Wetland regs, in MA

RedSox4Life

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Mass
Hey guys,
Im a lawn guy, don't know much about laws governing filling in wetlands. This question is for an issue at my personal residence.

Here's the scenario;

I want to bring in fill to level out a section of my yard. The problem is that there's a small stream that drains from a swamp somewhat close to the area of land that I want to dump fill. I know Massachusetts has laws regarding filling in wetlands, and I am not familiar with them.

So my questions are;
1) How many feet from a wetland must I stay when dumping fill?
and
2) What is considered the border of the wetland? The stream bank? stream center?

I read this section with great interest, and am sure there is some great minds here that can answer my question.

Thank you much!
 

USA1

LawnSite Member
Location
Metro West Mass.
I live in Mass. as well. Contact your conservation agent at your town hall. He/she will give you the information you need to know. Doing any work that is with in the setbacks with out the proper permits will come back to haunt. They have the authority to to enforce the conservation laws, levy fines, and require replications of the wetlands.
 

zabmasonry

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
C. VT
I live in Mass. as well. Contact your conservation agent at your town hall. He/she will give you the information you need to know. Doing any work that is with in the setbacks with out the proper permits will come back to haunt. They have the authority to to enforce the conservation laws, levy fines, and require replications of the wetlands.
Ultimately this is your best bet. Otherwise I'd google mass wetland regulations and figure out the rules.
 

bearmtnmartin

LawnSite Senior Member
Well, if you live in BC its less painfull to lie down and have a friend walk an excavator slowly over your lower legs.

Even dry, man made ditches and lowlands can be considered contributors to downstream riparian habitat. Excavation or construction within a 30 meter buffer requires a full environmental review, and god forbid they find a frog, fry or or other creepy crawly. Then if you do get permi$$ion to do anything, you get to pay an environmental monitor to watch you work. If you are lucky, the monitor has a nursery full of fish loving trees and shrubs and will require you to buy them from him at a $ubstantial mark up to plant right where you didnt want a forest of weeds and brush to "mitigate the environmental impact you have caused"
 

GreenI.A.

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
North East
Like USA1 said, contact the towns conservation agent. There are obviously federal regs, and stricter state regs, then many towns here have their own regs that are even stricter. I have found calling the conservation dept/agent they will be more than happy to work with you, most will come out to the sight and show you exactly where you can work before you start. Atleast in my experience the conservation department would rather be proactive and prevent problems than be handing out hefty fines after the fact.
 

YellowDogSVC

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
TX
Well, if you live in BC its less painfull to lie down and have a friend walk an excavator slowly over your lower legs.

Even dry, man made ditches and lowlands can be considered contributors to downstream riparian habitat. Excavation or construction within a 30 meter buffer requires a full environmental review, and god forbid they find a frog, fry or or other creepy crawly. Then if you do get permi$$ion to do anything, you get to pay an environmental monitor to watch you work. If you are lucky, the monitor has a nursery full of fish loving trees and shrubs and will require you to buy them from him at a $ubstantial mark up to plant right where you didnt want a forest of weeds and brush to "mitigate the environmental impact you have caused"
government OVER-regulation. Where is common sense? If a man needs to fill in a low spot in his yard, he should be able to do it provided he doesn't create a disaster downstream. I don't think this project qualifies as an ELE (extinction level event) but you might as well be planning mass genocide. It's amazing how the government in the US used to pay people to poison wolves and hang wolf cubs but now you can't mow your pasture if someone saw a mouse with an extra whisker on one side of his cheek. I'm being smart but.... it is only going to get worse.
 

GreenI.A.

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
North East
It's amazing how the government in the US used to pay people to poison wolves and hang wolf cubs but now you can't mow your pasture if someone saw a mouse with an extra whisker on one side of his cheek. I'm being smart but.... it is only going to get worse.
I cant complain about these policies. i live on a dead end street of 11 houses, all 3+ acre wooded lots values run between 300k-1mill. The town is below their low income/section 8 mandated houses, they wanted to put in a 300 unit complex at the end of my streetwhich they figured would cover the towns section housing for the next 10 years of growth. What stopped them from developing this low income project? Endagered special of birds and salemanders were found on the projected site
 

anthonyp

LawnSite Member
Location
charleston s c
Hey guys,
Im a lawn guy, don't know much about laws governing filling in wetlands. This question is for an issue at my personal residence.

Here's the scenario;

I want to bring in fill to level out a section of my yard. The problem is that there's a small stream that drains from a swamp somewhat close to the area of land that I want to dump fill. I know Massachusetts has laws regarding filling in wetlands, and I am not familiar with them.

So my questions are;
1) How many feet from a wetland must I stay when dumping fill?
and
2) What is considered the border of the wetland? The stream bank? stream center?

I read this section with great interest, and am sure there is some great minds here that can answer my question.

Thank you much!


Well I personally think you should go to the edges of what you consider the wetland to be, and look to see if there is some different types of vegetation growing, then just uses common sense and step back three feet from the edge....

if it just a smallish low area I would just fill it in....If it takes say twenty dump trucks, then I would get the environmental people to give me the go ahead..

I have found that if I ask , it usually results in a permit being gotten, and that can slow you down, but you sleep at night...Tony
 

Top