Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act (Massachusetts)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

EZFeed Policy

Place Massachusetts

Applies to States or Provinces Massachusetts
Name Massachusetts Rivers Protection Act (Massachusetts)
Policy Category Other Policy
Policy Type Environmental Regulations
Affected Technologies Biomass/Biogas, Coal with CCS, Concentrating Solar Power, Energy Storage, Fuel Cells, Geothermal Electric, Hydroelectric, Hydroelectric (Small), Natural Gas, Nuclear, Solar Photovoltaics, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Wind energy
Active Policy Yes

Implementing Sector State/Province

Program Administrator Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Primary Website

Last Review 2014-05-30
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary

Information Source


The law creates a 200-foot riverfront area that extends on both sides of rivers and streams. The riverfront area is 25 feet in the following municipalities: Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Malden, New Bedford, Somerville, Springfield, Winthrop, and Worcester; and in "densely developed areas," which are designated by the Secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. The law does not create a new permitting process, but rather builds on the strength of the existing procedures under the Wetlands Protection Act. The local conservation commission or the state Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) reviews projects to ensure that the riverfront area is protected for the eight interests in the Wetlands Act: the protection of public and private water supply, protection of groundwater supply, protection of land containing shellfish, protection of wildlife habitat, flood control, storm damage prevention, prevention of pollution, and protection of fisheries. The law also establishes the policy of the state to protect the natural integrity of rivers and to encourage and establish open space along rivers. Regulations pertaining to densely developed areas can be found in 301 CMR 10.00.

Policy Contact

Contact Name Michael Stroman
Department Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Division Water, Wastewater and Wetlands
Address One Winter Street, Boston, MA, 02108

Phone 617-292-5526


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: Acts of 1996 ch. 258

Date Enacted 1996

Authority 2: 301 CMR 10.00