Regulation

Regulation  310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

These regulations protect the public's right to access the state's tidelands and waterways. They also regulate the kinds of activities that can take place on coastal and inland waterways. 

Contact   for 310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

MassDEP Waterways Program

Table of Contents

Current Regulations

These regulations, 310 CMR 9.00, became effective as of January 5, 2024.

Note: This is an unofficial version of Commonwealth regulations and is posted here for the convenience of the public. It is not an official statement of the regulations.

Recently Promulgated Amendments

Amendments to 310 CMR 9.00 were promulgated in January 2024.

Proposed Amendments & Public Comment

Waterways (Chapter 91) Resilience 1.0 Draft Regulations

MassDEP is proposing revisions to the Waterways regulations to improve the Commonwealth's resilience to impacts of climate change. Following Information Sessions and Public Hearings, MassDEP added Office Hour Sessions for stakeholder Q&A and extended the Public Comment period from March 1 to April 30. 

Public Notice: English | Español中文中文(繁體)Kreyòl Ayisyenភាសាខ្មែរ PortuguêsTiếng Việt

Revised Public Notice: English | Español | 中文 | 中文(繁體) | Kreyòl Ayisyen | ភាសាខ្មែរ | Português | Tiếng Việt

Public Information Sessions and Public Hearings

MassDEP conducted two public information sessions:

  • Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. Recording available on YouTube.
  • Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. Recording available on YouTube.
  • Presentation available here.

MassDEP conducted two public hearings: 

  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. Recording available on YouTube.
  • Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. Recording available on YouTube.

Public Comment Period and How to Submit Public Comments

MassDEP held a public comment period from March 1 to April 30, 2024 – a 60-day extension. Formal written comments on the draft regulations were accepted until 5:00 PM on April 30, 2024

Wetlands and Waterways Resilience Regulations “Office Hours” Schedule

MassDEP conducted three virtual office hours sessions. These informal Q&A sessions are an opportunity for the public to better understand the proposed revisions and to help develop their formal comments. Stakeholders were encouraged to submit questions about the Wetlands/401WQC regulations, Stormwater Handbook, and/or Waterways regulations in advance of the session(s).

Proposed Revisions

310 CMR 9.00: Resilience Proposed Amendments - Redline

310 CMR 9.00: Resilience Proposed Amendments - Clean

Public Summary - 310 CMR 9.00 (Resilience)

Amendments to Related Regulations

Draft Wetland Regulations - 310 CMR 10.00

Draft Water Quality Certification Regulations - 314 CMR 9.00

For information about opportunities for public comment, please go to MassDEP Public Hearings & Comment Opportunities | Mass.gov

Waterways (Chapter 91) Chelsea Municipal Harbor Plan Draft Regulations

MassDEP is proposing amendments that would add to the list of MassDEP “Approved Municipal Harbor Plans” (MHP) at 310 CMR 9.57, including the substitute provisions stipulated in the Chelsea Municipal Harbor Plan and Designated Port Area Master Plan, April 1, 2022.

Proposed Revisions

310 CMR 9.00 Proposed Revisions: Redline-Strikeout

310 CMR 9.00 Proposed Revisions: Clean

Background Documents: Decision on Chelsea MHP and DPA Master Plan

Chapter 91 Resiliency Stakeholder Outreach (February 2022)

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) implements Chapter 91 Waterways Regulations (310 CMR 9.00), which govern structures, fill, and uses in jurisdictional tidelands, great ponds and non-tidal rivers and streams.

MassDEP is considering regulatory revisions in response to the effects of a changing climate, including sea level rise, increased precipitation, and intensifying storms. The Department has invited a wide range of stakeholders to participate in a stakeholder advisory panel to inform MassDEP’s proposed resilience-focused regulatory updates.

The advisory panel will bring together key stakeholders and subject matter experts to provide input as MassDEP develops policy and regulatory updates. The Department anticipates convening the stakeholder advisory panel in a meeting to focus on specific, near-term provisions under consideration, as well as a scoping discussion to identify broader, longer-term issues. 

We expect to cover near-term issues in a single session, after which MassDEP will prepare and file Draft Regulations later this fall. Depending on the nature of the comments received during the meeting of the advisory panel or through the public comment period of the draft regulations, we will consider a second round of meetings later in 2022, to focus on longer-term challenges. Advisory panel meetings will be conducted virtually and are open to all interested parties and members of the public.

The Department held a virtual public stakeholder meeting Wednesday February 9, 2022.

Chapter 91 Municipal Harbor Planning Proposed Amendments (May 2021)

Downloads   for 310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

Contact   for 310 CMR 9.00: The Massachusetts Waterways Regulation

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