Nutrient Enrichment Reduction Loan Program
Environmental Impacts of Nutrient Enrichment
Nutrient enrichment is one of America's most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems, and is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in waterbodies. The primary sources of nutrient enrichment are fertilizer, animal manure, sewage treatment plant discharge, detergents, stormwater runoff, cars, power plants, failing septic tanks, and pet waste.
Nutrient enrichment has impacted many streams, rivers, lakes, bays and coastal waters for the past several decades, resulting in serious environmental and human health issues, and impacting the economy.
Too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water causes algae to grow faster than ecosystems can handle. Significant increases in algae harm water quality, food resources and habitats, and decrease the oxygen that fish and other aquatic life need to survive. Some algal blooms are harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water.
The Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) offers loans at a 0% interest rate for projects primarily intended to remediate or prevent nutrient enrichment of a surface water body or water supply. The goal of these 0% interest loans is to help communities that have identified elevated levels of nutrients in their water to expedite and complete vital projects at the lowest cost possible, provided certain requirements are met.
This provides significant savings compared to the standard 2% interest rate for CWSRF loans. There are 0% interest and no fee interim loans available during construction. Communities may also qualify for additional subsidy with loan forgiveness. Communities are taking action to address heightened nutrient levels in waterbodies. Such initiatives involve gathering information on the polluted waterbodies, developing monitoring plans, implementing necessary technologies, and using available support and financial assistance.
- The project is primarily intended to remediate or prevent nutrient enrichment of a surface water body or a source of water supply.
- The applicant is not currently in violation of an Enforcement Order or Administrative Consent Order due to a violation of a nutrient-related standard.
- The applicant has a MassDEP-approved Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP) or MassDEP must determine the project is consistent with an areawide wastewater management plan, if one exists.
- The project has been deemed consistent with the regional water resources management plans, such as a current areawide water resources management plan adopted under section 208 of the federal Clean Water Act, if such a plan exists.
- Land Use Controls reviewed and approved by MassDEP and the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development have been adopted to limit wastewater volume increases to the amount authorized in the approved CWMP.
Boston, MA 02108