The Berlin Conservation Commission administers the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act M. G. L. ch. 131, s.40 for activities within the town. To learn more, read Living with Wetlands, A Guide to Wetland Protection Laws in Berlin.
The official source for Wetland Protection Act Permit forms is the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). Forms and instructions are available in both MS Word and Adobe PDF formats. The following forms are most commonly used by applicants:
- WPA Form 1: Request for Determination of Applicability - The Request for Determination of Applicability is a process which provides applicants with the option of seeking a determination on the applicability of the Wetlands Protection Act to a proposed site or activity. Before filing this form to confirm the boundary delineation of a resource area, the applicant should discuss other delineation review options with the Conservation Commission. The Commission may require the submission of WPA Form 4A, WPA Form 3, or WPA Form 4.
- WPA Form 3: Notice of Intent - The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act prohibits the removal, dredging, filling, or altering of wetlands without a permit. To obtain a permit (called an Order of Conditions), a project proponent must submit an application to the Conservation Commission and the Department of Environmental Protection. The Notice of Intent application provides these groups with a complete and accurate description of the site and proposed work.
- WPA Form 4: Abbreviated Notice of Intent
- WPA Form 4A: Abbreviated Notice of Resource Area Delineation
- WPA Form 8A: Request for Certificate of Compliance - This form is a request for certification that the work regulated by a referenced Order of Conditions has been satisfactorily completed
Wetlands Setback Policy
The commission researched “best practices” from Conservation Commissions in other communities, and as a result in April, 2008 established a Berlin Wetlands Setback Policy protecting the immediate 25 feet adjacent to flagged/determined wetlands. This policy protects the most critical and beneficial areas adjacent to wetlands to help ensure clean drinking water and clean wells. The policy has subsequently been successfully applied to every Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA), Abbreviated Notice of Resource area Delineation (ANRAD) and Notice of Intent (NOI) brought before the commission since 2008.
The Berlin Notice of Intent (NOI) Procedures document explains the steps that each applicant must take and the procedures used by the Berlin Conservation Commission in reviewing and processing each NOI application.
The Notice of Intent Application Check-off List will help ensure that no required part of your NOI application is missing.