11.02: Definitions

(1) Undefined Term. As used in 301 CMR 11.00, any term not defined in accordance with 301 CMR 11.02(2) shall have the meaning given to the term by any statutes, regulations, executive orders or policy directives governing the subject matter of the term. Examples include a term pertaining to:
(a) wetlands, which is defined by the Wetlands Protection Act, M.G.L. c. 131 section 40, and its implementing regulations, 310 CMR 10.00, and 33 USC 1341 and 314 CMR 9.00 regarding Water Quality Certification, as well as other statutes, regulations, executive orders, or policy directives that govern wetlands issues; (b) roadways or traffic, which is defined by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division’s regulations at 720 CMR 13.00.  

(2) Defined Terms. As used in 301 CMR 11.00, the following terms shall have the following meanings:

(a) Any agency, department, board, commission, or authority of the Commonwealth.
(b) Agency shall not be considered to include a Federal, municipal, or regional agency, department, board, commission or authority, unless it is:
1. a municipal redevelopment agency created or acting in accordance with M.G.L. c. 121A or c. 121B; or
2. any other authority of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth that is created or acting specifically as an authority in accordance with applicable statutes.

Agency Action.
(a) In the case of a Project undertaken by an Agency, any formal and final authorization, appropriation, execution of a contract or other decision by the Agency to proceed to Commencement of a Project.
(b) In the case of a Project undertaken by a Person, any formal and final action taken by an Agency in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations that grants a Permit, provides Financial Assistance, or closes a Land Transfer.
(c) Agency Action is not final if the Permit, contract or other relevant document approving or allowing the Agency Action contains terms such as a condition or restriction that provides that such Agency Action shall be deemed not to have taken place unless and until the Secretary has determined that:
1. no EIR is required; or
2. a single or final EIR is adequate and 60 Days have elapsed following publication of notice of the availability of the single or final EIR in the Environmental Monitor in accordance with 301 CMR 11.15(2), provided that the Agency shall reconsider and confirm or modify the Agency Action and any conditions thereof following completion of MEPA review.
(d) Agency Action is final even if subject to subsequent judicial or administrative appeal.
Archaeological Site. Any location of a significant event, prehistoric or historic occupation or activity, or building or structure, whether standing, ruined, or vanished, where the location itself maintains historical or archaeological value regardless of the value of any existing building or structure.

(a) Design capacity, i.e., the maximum capacity for which a facility or system is designed and at which a facility or system can operate, regardless of statutory, regulatory, contractual or other conditions or restrictions.
(b) Daily Capacity shall be considered maximum Capacity on any given Day of operation and not an annual average.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Equivalent.  The amount of carbon dioxide by weight that would produce the same amount of global warming impact as a given weight of another greenhouse gas, based on the best available science, including information from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Commonwealth. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Commencement of Construction.
(a) Initiation of on-site physical or construction work or activity.
(b) Research, design, or other work or activity necessary to evaluate a Project for purposes of MEPA and 301 CMR 11.00 and other environmental statutes or regulations shall not be considered Commencement of Construction.

Commencement of a Project.
(a) The earliest of:
1. initiation of the operational phase of the Project;
2. Commencement of Construction; or
3. initiation of any preparatory phase of the Project, including any action or expenditure of funds on the financing, marketing, or development of the Project.

(b) Research, design, or other work or activity necessary to evaluate a Project for purposes of MEPA and 301 CMR 11.00 and other environmental statutes or regulations shall not be considered Commencement of a Project.

Damage to the Environment. Any destruction or impairment (not including insignificant damage or impairment), actual or probable, to any of the natural resources of the Commonwealth including, but not limited to, air pollution, GHG emissions, water pollution, improper sewage disposal, pesticide pollution, excessive noise, improper operation of dumping grounds, reduction of groundwater levels, impairment of water quality, increases in flooding or storm water flows, impairment and eutrophication of rivers, streams, flood plains, lakes, ponds or other surface or subsurface water resources, destruction of seashores, dunes, marine resources, underwater archaeological resources, wetlands, open spaces, natural areas, parks, or historic districts or sites.

(a) Calendar day.
(b) If the deadline for the Secretary to issue a certificate, determination, or other document, or for an Agency to take Agency Action, or for any Agency or Person to file comments, notices, or review documents in accordance with MEPA and 301 CMR 11.00 falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the deadline shall be considered to fall on the next business day.

Expansion. Any material increase in Capacity, demand on infrastructure, or physical dimensions of a Project or frequency of activity associated with the Project.

Financial Assistance.
(a) Any direct or indirect financial aid to any Person provided by any Agency including, but not limited to, mortgage assistance, special taxing arrangements, grants, issuance of bonds, loans, loan guarantees, debt or equity assistance, and the allocation of Commonwealth or Federal funds.
(b) Financial Assistance shall not be considered to include:
1. the grant of aid for medical services or personal support, such as welfare or unemployment funds, to an individual or third party on behalf of an individual;
2. pass-through of Federal funds or issuance of bonds solely on behalf of a local economic development or financing agency, without allocation by an Agency; or
3. routine staff assistance.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG).  Includes all of the following gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.

Historic Structure or District. Any historic property, landmark, building, structure, or district that is significant to the history or prehistory of the Commonwealth, its counties, or municipalities.

Land Transfer.
(a) The execution and delivery by an Agency of any deed, lease, license or other document that transfers real property or an interest in real property.
(b) For purposes of review thresholds, Land Transfer shall not be considered to include the execution and delivery of a deed, lease or license to continue a preexisting lawful use on a Project site, or amendments or extensions thereof.

MEPA Office. The Secretary's staff that carries out day-to-day administration of MEPA and 301 CMR 11.00.

New. Any work or activity that is not:
(a) existing;
(b) being carried out currently as part of, used by, or generated by a previous, actual or permitted use of the Project site; or
(c) being carried out within three years since the later of discontinuance of the previous use or issuance of the relevant Permit.

Participating Agency. Any Agency to which the Proponent has made or will make an application for a Permit, Financial Assistance, or a Land Transfer.

(a) Any permit, license, certificate, variance, approval, or other entitlement for use, granted by an Agency for or by reason of a Project.
(b) Permit shall be considered to include an entitlement for use granted by an Agency in accordance with delegated authority in accordance with Federal environmental statutes or regulations (including certification of compliance with the statutes and regulations).
(c) Permit shall not be considered to include a general entitlement to a Person to carry on a trade or profession, or to operate mechanical equipment which does not depend upon the location of such trade or operation.
(d) For purposes of review thresholds, Permit shall not be considered to include:
1. a consent order or agreement to the extent it addresses noncompliance with applicable statutes and regulations and does not allow or approve a New Project or an Expansion of a Project;
2. a general or programmatic permit, license, certificate, variance or approval applying to a category of Projects rather than to each individual Project;
3. a permit, license, certificate, variance or approval by rule or by self-certification of compliance; and
4. a permit, license, certificate, variance, or approval to continue a preexisting lawful use on a Project site, or amendments or extensions thereof.

Person. Any individual, corporation, partnership, trust, association, or other business or non-profit organization, or any Federal, municipal, or regional governmental, intergovernmental or other entity that is not an Agency.

Project. Any work or activity that is undertaken by:
(a) an Agency; or
(b) a Person and requires a Permit or involves Financial Assistance or a Land Transfer.

Proponent. Any Agency or Person, including a designee or successor in interest, that undertakes, or has a significant role in undertaking, a Project.

Replacement Project. Any Project to repair, replace, or reconstruct a previous use of or Project on a Project site that does not:
(a) increase potential environmental impacts or need additional or changed environmental Permits; or
(b) result in any substantial (10% or more) Expansion of the use or Project, provided that the previous use or Project has not been discontinued for more than three years and that the Expansion does not meet or exceed any review thresholds.

Routine Maintenance. Any maintenance work or activity carried out on a regular or periodic basis in a manner that has no potential for Damage to the Environment or for which performance standards have been developed that avoid, minimize, or mitigate potential environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable.

Scope. The written certificate issued by the Secretary in accordance with 301 CMR 11.06(7) that specifies the form, content, level of detail, and alternatives required for an EIR.

Secretary. The Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

Section 61 Findings. The determinations and findings that an Agency shall make in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30, section 61 and 301 CMR 11.12(5) prior to or when taking Agency Action on a Project for which the Secretary required an EIR.

Stationary Source.   Any individual stationary piece of equipment from which any air pollutant or greenhouse gas is emitted to the ambient air, or any other stationary emission point.

(3) Abbreviations and Acronyms. As used in 301 CMR 11.00, the following abbreviations and acronyms shall have the following meanings:
adt Average Daily Trips.

ACEC Area of Critical Environmental Concern.

CAC Citizens Advisory Committee.

CO2 Carbon dioxide.

cy Cubic yards.

ENF Environmental Notification Form.

EIR Environmental Impact Report.

GHG Greenhouse Gas.

gpd Gallons per day.

HAP Hazardous Air Pollutant.

kv Kilovolts.

MEPA The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, M.G.L. c. 30, sections
61 through 62I, inclusive.

MW Megawatts.

Nox Oxides of Nitrogen.

PM10 Particulate matter less than or equal to10 microns in diameter.

PM 2.5 Particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter.

sf Square feet.

SO2 Sulfur Dioxide.

tpd Tons per day.

tpy Tons per year.

VOC Volatile Organic Compound

Disclaimer: This online edition is not the official version of the MEPA Regulations, and may not reflect any recently promulgated changes. While reasonable efforts have been made to assure the accuracy of the text provided, do not rely on this information without first checking an official edition available through the State House Bookstore, the State library, county law libraries, or your local library.