|Mass.Gov Home Page||State Agencies||State A-Z Topic List|
The Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program in Massachusetts - Other Massachusetts Efforts
In addition to the Coastal Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Program, Massachusetts has several other state initiatives to address NPS pollution in coastal waters and other surface water bodies. The most prominent of these initiatives are:
DEP's Nonpoint Source Program
One of the major components of Massachusetts Nonpoint Source Program is the Watershed/Basin Initiative. DEP divided the watersheds and basins within the state into five separate groups. Every year, DEP works with the towns and cities within one of these groups to develop consistent and coordinated permitting strategies on point source and NPS pollution issues. Because the permits are effective for five years, this creates a continual cycle whereby every five years DEP returns to review and update all permits within each watershed.
In addition, DEP has put together the Nonpoint Source Management Manual: A Guidance Document for Municipal Officials. This document was written for local conservation commissions and other government officials and outlines management practices that reduce or eliminate NPS pollution from agricultural, urban, forestry, and construction sites. It also includes model bylaws that can be used by towns to implement these management practices.
The National Estuary Program's Comprehensive Conservation
and Management Plans
As National Estuary Programs, the Buzzards Bay Project and the Massachusetts Bays Program are required to develop Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs) for their bays. These CCMPs include management strategies that protect the bays from pollution threats, including NPS pollution. The CCMPs are advisory plans, rather than regulatory documents. Consequently, the cooperation of local governments is needed if the CCMPs are to be successfully implemented.
The goal of the Buzzards Bay Project is to characterize and assess water quality problems in Buzzards Bay (a declared estuary of national significance). In 1988, the Buzzards Bay Project began the scientific research and coordination with planners, scientists, and local, state, and federal managers that went into developing the final plan. With the completion of the CCMP in 1991, the Buzzards Bay Project began working with local governments to implement NPS pollution control strategies, as well as other pollution prevention measures.
The Massachusetts Bays Program Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) was finalized in 1996, contains 15 major Action Plans with 72 specific action items, and serves as a blueprint for coordinated action among all levels of government to restore and protect the diverse natural resources of the Bays.
The Neponset River Watershed Initiative
State agencies involved in the Neponset River Watershed Initiative include DEP, EOEA, CZM, DEM, and the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Environmental Law Enforcement. DEP is currently conducting extensive water quality monitoring in the area to determine sources of pollutants and to update water management permitting in the basin. In addition, other state agencies provide technical assistance to local governments and businesses within the watershed. On the federal level, SCS is also involved in the Neponset River Watershed Initiative and provides technical assistance on erosion issues.
The private partners in the Neponset River Watershed Initiative are led by the Neponset River Watershed Association. This nonprofit group has agreed to bring their members into the initiative, as well as to work with local governments, businesses, and residents within the Neponset watershed to help develop an integrated water quality approach for the river basin.
Together, the public and private partners in the Neponset River Watershed Initiative are developing comprehensive strategies for protecting water quality. The partnership also ensures that all those with a stake in the environmental protection of the Neponset River, as well as the economic health of the region, are included in the initiative.
Click here to go to the Nonpoint Source table of contents.
Published: October 1994