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Environmental Permitting in Massachusetts

This Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) publication provides an overview of environmental permits.

In August 2021, CZM released a revised and updated version of the original Permit Guide, which was published in 2003. CZM worked with both an internal review team, as well as approximately 30 reviewers from multiple state and federal agencies, to ensure the information was accurate and up-to-date.

The Massachusetts environmental permitting process is designed to protect diverse resources and includes a variety of programs and statutes. This guide offers brief descriptions of the major Massachusetts environmental permit programs, which are organized into topic areas, with descriptions that include: name of the environmental permit or requirement; legal citations for the authority; area or activities under jurisdiction; types of regulated activities; regulatory summary; summary of the review process; and forms and fees, contact information, and links to additional resources.

The primary focus of this guide is on Massachusetts statutes and regulations, but information about applicable local and federal statutes is also included. Descriptions of relevant Executive Orders (for the topic areas of floodplains, barrier beaches, and climate change) are provided as an appendix. 

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