For Immediate Release - July 16, 2013

Patrick Administration Awards $209,171 in Grants to Assist Local Water Quality Management Efforts

BOSTON - The Patrick Administration today awarded $209,171 to five groups engaged in the assessment, planning and implementation of projects that improve water quality throughout the state. Each year, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) awards a group of competitive-based grants to local projects based on proposals submitted.

"Our local and regional agencies are undertaking many worthy and admirable efforts to develop a comprehensive approach to repairing and restoring water resources impacted by runoff or non-point sources, and we want to support them," said MassDEP Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell.

This year, the recipients of the winning grants and the applicable watershed projects are:

* The Town of Arlington - The Alewife and Mill Brook
* The Town of Provincetown - Provincetown Harbor
* The Cape Cod Conservation District - West Falmouth Harbor
* The Town of Westwood - Boston Harbor
* The Metropolitan Area Planning Council - The Ipswich River Watershed

The grants were initiated under section 604b of the federal Clean Water Act, which established the Water Quality Management Planning grant program, a vehicle by which each state can provide funds to eligible entities such as regional planning agencies, conservation districts or municipalities. Those chosen typically target watershed or sub-watershed based non-point source assessment and planning projects. MassDEP's focus for the grants is to support the Department's watershed assessment, and non-point source assessment activities.

The term non-point source pollution refers to pollutants that are carried to a waterway as a result of precipitation and stormwater runoff from the land or infiltration into the soil. Common types of non-point source 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.

The selected projects, and descriptions, are:

The Town of Arlington - $39,580 to address the problem of non-point source pollution in the Alewife and Mill Brook sub-watersheds. The municipality will partner with the Town of Belmont and the Mystic River Watershed Association to take a proactive approach toward identifying pollution sources and reducing pollutants through an examination of solutions with a focus on "green" structural best management practices to control and reuse rainwater where it falls. This collaborative approach will allow the towns to share key expertise at a reduced cost, foster communication on shared resources (Alewife Brook and Mystic River) and learn from other community experiences. Specific best management practices that may be considered during the project include vegetated swales, bio-retention structures, permeable pavement, street trees and rainwater harvesting.

The Town of Provincetown - $73,946 to continue with phase three of the Provincetown Harbor Stormwater Mitigation Project, specifically the preliminary design of Commercial Street. The design will address the storm water impacts of a portion of Commercial Street beginning at the intersection of Johnson Street and heading east approximately 2,300 feet to Howland Street with the installation of porous pavement and other drainage improvements. This is a solution to significantly improve the water quality that currently discharges from this area by six ocean outfalls into Provincetown Harbor.

The Cape Cod Conservation District - $47,934 to determine the feasibility of restoring three previously-identified tidally-restricted wetland systems within this impaired water body in order to improve water quality and restore salt marsh and benthic habitats. The restoration of natural tidal flow to a coastal ecosystem improves the ecosystem services and values, including improved water quality and improved habitat.

The Westwood Department of Public Works (DPW) - $23,974 to help retrofit existing impervious surfaces on private property, using green infrastructure techniques. The Westwood DPW identified voluntary retrofitting of existing private property (that is not the subject of active redevelopment) as one of the most promising strategies for reducing negative impacts affecting its streams. The proposed scope of work is designed to achieve immediate objectives as first steps toward attainment of the ultimate goal by identify private property owners willing to consider implementation of such practices on their land; and second, to develop and test a methodology that can be utilized as a model in other communities facing similar challenges.

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) - $23,737 to address water quality, as well as quantity, issues that persist within the Ipswich River Watershed. MAPC, in Ipswich, will assess sub watersheds of the Ipswich River to identify and prioritize potential sites for the implementation of storm water mitigation work, and to prepare preliminary engineering designs for the highest priority sites. The project goal is to promote a green infrastructure approach to the water quality challenges in the watershed.

To find out more information about 604B grants and financial assistance related to water quality and watersheds go to: Water Quality Grants

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.