What do I do if I see a violation?

If you see or believe someone has done something in violation of the Wetlands Protection Act or the Town of Newbury Wetlands Bylaw, please fill out a complaint form (also available below) and submit it to the Conservation Agent by mail, email, or drop of at the Town Hall. She will review it and see what, if any, action can be taken. Please include your name and contact information in the complaint form so the Agent can contact you for more information if needed. Your information may be shared with other appropriate town staff (such as the Building Commissioner, Zoning Board administrators, Police Department/Animal Control Officer, etc...) if the violation spans outside of the jurisdiction of the Conservation Commission.

Please do not send anonymous letters or make anonymous calls to the Inspectional Services department. They are difficult to track, and when limited information is given it can be nearly impossible to investigate an issue. Completing the complaint form allows us to get the information we need to investigate possible violations right away, and seek additional information if needed. It also helps us keep track of when and where violations take place, and the types of violations being committed, which in turn helps the Agent determine if certain information needs to be made more publicly accessible to prevent violations from taking place.

What might constitute a violation?

  • Unpermitted work in or within 200 feet of a River
  • Unpermitted work in or within 100 feet of a stream channel, bordering vegetated wetland, vernal pool/isolated wetland, swamp, bog, pond, salt marsh, coastal bank, beach, barrier beach, mud flat, floodplain, etc...
  • Permitted work being completed in violation of what was approved
  • Any removal, alteration, filling, or dredging of wetland resource areas without permission (including any ground disturbance or vegetation removal) 
  • Dumping of trash, debris, plant litter, lawn clippings, etc into a wetland area
  • Work outside wetland resources and associated buffer zones that has adverse impacts on wetlands (e.g. creating erosion/sedimentation into wetlands, diverting water or runoff into wetlands, application of pesticides/herbicides with runoff into wetland areas...)

If you're unsure if something is a violation, you can contact the Conservation Agent first to make a general inquiry. If what you describe sounds like a violation, the Agent will direct you back to the complaint form. 

Conservation Agent Contact Information:
Samantha Holt, Conservation Agent
Mailing Address: Conservation Commission, 12 Kent Way, Suite 101, Byfield MA 01922
Direct Line: 978-465-0862, ext 310
PDF icon Complaint Form PDF67.18 KB