COVID-19 Guidance

Olympia A. Bowker, Esq.

Olympia A. Bowker, Esq.

OLYMPIA A. BOWKER, Esq. was formerly an Associate at McGregor & Legere, P.C. in Boston. She helped clients with a broad range of environmental, land use, zoning, and regulatory matters in both administrative and legal forums.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the usual procedures, rules, and regulations for land use permitting. Since March 2020, Massachusetts lawyers and their clients have seen new legislation that says how municipalities can accept, review, grant, deny, and enforce their permits.

On April 23, 2020, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in County of Maui, Hawaii v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund et al., No. 18-260, 590 U.S. __ (April 23, 2020), ruling that the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) may require a permit when a point source discharges pollutants to navigable waters through groundwater. This decision has been eagerly awaited by industry, government, and the bar.

In the case of Stockbridge Bowl Association, Inc. v. Town of Stockbridge Conservation Commission & others (Doc. No. 19-0032, December 3, 2019), the Berkshire County Superior Court reviewed the record behind the Stockbridge Conservation Commission’s Order of Conditions denying a lake management project, found the Commission’s justification based on error and lacking in science, and ordered the Commission to approve the Project.

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