(1) Filing and Circulation Requirements.

  • If the Secretary requires an EIR in accordance with 301 CMR 11.06(7), the Proponent shall prepare the EIR and file it with the Secretary. Prior to or when filing the EIR with the Secretary, the Proponent shall circulate copies of the EIR in accordance with 301 CMR 11.16(3) and the Scope. The Proponent's failure to circulate the EIR properly shall allow the Secretary to require an extension or repetition of the EIR review.

(2) Timely Filing.

  • The Proponent shall file the EIR as soon after the Secretary issues the Scope as is reasonably possible given the status of Project planning and design, the type and size of the Project, and the Scope. The Proponent may consult with the Secretary for specific advice as to when to file the EIR.

(3) Draft EIR.

  • If the Secretary requires an EIR in accordance with 301 CMR 11.06(7), the Proponent shall first prepare a draft EIR, unless otherwise indicated in the Scope. The draft EIR shall present in accordance with 301 CMR 11.07(6) and the Scope a reasonably complete and stand-alone description and analysis of the Project and its alternatives, and an assessment of its potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures. The Proponent shall ordinarily use the review and comments by any Person or Agency on the draft EIR as an additional opportunity to improve the planning and design of the Project.

(4) Final EIR.

  • If the Secretary determines that the draft EIR is adequate in accordance with 301 CMR 11.08(8)(b), the Proponent shall prepare a final EIR, unless otherwise indicated in the Scope. The Secretary may limit the Scope of the final EIR to aspects of the Project or issues that require further description or analysis and a response to comments, instead of requiring a stand-alone document that meets all of the form and content requirements for an EIR in accordance with 301 CMR 11.07(6), provided that the draft and final EIRs shall present a complete and definitive description and analysis of the Project and its alternatives, and assessment of its potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures sufficient to allow a Participating Agency to fulfill its obligations in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30, section 61 and 301 CMR 11.12(5).

(5) Single EIR.

  • If the Secretary allows a single EIR in accordance with 301 CMR 11.06(8), the Proponent shall prepare a single EIR. The single EIR shall build on the information in the expanded ENF and shall present in accordance with 301 CMR 11.07(6) and the Scope a complete, stand-alone and definitive description and analysis of the Project and its alternatives, and assessment of its potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures sufficient to allow a Participating Agency to fulfill its obligations in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30, section 61 and 301 CMR 11.12(5).

(6) Form and Content of EIR.

  • Unless the Secretary has indicated otherwise in the Scope or as part of a Special Review Procedure, the depth and level of description and analysis in the EIR shall reflect the status of Project planning and design, the type and size of the Project, the requirements of any Agency Action, the availability of reasonable alternatives and methods to avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts, and the opportunity to assess environmental impacts and to identify appropriate mitigation measures. The EIR shall ordinarily contain the following sections (unless the Secretary indicates in the Scope or as a part of a Special Review Procedure that specific issues shall be described or analyzed in additional sections in the EIR or that any of these sections shall not be included in the EIR):
    • (a) Title Page. The name and location of the Project, the EEA No., the type of EIR, the name of the Proponent, the name of the preparer, and the date of filing;
    • (b) Table of Contents. The title and page number of all sections, maps, plans, tables, figures, and appendices of the EIR;
    • (c) Secretary's Certificates. A copy of each Secretary's certificate for the Project, including on the ENF, a draft EIR, or a Notice of Project Change, and any other determination or document issued by the Secretary for the Project.
    • (d) Summary. A brief description in clear, nontechnical language including:
      • 1. the name and location of the Project, and the EEA No.;
      • 2. a brief Project description listing in particular any changes made to the Project since the review of the previous review document;
      • 3. a list of any Permit, Financial Assistance, or Land Transfer, and any required Federal environmental, or land-use permit, license, certificate, variance, or approval with a summary of the current status of each application;
      • 4. a summary of alternatives to the Project;
      • 5. a summary of potential environmental impacts of the Project; and
      • 6. a list of mitigation measures for the Project.
    • (e) Project Description. A detailed description and analysis of the nature and location of the Project including:
      • 1. the type, size, and proposed use of the Project;
      • 2. the objectives and anticipated benefits of the Project;
      • 3. a description of the physical characteristics of the Project and its surroundings, illustrated with a location map and site plan at an appropriate scale and level of detail; and
      • 4. a timetable, approximate cost, and the methods and timing of construction of the Project.
    • (f) Alternatives to the Project. A description and analysis of alternatives to the Project including:
      • 1. all feasible alternatives, including but not limited to those indicated in the Scope;
      • 2. the alternative of not undertaking the Project (i.e., the no-build alternative) for the purpose of establishing a future baseline in relation to which the Project and its alternatives can be described and analyzed and its potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures can be assessed;
      • 3. an analysis of the feasible alternatives in light of the objectives of the Proponent and the mission of any Participating Agency, including relevant statutes, regulations, executive orders and other policy directives, and any applicable Federal, municipal, or regional plan formally adopted by an Agency or any Federal, municipal, or regional governmental entity;
      • 4. an analysis of the principal differences among the feasible alternatives under consideration, particularly regarding potential environmental impacts;
      • 5. a brief discussion of any alternatives no longer under consideration including the reasons for no longer considering these alternatives.
    • (g) Existing Environment. A description and analysis of the physical, biological, chemical, economic, and social conditions of the Project site, its immediate surroundings, and the region (in sufficient detail to provide a baseline in relation to which the Project and its alternatives can be described and analyzed and its potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures can be assessed) including:
      • 1. topography, geology, and soils;
      • 2. surface and groundwater hydrology and quality;
      • 3. air quality and noise;
      • 4. plant and animal species and habitat;
      • 5. traffic, transit, and pedestrian and bicycle transportation;
      • 6. scenic qualities, open space and recreational resources;
      • 7. Historic Structures or Districts, and Archaeological Sites;
      • 8. the built environment and human use of the Project site, its immediate surroundings and the region, including existing infrastructure (i.e., water supply, wastewater treatment and/or disposal, transportation, waste management, etc.), zoning districts and other relevant land-use designations or plans (i.e., local or regional capital improvement plans or infrastructure investments, economic development, growth planning and open space plans, etc.), business districts, industrial parks, housing stock, and vacancy rates; and
      • 9. rare or unique features (including environmental and social conditions) of the Project site and its immediate surroundings such that any increase in environmental impacts, however small or gradual, may result in an unusual or disproportionate effect on environmental resources or quality or public health.
      • 10. if the Project is located in landlocked tidelands as defined in 310 CMR 9.02, an explanation of the Project's impact on the public's right to access, use, and enjoy tidelands that are protected by chapter 91 and measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse impact on those rights. If the Project is located in landlocked tidelands and an area where low groundwater levels have been identified by a municipality or by a state or federal agency as a threat to building foundations, an explanation of the Project's impact on groundwater levels and identification and commitment to taking measures to avoid, minimize, or mitigate any adverse impact on groundwater levels. The EIR shall also describe the Project's compliance with any municipal regulations designed to protect groundwater levels. The proponent may combine the information provided under this paragraph with the information provided under 301 CMR 13.03.
      • 11. for Projects in tidelands other than landlocked tidelands follow 310 CMR 13.00.
    • (h) Assessment of Impacts. A detailed description and assessment of the negative and positive potential environmental impacts of the Project and its alternatives. The EIR shall assess (in quantitative terms, to the maximum extent practicable) the direct and indirect potential environmental impacts from all aspects of the Project that are within the Scope. The assessment shall include both short-term and long-term impacts for all phases of the Project (e.g., acquisition, development, and operation) and cumulative impacts of the Project, any other Projects, and other work or activity in the immediate surroundings and region.
    • (i) Statutory and Regulatory Standards and Requirements. A list of any Permit, Financial Assistance, or Land Transfer that is or may be required, and a brief description and analysis of the applicable statutory and regulatory standards and requirements thereof and the measures to be taken to ensure due compliance therewith.
    • (j) Mitigation Measures. A description and assessment of physical, biological and chemical measures and management techniques designed to limit negative environmental impacts or to cause positive environmental impacts during development and operation of a Project. The EIR shall specify in detail: the measures to be taken by the Proponent or any other Agency or Person to avoid, minimize, and mitigate potential environmental impacts; an Agency or Person responsible for funding and implementing mitigation measures, if not the Proponent; and the anticipated implementation schedule that shall ensure that mitigation measures shall be implemented prior to or when appropriate in relation to environmental impacts. The EIR shall also discuss alternatives to the proposed mitigation measures considered by the Proponent or suggested in comments by any Agency or Person, noting the relative benefits and costs of these alternative mitigation measures.
    • (k) Proposed Section 61 Findings. Proposed findings in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30, section 61 for each Agency for each Agency Action to be taken on the Project. These Proposed Section 61 Findings shall specify in detail: all feasible measures to be taken by the Proponent or any other Agency or Person to avoid Damage to the Environment or, to the extent Damage to the Environment cannot be avoided, to minimize and mitigate Damage to the Environment to the maximum extent practicable; an Agency or Person responsible for funding and implementing mitigation measures, if not the Proponent; and the anticipated implementation schedule that will ensure that mitigation measures shall be implemented prior to or when appropriate in relation to environmental impacts.
    • (l) Response to Comments. A response to the certificate of the Secretary on the previous review document and each comment received on the previous review document, provided that the subject matter of the comment is within the Scope. Unless the Secretary has indicated otherwise in the certificate on the previous review document, the EIR shall contain a copy of each comment either in this section or in a separate appendix, provided that this section clearly explains the location of each comment and the response to each comment.
    • (m) Appendices. A presentation of detailed technical data (e.g., traffic analyses, hydrologic calculations, modeling data), to the extent necessary to keep the main text of the EIR clear and readable. The main text of the EIR shall refer to and summarize any information contained in any appendix. Unless the Secretary has indicated otherwise in the Scope or as a part of a Special Review Procedure, the Proponent shall circulate appendices with the main text of the EIR in accordance with 301 CMR 11.16(3).

The Proponent may vary the outline of ordinary EIR sections (e.g., by combining 301 CMR 11.07(6)(g) through (l) to address one aspect of the Project or issue at a time), provided that the EIR addresses the substance of each section. The EIR shall ordinarily be printed on both sides of each page, be paginated, clearly reference maps, plans, tables and figures, and contain an index and a circulation list.

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.