For Immediate Release - June 22, 2017

Baker-Polito Administration Awards $193,612 in Grants to Assist Local Water Quality Management Efforts

HYANNIS - The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $193,612 worth of grant funding for five projects that will assess watershed pollution and plan for work to address water quality impairments. The projects, selected each year by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), are located in Belchertown, Kingston, Provincetown, Waltham, and across Cape Cod.

"Our administration understands the important role that environmental protection and natural resource preservation plays not only today, but for generations to come," said Governor Charlie Baker. "The work supported by these grants will measure water quality and help fund necessary plans to improve and protect vital local watershed resources."

"Massachusetts' watersheds and wetlands are not only critical to the environment, but also to their local economies," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "This funding will help local officials find solutions that will better address pollution sources across the Commonwealth."

The grants are funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through Section 604b of the federal Clean Water Act. Since 2007, MassDEP has funded 62 projects under the 604b water quality management program, totaling more than $2.8 million to address non-point source pollution problems.

"Comprehensive watershed protection efforts keep communities and residents across the Commonwealth safe and healthy," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew A. Beaton. "These grants will help the selected communities assess and ultimately protect vital local watershed resources."

"Communities collect watershed data and develop green infrastructure plans to help them manage their local water resources, and we are pleased to be able to offer this support for their efforts," said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. "The testing of water bodies for bacteria and nutrients and work on low impact development plans are key steps in our overall water resource protection efforts."

The term "non-point source pollution" refers to contaminants 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:

  • Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study - $50,000
    Town of Belchertown
    Grant funds will be used to help the town to conduct a feasibility analysis of sustainable stormwater funding, including establishing a stormwater utility.
  • Jones River Water Quality Assessment &Stormwater BMPs - $36,520
    Town of Kingston

    Grant money will be used to create preliminary design plans for stormwater best management practices (BMPs) in an on-going effort to address bacterial water quality impairments in the Jones River watershed and Duxbury Bay.
  • Provincetown Harbor Stormwater Mitigation - $40,000
    Town of Provincetown

    The town will utilize grant funds to prepare preliminary designs to continue installation of permeable pavement on Commercial Street as part of Provincetown Harbor Stormwater Mitigation Project.
  • Green Infrastructure Retrofit Design Plan - $17,092
    City of Waltham

    With this partial award, the city will develop a conceptual green infrastructure design plan for a municipal facility immediately abutting the Charles River.
  • Cape Cod Stormwater Coalition - $50,000
    The Cape Cod Commission

    The CCC will use grant funding to establish a regional stormwater management coalition to assist Cape Cod communities in meeting stormwater management requirements. This effort will emphasize partnership-building and information sharing among statewide coalition members and Cape Cod communities.

"I'm delighted to see taxpayer money making it down to the city and neighborhood level, where it can do some good," said State Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington).

"I am encouraged to see that both the Provincetown Harbor Stormwater Mitigation Project and the Cape Cod Stormwater Coalition have been awarded grant funding to further assist their water quality management efforts," said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). "Cape Cod has over 500 miles of coastline and nearly 1,000 kettle ponds. Preservation of our waterways is crucial to the continued vitality of the region."

"The water quality of the Jones River watershed is of paramount importance to the Town of Kingston and the surrounding region," said State Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth). "This grant represents yet another meaningful investment by the Baker-Polito Administration in their ongoing commitment to revitalize the Jones River watershed."

"I am grateful to Kingston Conservation Agent Maureen Thomas for applying for the 604b grant on behalf of the town and appreciate the town's continued efforts for Best Management Practices to improve water quality," said State Representative Tom Calter (D-Kingston).

To find out more information about grants and financial assistance related to water quality and watersheds, turn here

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.

# # #