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The Conservation Commission administers the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Ch. 131 S. 40) and Regulations (310 CMR 10.00) and the Needham Wetlands Protection Bylaw (Article 6) and regulations. The commission also oversees the town’s conservation lands including Ridge Hill Reservation.
Under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act no one may “remove, fill, dredge, or alter” any of the land surface, water levels, or vegetation in wetlands, floodplains, “bordering vegetated wetlands” (BVWs), or other wetland resource areas without obtaining a permit from the local Conservation Commission. The Conservation Commission also has the authority to regulate activities in the "buffer zone” of upland that is within 100 feet of a wetland or stream, and the “riverfront area” within 200 feet of perennial rivers or streams.
If you are planning any landscaping, clearing, filling, excavation, demolition, or construction within a wetland or floodplain, within the 100 feet buffer zone, or within 200 feet of the Charles River or other perennial stream, whether or not the wetland resource is on your property. Please contact the Conservation Commission before you begin your project to determine if you will need a permit.
Unsure if your project lies within a wetland resource area? Please contact the Commission to find out if your proposed work is subject to the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act or the Needham Wetlands Bylaw and whether you will need a permit before you begin.
The commission will be pleased to help you determine the procedures that are applicable to your proposed activities and to work with you in order to best protect the wetland resource areas. Work done without a permit is subject to an enforcement order, which may include fines.