Chapter 91 License

The project proposed at 605 Chelsea Street is within the jurisdiction of the Public Waterfront Act, also known as Chapter 91 of the Massachusetts General Laws. The law dates back to 1866 and protects the waterways for public use. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) administers and enforces Chapter 91 to:

  • Protect and promote the public’s interest in waterways of the Commonwealth;
  • Protect the public health, safety and general welfare as it may be affected by any project in tidelands, great ponds and non-tidal rivers and streams;
  • Ensure that public rights to fish, fowl and navigate are not unreasonably restricted and that unsafe or hazardous structures are repaired or removed;
  • To protect the legal rights of adjacent water property owners to approach their land from the water;
  • Support public and private efforts to revitalize unproductive property along urban waterfronts, in a manner that promotes public use and enjoyment of the water.

The project site is also located within an area known as the Chelsea Creek Designated Port Area (DPA), so designated by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) for the purpose of promoting maritime industrial uses. The Chapter 91 regulations establish more stringent standards for work in DPAs. The project filed a Chapter 91 license application in November 2022. MassDEP announced a public hearing on the project for February 2, 2023 at 2pm. The public comment period is from January 11, 2023 until 5pm on March 13, 2023. Following the close of the comment period, MassDEP will conduct their technical review.


Project plans and documents for this Waterways Application are on file for public viewing electronically at: (enter 22-WW14-0013-APP in the Search Page in the “Record ID” field). If you need assistance, please contact or if you do not have access to email, please leave a message at (617) 292-5929 for alternative options.