Launched in 2011 and Fully Promulgated in 2014

In 2011, MassDEP launched a major initiative to look for possible improvements to all of the agency’s regulatory areas. The intention was to make changes that simplify, streamline and improve many of the agency’s programs while maintaining the same or better environmental protection. After working closely with external stakeholders and going through the public comment process, all of these across-the-board reforms have been finalized and published as final regulations.

MassDEP kicked off its Regulatory Reform Initiative with the goal of maintaining the agency's current high standards of environmental protection with a drastically reduced present level of staff (which dropped more than 30 percent since 2002). MassDEP's Regulatory Reform Initiative was also a mechanism for reviewing existing regulations to identify efficiency improvements as required of all state agencies under the Economic Development Reorganization Act of 2010.

The resulting programmatic changes, which are now codified into final regulations, will achieve efficiencies without sacrificing environmental standards by disinvesting from low-value activities, relying on other regulatory entities where redundant oversight currently exists, and utilizing authorized third parties rather than agency resources.   Some of the reforms also remove regulatory barriers to clean energy projects.

The regulatory changes include improvements to the following MassDEP programs.