Ask the Office of the Permit & Regulatory Ombudsman

The Office serves as a Point of Contact for raising issues about permitting or questions about how law, policy, and regulations are applied across the agency. The Office is now providing issue summaries of certain inquiries and their resolutions. 

Office Overview

Ever mindful of the role it plays in promoting smart and sustainable growth across Massachusetts, the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) always strives to issue permits at "the speed of business." In fact, MassDEP was the first agency of its kind in the nation nearly two decades ago - and remains one of the few today - to offer applicants the guarantee of a timely decision or their money back.

In most cases, the MassDEP Regional Office that serves the community where you want to build or expand is the best and most efficient starting point for learning about the environmental permits you might need and making personal connections with the people who will be issuing them. By scheduling a pre-application meeting with regional office staff, you might even discover that small changes in your proposal could eliminate the need for some permits entirely.

There may be times, however, when you want or need additional assistance in navigating the MassDEP permitting process or expediting a decision that is business-critical. That is why the agency opened its Office of Permit and Regulatory Ombudsman & Special Projects to provide help when you:

  • Are proposing a large, complex, or cutting-edge facility or project that will require permitting coordination among various local, state and federal agencies, or across multiple MassDEP regions.
  • Want to take advantage of Fast Track Permitting to accelerate review of your facility or project.
  • Need an impartial ombudsman to address questions or concerns you may have about MassDEP permitting procedures, timelines or outcomes.

Additional Information

To learn more about the services provided by the Office of Permit and Regulatory Ombudsman & Special Projects, you may

Ultimately, everyone benefits when you receive the state environmental approval(s) you need in a predictable and timely way: your community and our economy gain new jobs and opportunities; you get a clear road map to environmental compliance and sustainability; and your neighbors continue to enjoy the clean air, clean water and the quality of life that draws so many people to Massachusetts.