This regulatory review effort coincides with statewide initiatives led by EEA under Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569 to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
MEPA regulations were last amended on May 10, 2013.
Proposed Amendments and Public Comment
Virtual Public Hearings: October 12-13, 2021
Public Comment Period Ends: October 20, 2021
The MEPA Office has formed an advisory committee to guide its regulatory review effort in 2021-22. A list of represented organizations and dates of public meetings can be found here.
Important transitional rules regarding environmental justice outreach for projects filed on or after June 24, 2021 are available here.
The MEPA Interim Protocol on Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency will be in effect for all ENFs/EENFs as of October 1, 2021, and is available here. 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.
Based on comments received, the MEPA Public Involvement Protocol for Environmental Justice Populations will be incorporated into MEPA's rulemaking package under M.G.L. c.30A anticipated for September 2021. Accordingly, the effective date of this DRAFT protocol has been deferred.
Public comments and responses received on MEPA interim protocols are available below:
- Comments Received until March 31, 2021
- MEPA Response to Comments
- Additional Comments Received on MEPA Public Involvement Protocol
The text of the MEPA interim protocols can be found below:
- FINAL MEPA Interim Protocol on Climate Change Adaptation and Resiliency (CLEAN) [effective October 1, 2021]
- REVISED MEPA MEPA Public Involvement Protocol for Environmental Justice Populations (REDLINE) ) [effective date deferred]
- REVISED MEPA MEPA Public Involvement Protocol for Environmental Justice Populations (CLEAN) [effective date deferred]
Cumulative Impacts Analysis
In March 2021, Governor Baker signed Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2021, An Act Creating a Next Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy. The Act requires the MEPA Office to develop new regulations by the end of 2021 that would require:
- Submission of an environmental impact report (EIR) for any project that is likely to cause damage to the environment and is located near an environmental justice (EJ) population;
- Assessment of potential existing unfair or inequitable environmental burden and related public health consequences for the EJ population; and
- Analysis of how the proposed project might result in a disproportionate adverse effect on the EJ population.
The Act also directed the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to incorporate cumulative impact analysis (CIA) for certain categories of air permits and approvals. MassDEP was directed to propose regulations for accomplishing this goal by 2022.
The MEPA Office will participate in MassDEP's stakeholder effort to evaluate and seek public comment on development of a CIA methodology. More information is available here.
Ways to Participate in MEPA Regulatory Review Effort
Public comments or other inquiries about the MEPA regulatory review process can be sent to MEPAfirstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that all comments received by the MEPA office, including the email address and contact information of the sender, will be treated as public records under state and federal public records law.
To subscribe and receive regular updates regarding the MEPA regulatory review effort, please send a blank email to email@example.com. Please ensure that both the subject line and the body of the email are blank and that the email does not contain an automatic signature or your email address will not be added to the listserv. If you receive an error message, please contact MEPA@mass.gov.
Ongoing updates of the MEPA regulatory review effort, including additional opportunities for public participation, will be posted on this page.