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Notice of Project Change Preparation and Filing

This Guide provides useful information and resources for filing a Notice of Project Change (NPC). An NPC is required if there is any material change to a project prior to the taking of all Agency Actions for the project or if there has been a lapse of time since the issuance of the ENF Certificate.

Table of Contents

Electronic Filing Requirements

The MEPA Office is only accepting electronic project submittals. Electronic submittals that are received at MEPA@mass.gov by 5:00 PM on the submittal deadline will be accepted for publication in the next edition of the Environmental Monitor. Please note that a filing will not be published in the Environmental Monitor unless it is complete upon submission.

An electronic copy of the complete submittal (including all attachments) should be sent concurrently to the MEPA Office (MEPA@mass.gov) and to the required distribution list. Please use the following MEPA Distribution List for state agencies, which will continue to be updated to reflect any changes in required distribution format (electronic vs. hard copy) on the part of state agencies. To facilitate review, you may be requested to provide a courtesy hard copy of a project submittal to the MEPA Analyst.

The electronic submittal should be sent to MEPA and state agencies requesting electronic distribution using a file share service. The entire electronic submittal, including appendices and site plans, must be accessible and legible. Additionally, please ensure the submittal meets the following criteria:

  • The link to download the electronic submittal must be accessible by others (not just the direct recipient).
  • All electronic submittals over 50 pages must include bookmarks or an electronic table of contents that provides direct links to each of the sections and appendices. Alternatively, each section and appendix should be provided as a separate file.
  • Permissions must be set to allow for the electronic document to be downloaded from a file sharing website without requiring an individual to create an account. This provision does not apply to secure FTP file sharing websites.

Due to volume restrictions of the mass.gov email system, please do not directly send the electronic submittal as a PDF. Please be prepared to provide copies of electronic submittals in an alternative format (such as reduced file sizes or zip files) to anyone requesting to receive them.

Types of Notice of Project Change

A NPC may need to be filed due to a material change in the project or a lapse of time.

NPC for Project Change

A NPC must be filed if there is any material change in the Project prior to the taking of all agency actions. The NPC must specify the details of any change in the project and information provided in the previous review document.

NPC for Lapse of Time

A NPC must be filed if more than three (3) years have elapsed between:

  • the publication of the ENF and the publication of the availability of the SEIR or FEIR
  • the publication of the availability of the SEIR or FEIR and the earlier of:
    • notification of the commencement of construction and
    • commencement of non-construction work such as expenditure of funds for final design, property acquisition, or marketing

Preparing an NPC

Prior to filing the NPC, the Proponent may consult with the MEPA Office and any participating agencies to determine if an NPC is warranted.  The Proponent may also schedule a pre-filing meeting with the MEPA Office to discuss unique aspects of a project and how to address filing requirements.

The NPC submittal should include a completed NPC form which clearly identifies the MEPA review thresholds that the project meets or exceeds, any outstanding Agency Actions that it may require, and Agency Actions that have already been taken. Supplemental narrative and/or footnotes to tables in the NPC form may be used to clarify aspects of the project or its impacts.

The NPC should include a supporting project narrative with a detailed project change description, an alternatives analysis, evaluation of potential environmental impacts, and a description of mitigation measures.  Supporting studies or technical analysis may be appended to the ENF or provided as attachments.


Additional Resources   for Preparing an NPC

Filing and Circulation Requirements

The following must be included with an NPC submittal to the MEPA Office:

  • One electronic copy of the signed NPC that meets the electronic filing requirements identified above
  • The Following Attachments:
  1. Secretary’s most recent Certificate on this project
  2. Plan showing existing conditions and most recent previously-reviewed proposed build condition
  3. Plan showing currently proposed build condition
  4. Original U.S.G.S. map or good quality color copy (8-1/2 x 11 inches or larger) indicating the project location and boundaries
  5. List of all agencies and persons to whom the proponent circulated the NPC, in accordance with 301 CMR 11.10(7)

Public Comment and Review Period

The 20-day public comment period begins when the project is published in the Environmental Monitor. 

At the Proponent's request and subject to the Secretary's approval, the comment period may be extended.

Within 10 days of the close of the comment period, the Secretary will issue a Certificate on the NPC and whether the project change or lapse of time warrants further MEPA review by submission of a new ENF or supplemental EIR, or changes to a Scope.

The 2024 Environmental Monitor Publication Schedule includes submission deadlines, comment due dates and decision deadlines for 2024.

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