your local conservation commission or MassDEP Regional Office. For questions on these or other wetlands permitting or enforcement matters, please contact Dave McCay of Mirick O’Connell at (508) 791-8500.