BOSTON, MA – (January 2023) –Glenn A. Wood, Partner and Chair, and Tyler M. Franklin, Partner, in the Environmental and Land Use Department of Boston-based, full-service law firm Rubin and Rudman recently co-authored an article entitled “Massachusetts’ Supreme Judicial Court Makes the Case for Pre-Purchase Wetlands Due Diligence” that was recently published in the Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists (AMWS) newsletter.
The article details the way in which the real estate frenzy of the past two years has led some buyers to forego wetlands due diligence, sometimes resulting in a new owner being liable for existing wetlands violations—no matter how long ago those violations were committed. A recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (in Conservation Commission of Norton v. Pesa) upheld an order requiring a new property owner to remove unauthorized fill placed there 35 years prior. This ruling signifies that, as Franklin and Wood write, “a conservation commission may bring an enforcement action against any subsequent owner of property on which work has been done in violation of the Act, so long as it does so within three years of that person acquiring title to the property.”
Wood represents clients on environmental and land use matters with a particular concentration in facility and project siting, wetlands and coastal permitting, enforcement defense and mitigation compliance, zoning and subdivision control, impact review and auditing, hazardous waste and real estate transactions, solid waste and health issues, regulatory takings, tax abatements, and environmental mediation.
Franklin advises clients on land use, environmental, and regulatory compliance issues with an emphasis on project siting, wetlands and coastal permitting, enforcement defense, and mitigation compliance.
The Association of Massachusetts Wetland Scientists (AMWS) is the preeminent membership-based organization for wetlands professionals working in Massachusetts, including wetland and soil scientists, hydrologists, engineers, attorneys, academics, and students. They publish a quarterly digital newsletter.