Permitting process

What can you tell us about the permitting process?

Several permits and reviews are required as part of the plant project. Some of the first steps are:

MEPA review

What agency manages the MEPA Environmental review?

The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office. (MEPA website)

What is the purpose of the MEPA review?

Before any state permit can be issued, there has to be an analysis of the overall environmental consequences of the project, with a public review. The MEPA environmental review includes a description of project alternatives and an analysis of the project’s impacts on air quality, noise, traffic, greenhouse gas, resiliency, and other subjects as directed by the MEPA Office.

What is the process of the MEPA review? 

  • MIT submits an Environmental Notification Form to the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) office. 
  • The MEPA office takes comments from the public and provides MIT with the scope of the Environmental Impact Report. 
  • The MEPA office again takes comments and reviews the report. 
  • The review concludes when the MEPA office determines that the report adequately describes the project’s impacts.
  • Related documents are posted on the permitting section of this website.

DEP permit

What agency manages the Comprehensive Plan Approval?

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

What is the purpose of the MassDEP permit? 

This permit documents that the turbines comply with state and federal air quality regulations and state noise policy. In addition, MassDEP administers the federal Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permitting program, which ensures that the project complies with EPA New Source Review (NSR) regulations (as part of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments).

What is the MassDEP permitting process?

  • MIT submits permit applications to the MassDEP. 
  • The applications document that the turbines’ air pollution controls meet Best Available Control Technology requirements and that project emissions will not cause unhealthy air in the area (this includes modeling to show that the current air quality will not be “significantly deteriorated”). 
  • After the MEPA review (described above) concludes and the applications review concludes, MassDEP issues draft and final approvals. These include operating limits and monitoring requirements, including a requirement to use continuous emissions monitoring systems and submit data to MassDEP and EPA.
  • Related documents are posted on the permitting section of this website.

​MassDOT permit

What agency manages the Chapter 40 Section 54A Right-of-Way permit?

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). 

What is the purpose of the MassDOT review?

Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 Section 54A (Historic Railroad), a local permit from MassDOT is required if a construction project in Massachusetts involves land formerly used by a railroad company or as a railroad right-of-way. The MIT Central Utilities Plant is located adjacent to the Grand Junction railroad tracks. The railroad track property is owned by MIT, and rights are granted in perpetuity to the State to operate trains through MIT property.

What is the MassDOT permitting process?

  • MIT submits permit application to the MassDOT.
  • A public review and comment session is held.
  • Following the review period, MassDOT issues a letter of consent.

Other permits

What other permits will be sought for this project?

MIT will seek approvals typical for construction projects, including building permits, fire marshal permits, etc.