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Proponents with projects and activities within rare species habitat must file with the NHESP for review and approval. These habitats are mapped as Priority & Estimated Habitats. Please see our online viewer to determine if your location is mapped as rare species habitat.
Project or Activity means any action, including, but not limited to:
Project proponents should submit a MESA Project Review checklist, filing fee, and the required information outlined on the checklist.
Under the Wetlands Protection Act,if a project is located within Estimated Habitat and a NOI is required, a copy of that NOI must be sent to the NHESP (no later than the date for filing of the NOI with the Conservation Commission) for review.
NOTE: DEP and NHESP have also developed a Streamlined Notice of Intent process for projects that must be reviewed under both MESA and WPA.
Checks should be made payable to Comm. of MA - NHESP.
Mail completed application, checklist items, and fee (check made payable to Comm. of MA - NHESP) to the attention of Regulatory Review.
Within 30 days of receiving a filing, we will provide a response letter indicating whether or not the submission is complete. If the submission is complete, we have an additional 60 days to provide a determination. However, the majority of project reviews are completed within the first 30 days.
We are committed to providing review outcomes in a timely manner, often before the regulatory deadline to accommodate Conservation commission hearings, staff time permitting.
During the Regulatory Review process, our review biologists will determine whether the project, as proposed, will impact state-listed species and their habitats.
Please see our MESA Project Review Decisions Applications Received and Final Decisions .
The NHESP understands that there are project proponents who have taken significant action towards implementing a project in reliance on an earlier edition of the Atlas that showed that the project site was not located in Priority Habitat but have since been mapped. Some such projects may not be subject to MESA review if certain permitting milestones (pursuant to 10.13(2)) have been met.
A failure to file under MESA or adhere to the conditions of a Conservation and Management Permit shall constitute a violation of MESA and is subject to a fine (pursuant to 10.06).
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