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IN THE NEWS: Administration Awards $278,713 in Grants to Assess Water Quality in Watersheds Across Commonwealth
August 01, 2010

BOSTON – As part of the Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state’s economic future, Governor Deval Patrick today awarded $278,713 in grants to six projects across the Commonwealth to conduct watershed non-point source pollution assessment and planning work to address water quality impairments. These grants are funded under the federal Section 604b of the U.S. Clean Water Act.
“A strong water supply infrastructure keeps our communities safe,” Governor Patrick said. “This funding will help communities assess and protect vital watershed resources.”
The projects, selected by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), are located in Ashfield/Conway, Bellingham, Dedham, Great Barrington and Peabody. There is also a statewide project headed by the New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (NEIWPCC).
“We’re pleased to be able to offer this support to communities that want to collect information to help them assess and manage these vital local resources.” MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt said. “The testing of threatened water bodies is a key first step in our overall water resource protection efforts across the Commonwealth.”
Since 1998, MassDEP has funded 67 projects under this program for approximately $3,215,136.
Non-point source (NPS) pollution is caused by diffuse sources that are not regulated and are normally associated with precipitation and stormwater runoff from the land or infiltration into the soil. Common types of NPS pollution include phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and garden fertilizers, bacteria from pet waste and waterfowl, oil and grease from parking lots and roadways, and sediment from construction activities and soil erosion.
“I congratulate Dedham's residents and community leaders for being selected for a $37,000 state-sponsored stormwater runoff improvement grant,” Senator Marian Walsh said. “The emergence of modern stormwater management technologies is vital to preserving the cleanliness of our rivers and streams. Our office applauds the efforts of the Patrick Administration for making this grant available to the various cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth.”
“This grant offers great news for the Town of Bellingham in light of the ongoing debate on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations for stormwater management improvements,” Senator Richard T. Moore said. “By examining sites in Bellingham and offering plan designs for pollution reduction in the Charles River Watershed, these funds will mitigate the financial impact on the town as they continue to address EPA and MassDEP standards. I applaud local officials for their work in securing these resources that render a cost-effective approach for the community.”

“These awards will help Great Barrington, Ashfield and Conway consider best management practices and potential restoration efforts available to ensure that clean water is readily available for residents,” Senator Benjamin B. Downing said. “I am grateful these communities will soon benefit from the information derived from these planning grants.”
“As a community along the Charles River, this grant from MassDEP comes at a very critical time for Bellingham,” Representative Jennifer Callahan said. “Because of potential changes in stormwater runoff regulations, this funding will be instrumental in understanding how the community can develop an effective plan for addressing this type of pollution in order to comply in the future.”

“Peabody has done a lot of work in recent years to address flooding and water quality issues in and around the downtown,” Representative Theodore C. Speliotis said. “I'm pleased that the Patrick Administration will help the city explore improvements to water quality in the North River watershed – and to the degree this will help future flooding issues, it is really a blessing.”

“This grant is a great step forward in the continued quest to keep our local waterways clean and free of pollution,” Representative Smitty Pignatelli said. “Great Barrington has always been proactive in managing the town's bodies of water and this initial funding will allow them to continue to monitor and improve the pollution levels in Lake Mansfield.”

“This grant provides another step to assist the City of Peabody in mitigating downtown flooding,” Representative Joyce A. Spiliotis said. “We appreciate MassDEP's partnership with the city.”

“This substantial grant will provide the Town of Dedham, which has been at the forefront of environmental concerns, the opportunity address and develop best management practices for nature's most valuable resource,” Representative Paul McMurtry said.
The Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Watershed Action Plans are developed in partnership between state, federal and local levels to identify environmental issues, prevent pollution, and protect or restore environmental quality, while targeting limited resources to where the most environmental benefit can be achieved with available funding.
Qualified proposals were selected on a competitive basis and grant recipients include municipalities and regional planning commissions. Funding for the projects will be available this summer. The projects awarded grants this year are:
Fluvial Geomorphic and Habitat Assessment of the South River Watershed – $74,900
Franklin Regional Council of Governments (Ashfield/Conway)             
This project will provide information on the causes of erosion, channel instability and habitat degradation of the South River and provide conceptual restoration designs for the highest priority restoration sites.  
Bellingham Sub-watershed Stormwater Restoration Planning – $45,090
Town of Bellingham            
This project will prepare a sub-watershed restoration plan to address nonpoint source pollution problems and restore water function in a portion of Bellingham that lies within the Charles River watershed. Opportunities for both on-site and regional stormwater management approaches, especially techniques that use green infrastructure and Low Impact Development (LID) techniques, will be identified, various restoration design options evaluated, and costs and pollution reduction potential estimated. A priority list of projects which would bring the most benefit at the least cost, and which appear to have the fewest site constraints will be prepared.
Dedham Best Management Practices Development Project – $37,000
Town of Dedham                 
This project willidentify suitable sites for retrofitting with structural and non-structural stormwater best management practices (BMPs) using a Low Impact Development (LID) approach to address pathogens and other pollutants of concern. Conceptual designs and cost estimates will be developed for BMPs at three or more sites. The project will utilize a methodology for identifying and prioritizing BMP retrofit opportunities that is currently employed on two existing 604b projects in Sharon and Canton respectively.
Knob Hill Stormwater Planning – $10,700
Town of Great Barrington              
This project willdevelop preliminary designs and cost estimates for Best Management Practices (BMPs) to manage the nonpoint source pollution that originates from Knob Hill into Lake Mansfield. The plans and estimates developed will provide the basis for a future Chapter 319 grant application for funds to implement and manage these BMPs.
Stormwater Assessment and Stormwater Retrofit Plan – $35,240
City of Peabody
This project will conducta stormwater retrofit assessment and develop conceptual design plans to improve altered hydrology in the city. This project aims to identify, evaluate, and prioritize structural and non-structural best management practices (BMPs) to control nonpoint source pollution problems and ultimately improve water quality and attenuate stormwater runoff conditions in the North River watershed.
Strategic Fish Tissue Monitoring Survey to Assess Mercury Impairments – $75,783
New England Interstate Water Pollution Control Commission (statewide)
This project will conduct a comprehensive regional fish tissue monitoring survey to assess the status of mercury impairments in the region and the impacts of mercury reduction activities. NEIWPCC will coordinate the design and development of a regional approach to fish tissue monitoring with other New England states and coordinate this effort with the on-going Massachusetts monitoring plan and existing database. The results will support the re-evaluation of the Northeast Regional Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL).
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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