State Announces $5 Million Grant for Charlton Waterline
BOSTON - State environmental officials today announced a grant of up to $5 million for the construction of a waterline in the Town of Charlton. The funding commitment is contingent upon an equal commitment of funding from the Southbridge Recycling and Disposal Park (SRDP), negotiation of an agreement between the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), SRDP, the towns of Charlton and Southbridge, and a commitment from homeowners to connect to the waterline provided through the funding. The waterline will be used to address contamination detected in private wells serving homes in the area of Berry Corner Road, H Foote Road and Eleanor Lane.
"Ensuring safe, clean drinking water for residents around the Commonwealth remains a priority of the Department of Environmental Protection," said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. "The Commonwealth looks forward to working with SRDP and the communities of Southbridge and Charlton to formalize an agreement to initiate the construction of a new waterline."
The construction of a waterline and connecting it to the Town of Southbridge's public water system is the result of contamination that was first detected as part of private well monitoring conducted by SRDP. The monitoring has been performed around the landfill pursuant to MassDEP permit requirements related to the landfill operations. Since the discovery of contaminants in private wells in October 2015, SRDP has been providing bottled water to 15 affected residences on H Foote Road and Eleanor Lane. Additionally, the funding commitment by the Commonwealth and SRDP expedites the provision of clean water to the affected area, and fulfills a provision contained within Section 2 of Chapter 286 of the Acts of 2014 to replace contaminated water sources in the Town of Charlton.
As a result of the Commonwealth's funding commitment, MassDEP has initiated the process of negotiating a formal agreement governing the design, construction and connection of the waterline to homes in the affected area of Charlton with officials at SRDP and the towns of Charlton and Southbridge. As a result of the funding, the parties will work to ensure an expeditious schedule for constructing the waterline, and MassDEP expects to have the agreement between the parties in place in the near future.
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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