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The State of Massachusetts recently passed a landmark Rivers Protection Bill, which creates a 200-foot buffer zone to protect fragile rivers and streams. Under the new law, developers must prove that their projects have no significant environmental impact within the buffer zones, and that no reasonable alternatives exist. The law also subjects rivers to the state's Wetlands Protection Act, which requires local conservation commissions and the Department of Environmental Protection to examine how proposed development would affect flood control, storm water management, water supplies, groundwater, shellfish, wildlife, habitats and fisheries. UNDER THE HEAT OF NATIONAL CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION AMERICAN RIVERS FILING A LAWSUIT IN FEDERAL APPELLATE COURT CHALLENGING A DAM LICENSING DECISION BY THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION (FERC), WHICH REDUCED THE AUTHORITY OF STATE ENVIRONMENTAL AGENCIES TO PROTECT THE QUALITY OF THE STATE'S OWN WATERS, THE STATE OF MASSACHUSSETTS' NEW RIVERS PROTECTION BILL WILL PROTECT THE QUALITY OF WATERWAYS LIKE THE PICTURED NEPONSET RIVER MARSH. PHOTO BY HENRY S. BUTLER, PROVIDED COURTESY OF AMERICAN RIVERS.

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June 16, 2019, 10:35 pm PDT

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