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Dam Registration Process

Dam owners must add their dam(s) to the public record by completing a Dam Registration Form provided by the Office of Dam Safety.

Upon receipt of the completed Dam Registration Form the Office of Dam Safety issues a Dam Registration Certificate to dam owners. The dam owner must record the certificate at the applicable registry of deeds as an attachment to the record deed that describes the parcel where the dam is located and provide Dam Safety with a copy of the recorded certificate. When land ownership is transferred from one owner to another, a revised Dam Registration Form must be submitted to the Office of Dam Safety in a timely manner to initiate issuance of an updated Dam Registration Certificate which must be recorded.

302 CMR 10.05

A. Owners of all jurisdictional dams throughout the Commonwealth must comply with 302 CMR 10.05 and ensure the dams they own are registered.

B. 302 CMR 10.05 (1) General. The purpose of registration is to establish a public record of the dam.

C. 302 CMR 10.05 (2) requires “The owner of any dam subject to 302 CMR 10.00 shall cause to be filed with the Commissioner, within 30 days following notice by him, on a form prescribed by him, a Dam Registration Form containing the name of the owner, the location and dimensions of such dam and such other information as the Commissioner may reasonably require.”

D. 302 CMR 10.05 (3) A Dam Registration Form shall not be deemed received by the Commissioner until all information required by statute or 302 CMR 10.00 is furnished.

E. 302 CMR 10.05 (4) In the event that the owner fails to file the Dam Registration Form in the time prescribed, the Commissioner may notify the owner of such failure and offer a 30 day grace period after which a Certificate of Non-compliance will be issued and recorded at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the dam lies, with all costs of recording, and interest thereon, to be assessed against the owner.

F. 302 CMR 10.05 (5) Upon receipt and approval of the Dam Registration Form, a Certificate of Registration will be issued to each owner. Within 14 days of receipt such Certificate of Registration must be recorded by the owner at the Registry of Deeds in the county where the dam lies, and a copy of the recorded Certificate filed with the Commissioner within ten days of recording.

G. 302 CMR 10.00 (6) The owner shall notify the Commissioner by registered or certified mail, of the proposed transfer of legal title of such dam 30 days prior to any such transfer. Upon receipt of such notice, a new Certificate of Registration will be issued. Such Certificate shall contain any outstanding obligations of the registered owner under M.G.L. c. 253, §§ 44 through 50.

H. 302 CMR 10.15: Schedule of Fees and Fines pertaining to dam registration
(1) Registration Fees
(a) The fee for registering a dam with the Office of Dam Safety for the first time is $75.00
(b) The fee for registering with the Office of Dam Safety the transfer of a dam to a new dam owner after a real estate transaction is $50.00

(2) Fines for Non-compliance with the Following Requirements (but not necessarily limited to)
(a) Failure to register a dam with the Office of Dam Safety and the Registry of Deeds will result in fines up to $500.00.
(b) Failure to notify the Office of Dam Safety of the transfer of a dam from one owner to another will result in fines up to $500.00.

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