Patrick-Murray Administration Announces $1.4 Million in Grants
To Fund Projects Targeting Nonpoint Source Pollution
BOSTON - Continuing the Patrick-Murray Administration's efforts to promote environmental stewardship, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today announced that seven projects have been recommended for more than $1.4 million in grants from President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency.
(Media-Newswire.com) - BOSTON - Continuing the Patrick-Murray Administration's efforts to promote environmental stewardship, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ( MassDEP ) today announced that seven projects have been recommended for more than $1.4 million in grants from President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency.
"These grants will help local communities protect vital water resources and enhance environmental quality," Governor Deval Patrick said. "We are proud to be a partner in their efforts, and I thank the Obama Administration for supporting us and sharing our commitment to environmental stewardship."
The projects are based in Boston, Provincetown, Conway, Sutton/Douglas, Barnstable County and Franklin County. Five of the recommended projects will implement or demonstrate best management practices to mitigate the effects of polluted stormwater runoff. Two projects will develop and distribute information and materials needed to support local outreach and education efforts to address impacts of polluted stormwater across the state.
"Nonpoint source pollution threatens the health of our lakes, streams and watersheds, and degrades the quality of life for all of our residents," Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan said. "The projects announced today will make a difference in the quality of our drinking water, watersheds, coastal waters, and aquatic recreational areas."
The grant program focuses on implementation of measures to control nonpoint source ( NPS ) pollution to surface and groundwater. Unlike pollution from industrial facilities and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution is unregulated and comes from diffuse sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters and ground waters.
"Waterways such as the Millers River and South River are distinctive features of the Pioneer Valley. The Franklin Regional Council of Governments recognizes the importance of these resources and has dedicated staff to develop comprehensive best management practices to protect them," said Congressman John Olver.
"There is an overwhelming need for a regional, united commitment to address the issue of polluted groundwater and stormwater runoff," said Congressman Bill Keating. "This issue is faced by all of southeastern and coastal Massachusetts, and we need to work in concert. I am pleased to see these essential projects receive the financial resources they need. Long-term solutions are proven to be built upon the principles that these projects invest in - from educating residents on how to be proactive at home, to furthering the collaboration between neighboring communities."
Common types of NPS pollution include phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and garden fertilizers and agricultural operations, bacteria from pet waste and waterfowl, oil and grease from parking lots and roadways, and sediment from construction activities and soil erosion.
"These grant awards allow us to continue to build strong coalitions with our regional and municipal partners to help control nonpoint source pollution," MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell said. "Many of these projects also seek to educate citizens about the dangers of nonpoint source pollution and how to eliminate it."
These projects will help to protect Massachusetts' water resources by restoring and preserving watershed areas, constructing best management practices, demonstrating innovative technologies, and educating the public on how to protect sensitive natural resources. Recipients include municipalities, county governments, regional planning agencies, environmental groups and private consultants.
"Our lakes, rivers, wetlands and coastal waterways are vital natural resources," Senate President Therese Murray said. "With the research made possible by these grants, we can better protect our waters from dangerous contaminants and ensure that they are clean and safe for generations to come. This is great news for Barnstable County and for residents across Massachusetts."
"I thank Governor Patrick, Secretary Sullivan, Commissioner Kimmell and MassDEP for committing these funds to address polluted stormwater runoff," House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said. "We have great beaches in Massachusetts and have to make sure our residents can access and enjoy our waterfront."
"Nonpoint source pollution remains a critical, yet often-ignored threat to our environment. I am pleased with these steps being taken by the Department of Environmental Protection to combat this serious issue," said Senator Marc R. Pacheco, Senate Chair of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
"The Patrick Administration and MassDEP continue to take proactive steps to assist communities. There are a number of pollutants from stormwater, including phosphorus, which is the driver of toxic algae blooms that threaten our waterways. These grants will be helpful to stemming that tide and providing a model for other communities to follow," said Rep. Anne Gobi, House Chair of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
Each of these projects was reviewed and approved by MassDEP's regional staff, the MassDEP/Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Proposal Review Committee, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Funding for the projects will be available in early 2013.
The projects are as follows:
Barnstable County Dept. of Health and Environment Project Name: Investigating Means of Enhancing Onsite Septic System Attenuation for Emerging Contaminants - $40,932 Total Project Cost: $68,574
Geosyntec Consultants Project Name: Massachusetts Nonpoint Source Pollution Management Manual, Update and Enhancement - $99,994 Total Project Cost: $167,069
Franklin Regional Council of Governments Project Name: Sediment Management Best Management Practices for the South River in Conway - $212,500 Total Project Cost: $354,166
Town of Provincetown Project Name: Provincetown Harbor Stormwater: Commercial Street Reconstruction - Phase 2 - $600,000 Total Project Cost: $1,000,000
Manchaug Pond Foundation Project Name: Manchaug Pond Water Quality Improvement - Phase 2 - $119,865 Total Project Cost: $208,525
Charles River Watershed Association Project Name: City of Boston Porous Pavement "Green Alley" Nonpoint Source Demonstration Project - $297,776 Total Project Cost: $531,976
Franklin Regional Council of Governments Project Name: Reducing Stormwater Pollution in the Western Millers River Watershed with Low Impact Development - $35,000 Total Project Cost: $58,333
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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