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Representing Clients on Wetlands Permits & Determinations Before Conservation Commissions: Make the Tactical and Strategic Choices for Success Featured

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Live Webcast
Date: February 7, 2023
Time: 9:30 AM


Learn about the substantive laws that govern your client's applications, such as the: Wetlands Protection Act and municipal bylaws; Home Rule principles and preemption; Open Meeting Law rules (for live, remote, and hybrid); and related federal and state permits and licenses.

Hear the expert faculty explain the procedural steps that determine your client's outcomes, including filing applications, notifying abutters, conducting hearings, building a record, continuing hearings, navigating meeting deadlines, and appealing to a court and/or MassDEP.

On the enforcement front, you learn about more complicated aspects, including noncompliance with permits, permit and plan amendments, certificates of compliance (often after the fact), site inspections, violation notices, and enforcement orders.

In conclusion, the expert faculty analyze three critical cases limiting government regulation and enforcement over work and activities in or near wetlands, waterbodies, and wildlife habitats:

  • Boston Clear Water Company, LLC v. Town of Lynnfield, No. 21-P-166, 100 Mass. App. Ct. 657 (2022), is the recent Appeals Court ruling that the Commission loses its Home Rule jurisdiction if the Commission fails to convene the public hearing by 21 days from the NOI being filed, so the only permit needed is from MassDEP.
  • Oyster Creek Preservation, Inc. v. Conservation Commission of Harwich, 449 Mass. 859 (2007), is the original SJC ruling that the Commission loses it Home Rule jurisdiction (and the applicant does not need the local bylaw or ordinance permit) if the Commission fails to issue its final permit or denial within 21 days of the close of the public hearing.
  • Town of Norton Conservation Commission v. Robert Pesa, 488 Mass. 325 (2021), is the seminal SJC case supporting a Commission, under the state Wetlands Protection Act, in a long-running attempt to get compliance from recalcitrant landowners, opening a three-year window (statute of repose) against each new landowner.


  • Substantive Laws Governing Your Client's Applications
  • Tactical Pre-Filing Considerations
  • Procedural Steps That Impact Your Client's Outcomes
  • Complicated Aspects on the Enforcement Front and Key Cases


Gregor I. McGregor, Luke H. Legere
McGregor Legere Stevens, PC

Richard A. Nylen
Lynch, DeSimone & Nylen, LLP

Sarah A. Turano-Flores
Nutter McLennan & Fish, LLP


Read 167 times Last modified on Friday, 10 February 2023 12:55
Gregor I. McGregor, Esq.

GREGOR I. McGREGOR, Esq. is the founder of New England’s oldest environmental law firm McGregor & Associates, PC in Boston, formed in 1975 and now McGregor Legere & Stevens,PC (formerly McGregor & Legere PC). The firm handles all aspects of environmental law, land use, real estate, and related litigation. The firm is a founding member of the Environmental Law Network (ELN), an alliance of specialty law firms, in the United States and abroad, sharing their legal expertise and practical experience for the benefit of their clients. Mr. McGregor enjoys Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating for attorneys (AV).

In 45 years of environmental practice, Mr. McGregor's cases in court broke new ground in the law of Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA), wetland and floodplain protection under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, hazardous waste cleanup liability and cost-recovery under the Massachusetts Superfund, reduced taxes and tax exemptions for qualified land conservation transactions, constitutional protections for open space and parkland, Home Rule environmental ordinances and bylaws of cities and towns, law enforcement and contempt remedies, and the constitutional doctrine of Regulatory Takings.

Before 1975, Mr. McGregor was an Assistant Attorney General of Massachusetts and the first chief of the Attorney General’s Division of Environmental Protection. In that capacity he advised and represented the Commonwealth during the formative years of Massachusetts environmental statutes, agencies, regulations, enforcement and cases in court.

Mr. McGregor is editor of the two-volume treatise on Massachusetts Environmental Law, published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc.(MCLE). He is co-chair of MCLE’s annual Environmental, Land Use, and Energy Law Conference and MCLE’s Real Estate and Environmental Law Curriculum Advisory Committee. He received from MCLE in 2013 its Scholar-Mentor Award recognizing his dedication to legal scholarship and leadership.

Mr. McGregor chairs the Environmental Committee of the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts (REBA) and serves as a member of the REBA Board of Directors. He is an active member of the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association (MMLA), which honored him for his career contributions to legal education and effective advocacy on the Home Rule Doctrine. At the National CLE Conference in Vail, CO, Mr. McGregor co-chairs an annual seminar on Environmental Law, Land Use, Energy & Litigation for attorneys from across the United States.

Mr. McGregor is a long time member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions (MACC) having served as Board President twice. He has handled several cases for MACC as amicus and is a regular presenter at their annual meeting.

Mr. McGregor is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.

View Attorney McGregor's Case List >>

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