- Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Awards Grants to Help Municipalities Meet Stormwater Permitting Requirements
Joseph Ferson, Public Affairs Office
BOSTON — BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded $300,000 in grants to five stormwater coalitions across the Commonwealth to help local cities and towns meet existing and upcoming stormwater management requirements. The grants, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), were awarded to the Statewide Stormwater Coalition, Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition, Southeast Regional Stormwater Coalition, the Massachusetts Maritime Academy for Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative, and the Northern Middlesex Stormwater Collaborative.
“Municipalities across Massachusetts face significant hurdles in their effort to reduce pollution from stormwater, and these grants help cities and towns accomplish that important work,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Funding regional stormwater coalitions ensures that all communities throughout the Commonwealth will benefit from more efficient management and better protection of key environmental resources.”
“I am proud to see that cities and towns are working collaboratively as stormwater coalitions to address requirements of the MS4 permit,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “With stormwater being the greatest source of contamination in our rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, I am pleased to support these coalitions directly so they can work towards protecting our water resources across the Commonwealth.”
The funding will enable groups of Massachusetts municipalities to expand their efforts to meet requirements under the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, issued jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and MassDEP, and reduce stormwater pollution through coordinated partnerships that emphasize resource sharing. More than 240 Massachusetts municipalities are subject to the 2016 MS4 permit, which took effect on July 1, 2018.
Permit requirements that the municipalities subject to the MS4 permit must meet include the development and implementation of a Public Education program, adopting more stringent local development rules, and locating and removing pollutants that are illegally entering municipal stormwater systems.
The groups receiving awards are:
Statewide Stormwater Coalition – $107,795
This project will further expand the “Think Blue Massachusetts” statewide stormwater public awareness and education campaign that helps each MS4 community meet MS4 education and outreach requirements. The proposed project includes expanded advertising to build awareness and brand recognition, new messaging for certain impaired waters, an interactive social media contest, planning for a Think Blue Massachusetts symposium, and training.
Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition (CMRSWC) – $28,000
This project offers workshops to meet the Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination training requirement for CMRSWC members and additional MS4 communities.
Southeast Regional Stormwater Coalition (SRWC) – $55,000
This project will offer workshops to up to 20 towns in which both SRSC communities and others would develop their required Operation and Maintenance Plans for Parks and Open Space, Buildings and Facilities, Vehicles and Equipment and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans.
Northern Middlesex Stormwater Collaborative – $62,504
This project will develop a bylaw/ordinance and regulations and permit-tracking materials to address construction site runoff control and post construction stormwater management at development and redevelopment sites, as required by the 2016 MS4 Permit by June 30, 2020.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy for Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative – $46,700
This project will outfit and customize an Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination utility trailer for use by the eight Buzzards Bay municipalities; and includes training for municipal staff, Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) staff and MMA Co-op students.
“I am grateful for the release of this grant funding, and the work of the Baker-Polito Administration to prioritize stormwater protection efforts,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “These funds go a long way towards raising awareness and training our area towns on how to prepare for potential storms and the pollutants they carry to our waterways.”
“I applaud MassDEP in awarding these MS4 stormwater grants to assist municipalities around the Commonwealth in developing effective stormwater management solutions,” said State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox), House Chair of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture. “Ensuring that our cities and towns are well-equipped to handle these challenges will go far in preventing the harmful environmental and public health effects of stormwater runoff and pollution.”
“Our municipalities work hard to meet the existing and upcoming stormwater management requirements, and aid from the state through these grants is critical in their endeavors,” said State Senator Ryan Fattman (R-Sutton). “The grants will help educate the public on pollutants illegally entering our stormwater system, as well as assist the municipalities seeking to meet updated stormwater requirements. I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Protection, for their investment in our communities’ stormwater systems, and will continue to support these programs that benefit our municipalities.”
“It is imperative that we continue to educate communities across the Commonwealth of the importance of stormwater management to keep our waters clean from harmful pollutants,” said State Representative James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury).<
For more details on the Stormwater MS4 Municipal Assistance Grant Program, go to https://www.mass.gov/info-details/grants-financial-assistance-watersheds-water-quality#stormwater-ms4-municipal-assistance-grant-program-.
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.