Wetlands and Permitting

The Conservation Commission, (“Commission”) is responsible for administering the Wetlands Protection Act (M.G.L. Ch. 131, Section 40)as well as the Town of Westford Wetland Protection Bylaw which was adopted by Town Meeting in 1987.  Under these laws, the Commission is required to review and issue permits for any proposals to alter wetlands; alter or develop land within 100’ of wetland resource areas and within 200’ of perennial streams. Wetlands include the floodplains, banks of rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, marshes, wet meadows, bogs, swamps (such as cattail and red maple), land under water, and other isolated or seasonally wet areas (such as vernal pools).  

Wetlands are afforded legal protection because they play an important role in overall environmental quality.  The Wetland Protection Act identifies 8 interests including:

  • Flood control
  • Prevention of pollution
  • Protection of fisheries
  • Protection of groundwater supply
  • Protection of land containing shellfish
  • Protection of public and private water supply
  • Protection of wildlife habitat
  • Storm damage prevention

Westford's non-zoning Wetland Bylaw strengthens the state Act by adding requirements that:

  • Prohibit dumping of any material within 100 feet of a wetland
  • Prohibit the filling of wetlands or work within 100 feet of a wetland without the permission of the Conservation Commission
  • Prohibit septic systems within 100 feet of a wetland
  • Prohibit storage of salts, fertilizers, heavy metals, petrochemical products or toxic substances within 100 feet of a wetland

Wetland Permitting Forms

  • WPA Form 1: Request for Determination of Applicability (Word / PDF)
  • Instructions: WPA Form 1: Request for Determination of Applicability (Word)
  • WPA Form 3: Notice of Intent (Word / PDF)
  • Instructions: WPA Form 3 - Notice of Intent (Word)
  • WPA Form 8a: Request for Certificate of Compliance
    (Word / PDF)