BOSTON - The Patrick Administration today announced that six projects targeting water pollution from stormwater runoff and erosion have been recommended for more than $1.42 million in grants utilizing funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
"The Commonwealth is proud to partner with local communities and regional organizations to help them protect vital water resources and enhance environmental quality," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I thank the Obama Administration for supporting us and for sharing our commitment to environmental stewardship."
The projects are based in Franklin, Dedham, Wellesley, Stockbridge, Franklin County and statewide. Five of the recommended projects will implement or demonstrate best management practices (BMP) to mitigate the effects of polluted stormwater runoff. The sixth project will develop and distribute information and materials needed to support local outreach and education efforts for small farmers to address impacts of polluted stormwater across the state.
"Eliminating nonpoint source pollution represents one of our greatest challenges to water quality improvements for our lakes, streams and watersheds," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Vallely Bartlett. "These grants will help municipalities, farmers and other stakeholders implement solutions that will directly benefit drinking water sources, aquatic recreational areas and fish stocks that live in these waterways."
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 a variety of 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.
"These grants will help cities and towns across Massachusetts reduce pollution and keep our water clean," said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. "I'm glad the Patrick Administration and the EPA are supporting these kinds of important pollution prevention projects, which help preserve our environment, protect the Commonwealth's natural resources and make sure our families are healthy and safe."
"From fisheries and farms to tourism and recreation, our water quality impacts every piece of our economy," said Congressman Joseph Kennedy. "These grants will not only help our Commonwealth eliminate nonpoint source pollution, but will also ensure that the water sources in our communities remain clean and healthy. I thank the Patrick Administration and the EPA for their efforts to protect our environment."
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.
"It is critical for the health of our lakes, streams and watersheds to eliminate water contaminants from all sources," Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Commissioner David W. Cash said. "Clean lakes and streams mean thriving communities and healthy ecosystems."
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, regional planning agencies and private consultants.
"This is great news for western Massachusetts and highlights again the shared commitment to protecting our environment made by President Obama, Governor Patrick and our regional delegation," said Senator Benjamin B. Downing. "We have work to do, but these resources will help us get there."
Each of these projects was reviewed and approved by MassDEP's regional and program staff, the MassDEP/Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Proposal Review Committee and the federal EPA. Funding for the projects will be available in early 2015.
The projects are as follows:
Town of Franklin
Project Name: Franklin Phase II of Stormwater BMP Retrofits - $117,650
Total Project Cost: $234,500
Town of Dedham
Project Name: Dedham Mother Brook BMP Implementation Project - $88,113
Total Project Cost: $148,124
Town of Wellesley
Project Name: Upper Carolina Brook Restoration Project - $337,048
Total Project Cost: $561,792
Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Project Name: A Watershed-Based Plan to Maintain the Health and Improve the Resilience of the Deerfield River Watershed - $182,250
Total Project Cost: $438,658
Town of Stockbridge
Project Name: Title: Stockbridge Bowl Management Project - Phase II - $597,920
Total Project Cost: $2,309,860
Comprehensive Environmental, Inc.
Project Name: Hobby Farm BMP Guidance and NPS Outreach - $99,686
Total Project Cost: $166,186
With the addition of the 2014 funding awarded today under the 319 grant program, the Patrick Administration and the EPA have provided more than $13.7 million since 2007 for 69 projects to address NPS pollution across the Commonwealth.
For more information about the non-point source pollution program, turn here: http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water/grants/watersheds-water-quality.html
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.