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Massachusetts State Land Right-of-Way (3-MA-b)

In Massachusetts, a developer may need to obtain a Permit for Construction and/or Associated Access to Park Lands & Roadways (“Permit”) from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to access state lands for project development.

Prior to initiating construction, the developer should assess whether the project crosses state lands and determine which agency has jurisdiction over those lands. In Massachusetts, it is likely that the DCR has jurisdiction over state lands impacted by a proposed bulk transmission project. If a project crosses state lands, the developer should consult with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) prior to initiating construction.

The DCR regulates state land rights-of-way pursuant to 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06;


State Land Right-of-Way Process

3-MA-b.1 to 3-MA-b.2 – Has the Department of Public Utilities Approved the Project?

In Massachusetts, a bulk transmission developer may not initiate construction without the approval of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU). Mass. Gen. Laws ch.164, §69J. At the outset of a project, the developer should consult with the DPU to obtain approval to construct any project facilities. For more information, see:

Approval to Construct a Facility:
8-MA-a


3-MA-b.3 – Permit Application for Construction and/or Associated Access to DCR Park Lands & Roadways

In developing bulk transmission over DCR lands, a developer must submit a Permit Application for Construction and or Associated Access to DCR Park Lands & Roadways (“Application”) to the DCR, before starting construction. Under 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06, “no parkway or other DCR property may be dug up or physically modified…for any purpose without a construction and access permit.” A complete Application contains:

  • All the information required on the Permit Application for Construction and or Associated Access to DCR Park Lands & Roadways;
  • All requested supporting data;
  • Evidence of compliance with state environmental laws;
  • Copies of all other required permits associated with the project;
  • Engineering plans;
  • Traffic management plans for those projects which impact vehicle, bike or pedestrian traffic on parkways, bike paths, sidewalks or parking areas;
  • Pedestrian and vehicle plan;
  • Digital photos of project area’s existing conditions;
  • Complete set of plans or drawings for the project; and
  • Project fee

302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06.

Note: A developer must also submit “evidence certifying the consent” of impacted property owners on the Application form. 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06.

3-MA-b.4 to 3-MA-b.5 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

Upon receipt of an Application, the DCR must review the Application to determine if any required materials are missing. 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06. The DCR must notify an applicant (developer) of any missing documents within ten (10) days of receipt. The DCR continues to review and notify the applicant (developer) of missing information until the DCR determines that the Application is complete. 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06.

3-MA-b.6 – Review Application for Approval

Once the DCR determines that an Application is complete, the DCR must, in a reasonable time, review the Application and either issue the permit or “issue a decision indicating that a permit will not be issued.” 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06.


3-MA-b.7 to 3-MA-b.8 – Does the DCR issue the Permit?

In determining whether to grant or deny a Permit, the DCR considers the following:

  • Whether engineering plans and specifications provide for safe and efficient access;
  • Whether the developer fails to provide sufficient improvements to facilitate safe and efficient operations on DCR property; and
  • Whether construction would create an unsafe condition.

302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06.

If a Permit is issued, the Permit becomes effective upon issuance. 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06.

3-MA-b.9 –Appeal the Decision (If Applicable)

Any person aggrieved by a DCR decision may appeal the determination within 21 days of permit issuance or denial. 302 Code Mass. Regs 11.06. Any person aggrieved may file an appeal in superior court for the county where the aggrieved person resides or has their principal place of business, or where the agency has its principal office. Mass Gen. Laws ch. 30A, § 14; 801 Code Mass. Regs 1.02.


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Contact Information









Edit Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 617-626-1000 envabbazabbainternet@stateabbazabbamaabbazabbaus Visit Website