Blog Post

Blog Post 2022 Drought: Implications for Riverfront Area

8/05/2022
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Media Contact for 2022 Drought: Implications for Riverfront Area

Edmund Coletta, MassDEP – Director of Public Affairs

Drought Continues Across Massachusetts – Implications for Riverfront Area

August 2022

On July 21, 2022, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Bethany Card declared a Level 3 – Critical Drought in the Northeast and Central Regions, a Level 2 – Significant Drought in the Connecticut River Valley and Southeast Regions, and a Level 1 – Mild Drought in the Western, Cape Cod and Islands Regions of the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection regulations, 310 CMR 10.58(2)(a)1.f. state that Rivers include perennial streams that cease to flow during periods of extended drought. Extended drought is defined at 310 CMR 10.58(2)(a)1.f. as an "Advisory" or more severe drought level in accordance with the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan (MDMP). The MDMP most recently revised in 2019 provides that the Level 1-Mild Drought was formerly the Advisory level drought. Therefore, observations of no flow during a Level 1 – Mild Drought or more severe drought level may not be used to determine a perennial river does not contain Riverfront Area. The latest drought status is available through the following:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/drought-status

Effective Date of Extended Drought for Purposes of the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations

For the Southeast and Islands EEA Drought Regions: Field observations made on April 1, 2022, or later may not be used to support an intermittent stream determination. For the Northeast, Central, and Connecticut River Valley EEA Drought Regions: Field observations made on May 1, 2022, or later may not be used to support an intermittent stream determination.

For the Western EEA Drought Region: Field observations made on June 1, 2022, or later may not be used to support an intermittent stream determination

For the Cape Cod EEA Drought Region: Field observations made on July 1, 2022, or later may not be used to support an intermittent stream determination

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