Under the Wetlands Protection Act (Massachusetts General Law 131, Section 40), the Conservation Commission has jurisdiction over all of the wetlands in Sterling (including streams, lakes, reservoirs, ponds marshes and swamps) and all land within the 100 foot buffer zone adjacent to the waterways and wetlands. Under this law, the Conservation Commission is charged with protecting these natural resources to prevent pollution, protect drinking water, to improve flood control, to protect wildlife and to protect fisheries.
The Conservation Commission is made up of 7 members who are appointed by the Board of Selectmen. All meetings of the Conservation Commission are open to the public.
Some common proceedings before the Conservation Commission are:
Request for Determination
This request leads to a determination of whether the Commission has jurisdiction and, if so, will the resource be affected. As a result of this action, the Commission may find any of the following:
- The Commission has jurisdiction and will require a Notice of Intent (see below.)
- The Commission will not require a Notice of Intent, but will impose Conditions.
- The Commission does not have jurisdiction.
Notice of Intent
This document requires a Public Hearing, with notification of all of the abutters to the property. It usually requires the preparation of plans by a Registered Professional Engineer. Once the Public Hearing is complete, the Commission will either:
- Issue an Order of conditions for the proposed work, or
- Deny the project for inability to adequately protect the resource
Commission decisions may be appealed to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection by the applicant, abutters or a group of citizens of the town.
An Order of Conditions is valid for a period of 3 years, and may be extended for up to 3 years.
Certificate of Compliance
A Certificate of Compliance is a legal document indicating that an Order of Conditions has been satisfied or that no work has occurred. This Certificate may be required for a property to be transferred to a new owner.
|Barbara Roberti||Chair (06/30/2019)|
|Michael E. Pineo||Vice-Chair (06/30/2018)|
|Joseph Curtin||Member (06/30/2018)|
|Steven Pavlowich||Member (06/30/2017)|
|Susan Valentine||Member (06/30/2017)|
|Scott Michalak||member (6/30/2019)|
|Matthew Marro||Conservation Agent||978 422 8111 ext 2321|
By appointment: please call (978) 314-7858
Frequently Asked Questions
- I received a Notice of Violation. What do I do?
- The Building Department issued a permit and the Board of Health approved my septic system. Isn't that enough? They didn't tell me I had wetlands on my property!
- What is a Notice of Intent?
- What is a Determination of Applicability?
- How do I determine if I need to file?