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The Conservation Commission (the “Commission”) is the local environmental agency responsible for the promotion and development of natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources. Their authority comes from several sources: the Conservation Commission Act (MGL Chapter 40 section 8C) for open space protection; the Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Chapter 131 section 40) for protecting wetlands and waterways; the home rule provisions of the state constitution for non-zoning wetlands bylaws and the Town of Plympton Wetland Protection By-Law (Article XXVIII). Under these powers, the Commission works closely with the Open Space Committee to undertake planning, acquiring and managing open space, and encouraging and monitoring conservation and agricultural preservationrestrictions. The Commission also has the authority to adopt rules and regulations for the use of conservation land. These regulations have the full force of law; they are not merely "guidelines."
In its regulatory capacity, the Commission is responsible for administering the Wetlands Protection Act (310 CMR). Any use or activity proposed within 100 feet of a wetland resource area or within 200 feet of a river must first be authorized by the Commission. If any entity intends to conduct such a use or activity, they must first submit a request for Determination of Applicability or a Notice of Intent along with an engineered site plan to the Commission. After a site visit, the Commission will hold a public hearing and vote on the proposal. A decision will be made in accordance with a majority vote.