Applicants are encouraged to contact the DCR at the phone numbers below to discuss the appropriate type of application.  Many projects simply require an Advisory Ruling, which is an informal indication of whether the Watershed Protection Act applies to the proposed activity.  Advisory Rulings require only a letter with the following information:

  • Complete description of work proposed;
  • Copy of the assessor's map (or assessor's sheet and parcel number);
  • Copy of the deed showing ownership;
  • Copy of plans or surveys, if available; and
  • Other relevant information.

Send the letter requesting an Advisory Ruling to the address shown below. An advisory ruling usually takes a few days to a few weeks, unless the project is complicated and warrants further review.

The Watershed Protection Act requires specific applications for a Determination of Applicability, Variance, and Exemption of a Tributary.  These applications can also be obtained by calling the DCR at the phone numbers listed below.

  • Request For Watershed Determination of Applicability pdf format of Request For Watershed Determination of Applicability doc format of Request For Watershed Determination of Applicability
  • Application for a Variance (Form 3) pdf format of Application for a Variance (Form 3) doc format of Application for a Variance (Form 3)
  • Form 1 and Form 3 are available as both pdf and word formats.  If you have the appropriate software, then the Word formatting allows you to type directly into the downloaded file.


    Please submit your application to the appropriate Division of Water Supply Protection office:


    Quabbin Reservoir and Ware River Watersheds
    If your property is in the following communities: Athol, Barre, Hardwick, Hubbardston, New Salem, Oakham, Orange, Petersham, Phillipston, Rutland, Shutesbury, Templeton, Westminster, or Wendell 
    Contact:

    Department of Conservation and Recreation
    Division of Water Supply Protection
    Quabbin Planning Office
    485 Ware Rd.
    Belchertown, MA 01007
    (413) 323-6921

    Wachusett Reservoir Watershed

    If your property is in the following communities: Boylston, Holden, Leominster, Paxton, Princeton, Sterling, West Boylston or Worcester 
    Contact:

    Department of Conservation and Recreation
    Division of Water Supply Protection
    Wachusett Planning Office
    180 Beaman St.
    West Boylston, MA  01583
    (508) 792-7806