MassDEP Extends Deadline for New Construction in Nitrogen Sensitive Areas

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently announced a deadline extension for new construction in Nitrogen Sensitive Areas (NSA) on Cape Cod.

When MassDEP rolled out new regulations designating 31 watershed districts as NSAs earlier this year, the regulations required all new construction to use the Best Available Nitrogen Reducing Technology (BANRT) for septic systems in those areas starting January 8, 2024.

The deadline has been extended to July 8, 2024, for all 31 NSA watersheds on Cape Cod.

According to MassDEP, there are four reasons for the extension:

  • Allow additional time for towns to prepare and submit a Notice of Intent to pursue a Watershed Permit, a Watershed Permit application, or a DeMinimis Load application, any of which which would stay the requirement to install BANRT for both new construction and existing systems;

  • To allow for more outreach and implementation guidance to the towns and local Boards of Health;

  • Continue evaluation to determine if there is a sufficient supply of necessary equipment, materials, and availability of contractors; and

  • Conduct a more comprehensive review of the data for nitrogen reducing technologies, leading to a more robust list of BANRT technologies.

Many Cape towns have already filed a Notice of Intent for a Watershed Permit. The complete list can be found here. It is important to note that two towns, Eastham and Provincetown, are exempt from filing a watershed permit with MassDEP, so they will appear blank on the list. CCIAOR’s Government Affairs Director will update the list as more information becomes available. Reach out to Leslie Sandberg at with any questions.