Commission Issues 208 Consistency Guidance to Towns

208 Plan 2017 Implementation Report
208 Plan 2017 Implementation Report

In April the Barnstable County Assembly of Delegates and the Board of Regional Commissioners approved amendments to the Cape Cod Commission regulations governing review of Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs). The amendments exempt municipal water quality plans and projects from DRI review in cases where nutrient remediation is the primary purpose. Plans and projects will be reviewed for consistency with the Cape Cod Area Wide Water Quality Management Plan, or 208 Plan.

These amendments are in response to the 208 Plan and 2017 208 Plan Implementation Report , both of which recommended a new regulatory approach which would allow the Commission to be more supportive and collaborative with towns during plan or project development.

The new review process provides a better framework for multi-town collaboration in shared watersheds and expedites the timeframe for regional review. The consistency review will be completed at the staff level with approval through a determination by the Commission’s executive director. Towns must obtain a 208 consistency determination for access to Massachusetts Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) loans and to obtain nitrogen credit through a watershed permit, a new and innovative permitting approach currently being piloted by MassDEP.

The Commission issued guidance to all 15 towns, providing detail on the process for requesting and maintaining a consistency determination  and the criteria by which plans and projects will be reviewed. Additional information about the 208 Plan, including US EPA and MassDEP’s letters accepting the 2017 Implementation Report, can be found at

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