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IN THE NEWS: Patrick-Murray Administration Announces More Than $980,000 in Grants to Fund Projects Targeting Nonpoint Source Pollution
February 14, 2012

Regional and Local Projects to Focus on Pollution Prevention in Watersheds

BOSTON - Continuing the Patrick-Murray Administration's efforts to promote environmental stewardship, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today announced that five new projects will be awarded more than $980,000 in grants from President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency.

"Our watersheds and water supply areas are among our most vital natural resources and they must be protected from pollutants that threaten that vitality," said Governor Deval Patrick. "These grants will help safeguard and sustain our water resources all across the Commonwealth. I thank the Obama Administration and our federal and local partners."

The projects are based in Pittsfield, Barnstable County, and several coastal communities. Three of the recommended projects will also provide outreach, educational tools and best management practices for septic systems, horse farms, and stormwater remediation across the state.

"The health of our lakes, streams and watersheds is threatened from nonpoint sources of pollution," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. "These grants will protect and enhance our water supplies, and make sure that these pristine resources will be healthy for future generations."

The grant program focuses on implementation of measures to control nonpoint source pollution (NPS) to surface and groundwater. Unlike pollution from industrial and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution is unregulated and comes from many 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.

"This funding will make a real impact on our local pollution control and educational programs," said U.S. Senator Scott Brown. "I'm proud that Massachusetts has secured this assistance and continues to work diligently to keep our water clean and safe."

"Climate and land use changes have significantly impacted New England water resources," said Congressman John Olver. "This funding will allow UMass-Amherst to utilize their expertise to develop and implement the best management practices and educational outreach initiatives that are necessary to stem pollution. It also allows the City of Pittsfield to implement previously identified best management practices (BMPs) to help ensure the protection of its critical water resources."

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 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, and the University of Massachusetts.

"Through these grants, we are pleased to partner with the local and regional organizations that are working to restore and protect these vital water resources," said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell. "These investments are critical to preserving and protecting clean water across the Commonwealth."

"Protecting our local water resources is the most pressing environmental issue facing the Cape Cod region and this grant funding will help Barnstable County to address this problem," said Senate President Therese Murray. "A clean water supply is essential for healthy communities and I will continue to advocate for the protection of the environment and watershed in Plymouth and Barnstable District and across the Commonwealth."

"Improving on-site septic systems is crucial to the future health of our region," said state Senator Daniel Wolf. "Our motto is to think regionally, and act locally, to solve our wastewater crisis. This focused state support will help us to do just that."

"This will be helpful in working to address Barnstable County's concerns regarding wastewater issues across the Cape," said state Representative Timothy Madden.

"Working to eliminate non-point source pollution in Pittsfield's water resources is an important step in protecting the environment," said state Senator Benjamin B. Downing. "I appreciate the Administration's support for the city's proposal to alleviate issues at Windsor and Cady brooks with this award."

Each of these projects was reviewed and approved by MassDEP's regional staff, the MassDEP/Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) Proposal Review Committee and the federal Environmental Protection Agency. Funding for the projects will be available in early 2012. A 40 percent non-federal match is required for all projects.

The projects are as follows:

Barnstable County Dept. of Health and the Environment
Project name: Investigating Means of Improving Onsite Septic Systems for Removal of Contaminants of Emerging Concern - $58,400
Total Project Cost:  $99,964

UMass-Amherst/Cranberry Experiment Station
Project name: Decreasing Phosphorus in Cranberry Waters by Implementation of Best Management Practices - $346,716       
Total Project Cost:  $668,767

UMass-Amherst
Project name: Minimizing Non-Point Source Pollution from Horse Facilities through Installation and Demonstration of Best Management Practices - $198,500  
Total Project Cost:  $338,415

UMass-Amherst
Project name: Massachusetts Stormwater Outreach and Education Program 2012 - $49,994          Total Project Cost:  $92,956

City of Pittsfield
Project name: Sediment and Turbidity Management at Windsor and Cady Brooks -$327,051          
Total Project Cost:  $550,151


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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