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Important Update Concerning MEPA Operations

The MEPA Office will operate remotely through 2021 and only project submittals and other correspondence that are submitted electronically will be accepted during this time. Additional information is provided below.

Interim Protocols

Please note that a new MEPA Interim Protocol on Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency will be in effect for all ENFs/EENFs as of October 1, 2021. During a 60-day transition period, the MEPA Office will accept filings that do not include the required information as of the submittal deadline, so long as it is provided by the time of the Environmental Monitor publication date.  

In addition, new transitional rules regarding environmental justice (EJ) outreach went into effect on June 24, 2021  and apply to all ENFs/EENFs. Please ensure that this information is provided in the ENFs/EENFs; otherwise, the filing may be deemed incomplete. The filing should include a clear narrative that supports any conclusions regarding potential impacts on EJ populations. 

Submitting MEPA Filings

During 2021, the MEPA Office will continue to accept electronic project submittals. Electronic submittals that are sent to MEPA@mass.gov by 5:00 PM on the submittal deadline will be accepted for publication in the next edition of the Environmental Monitor. Please note that a filing will not be published in the Environmental Monitor unless it is complete upon submission.

An electronic copy of the complete submittal (including all attachments) should be sent concurrently to the MEPA Office (MEPA@mass.gov) and to the required distribution list. Please use the following MEPA Distribution List for state agencies, which will continue to be updated to reflect any changes in required distribution format (electronic vs. hard copy) on the part of state agencies. To facilitate review, you may be requested to provide a courtesy hard copy of a project submittal to the MEPA Analyst and/or may be requested to provide a hard copy to the MEPA Office for inclusion in the project file at a future date.

The electronic submittal should be sent to MEPA and state agencies requesting electronic distribution using a file share service. The entire electronic submittal, including appendices and site plans, must be accessible and legible. Additionally, please ensure the submittal meets the following criteria:

  • The link to download the electronic submittal must be accessible by others (not just the direct recipient).
  • All electronic submittals over 50 pages must include bookmarks or an electronic table of contents that provides direct links to each of the sections and appendices. Alternatively, each section and appendix should be provided as a separate file.
  • Permissions must be set to allow for the electronic document to be downloaded from a file sharing website without requiring an individual to create an account. This provision does not apply to secure FTP file sharing websites.

Due to volume restrictions of the mass.gov email system, please do not directly send the electronic submittal as a PDF. Please be prepared to provide copies of electronic submittals in an alternative format (such as reduced file sizes or zip files) to anyone requesting to receive them.

Site Visits

Site visits will continue to be conducted remotely until further notice; however, the MEPA Office may require in-person site visits for larger projects or projects of any size for which there is significant public interest in a site visit. At a minimum, access to the project site should be made available to the MEPA Analyst upon request. The Proponent will be expected to describe the site and share existing conditions photos and site plans in addition to providing an overview of the proposed project. The Proponent will be responsible for providing a call-in/weblink to host the remote consultation session with the capability to share files (i.e., “screen share” capability) and host at least 25 participants through a telephonic or video dial-in feature. If the Proponent is unable to host a remote site visit, it should consult with the MEPA
Office about alternative methods.

Information regarding the consultation session (including the date/time, call-in number, and weblink) will be posted in the Site Visit section of the Environmental Monitor.

Public Comments

During remote MEPA operations, please utilize the Public Comment Portal or email comments directly to the MEPA Analyst assigned to review the project, as identified in the Environmental Monitor. Contact information for the MEPA Analysts may be found here. Please be sure to include the EEA# and project name in the subject line of the email.

Pre-Filing Meetings

Remote pre-filing meetings may continue to be scheduled through emailing MEPA@mass.gov. As a general matter, pre-filing meetings will be scheduled between 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The email requesting a pre-filing meeting should identify your availability within this timeframe over the next two to three weeks and include a brief project description and a relevant site plan or figure(s). It should also note what you are seeking input on. The Proponent will be responsible for providing a telephonic or video dial-in for the call, as well as a method for viewing site plans or other documents (e.g., screen share function) to the extent feasible. If the Proponent is unable to host a pre-filing meeting electronically, it should consult with the MEPA Office about alternative methods.

Requests for Advisory Opinions, Public Notices, and Other Inquiries

Please continue to send Requests for Advisory Opinions (RAO), public notices for publication in the Environmental Monitor, and any other inquiries to MEPA@mass.gov

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