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New Developments in Environmental Law

State's High Court Gives Green Light to Ten-Citizen Suit Seeking MEPA Review of Fellsway Project

Written by
/ Published Tuesday, 10 December 2013 19:00

Citizen groups may sue project proponents using the so-called Citizen Suit Statute, G.L. c. 214, §7A, to challenge decisions allowing projects that would allegedly cause damage to the environment in violation of the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act ("MEPA").

Without Clearly Defined Performance Standards, A Local Wetlands Ordinance or Bylaw May Be Worthless

Written by
/ Published Monday, 09 December 2013 16:14

The Massachusetts Appeals Court’s decision in Tremont Redevelopment Corporation v. Conservation Commission of Westwood, 73 Mass. App. Ct. 1127 (2009), provides guidance for municipalities concerned about the limits of Home Rule for local wetland protection ordinances or bylaws.   The Court applied the Home Rule Doctrine in light of several prior decisions1 and ruled that the Westwood Conservation Commission’s disapproval of a project under its Wetlands Protection Bylaw was invalid.2  

Supreme Judicial Court Rejects Boilerplate Waiver of Wetland Protection Act's Deadline For Decision

Written by
/ Published Thursday, 09 August 2012 20:00

An open-ended waiver of the state Wetlands Protection Act's twenty-one (21) day deadline for issuing a decision after the close of a public hearing is invalid when required as part of a Notice of Intent application package.

State Appeals Court Calculates Deadline to File Certiorari Case Against Conservation Commission

Written by
/ Published Wednesday, 28 December 2011 19:00

The Massachusetts Appeals Court recently decided the question of when the clock begins running to file a court appeal for certiorari review under M.G.L. ch. 249, §4, specifically against a conservation commission that had issued an enforcement order.

Pollard Case Rules Commission Must Have Specific Reasons to Reject Applicant’s Uncontradicted Evidence

Written by
/ Published Sunday, 11 January 2009 19:00

The state Appeals Court recently ruled that a Conservation Commission cannot deny work without explicit and objective reasons why the Commission is rejecting the applicant's uncontested evidence. In Pollard v. Conservation Commission of Norfolk, the Massachusetts Appeals Court (the "Appeals Court") said that the Commission, in disbelieving or rejecting uncontradicted evidence, cannot simply say that the applicants' evidence was "not credible" and that the applicants "failed to sustain their burden."

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