What is the Wetlands Protection Act?

The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (GL Ch. 131 sec. 40; the Act) prohibits any filling, excavation, or other alteration of the land surface, water levels, or vegetation in wetlands, floodplains, riverfront areas or other wetland resource areas, regardless of ownership, without a permit from the local Conservation Commission. This law originated in 1972 when two earlier statutes were combined. Regulations for the Act (310 CMR 10.00; the Regulations) are issued by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).