BOSTON – Building on its commitment to protect and improve water quality throughout Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced nearly $300,000 in grants to five multi-community stormwater coalitions across the Commonwealth to help local cities and towns meet existing and upcoming stormwater management requirements.
The projects, selected by MassDEP, were awarded to the Statewide Stormwater Coalition, Neponset River Watershed Association, Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Charles River Watershed Association, and Massachusetts Maritime for Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative. The Statewide Stormwater Coalition includes the towns of Duxbury, Hingham, Marshfield, Norwell, Scituate and Weymouth.
The funding awarded by the Baker-Polito Administration will enable Massachusetts municipalities to expand their efforts to meet Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit requirements and reduce stormwater pollution through coordinated partnerships that emphasize resource sharing. There are 260 Massachusetts municipalities subject to the current MS4 permit, issued jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and MassDEP, which took effect on July 1, 2018.
Permit requirements that the MS4 communities must meet include the development and implementation of a public education program, adopting more stringent local development rules, locating and removing pollutants that are illegally entering municipal stormwater systems, and installing stormwater management systems.
The Statewide Stormwater Coalition received $75,354. The Coalition has developed education and outreach programming for more than 180 municipalities in Massachusetts that satisfies one out of six minimum control measures of the 2016 MS4 permit. For this project, the Statewide Stormwater Coalition will expand the education campaign through social media and YouTube advertising, translate video outreach materials to Spanish to reach a broader audience, and offer social media training for municipal staff on how to reach underrepresented audiences.
“Very proud to see the South Shore be a leader as a member of the Statewide Stormwater Coalition committed to reducing stormwater pollution,” said State Senator Patrick O’Connor (R-Weymouth). “This round of grant funding will go a long way in helping to educate the public about how they can play a role in reducing the pollutants in our stormwater systems. I appreciate the commitment of the Baker-Polito Administration in helping communities improve their local environments.”
Others receiving funding included:
Neponset River Watershed Association (NepWRA) – $66,776
This project will develop phosphorus and nitrogen source identification reports for its own member communities and those of the Connecticut River Stormwater Coalition to satisfy requirements under Phosphorus and Nitrogen Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDLs) plans. As part of this work, NepWRA will produce pollution-loading maps and propose approaches to reduce nutrient loading. The method developed by NepWRA will be available to all other municipalities that are affected by TMDLs in the state.
Merrimack Valley Planning Commission – $45,000
This project will create a geospatial tool that helps to identify permittee-owned properties that can be retrofitted for stormwater management in each of its 15 member communities. Best Management Practice cut sheets will be developed for two sites in each community. As part of the planning tool, the Merrimack Valley Stormwater Collaborative will place special emphasis on environmental justice communities.
Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) – $59,771
This project proposes a new collaboration with the Central Massachusetts Regional Stormwater Coalition to develop Phosphorus Control Plans for communities affected by the Lakes and Ponds and Charles River Phosphorus TMDLs. CRWA will develop model Phosphorus Control Plan templates that will contain several recommendations on phosphorus reduction crediting and bylaw updates for each of the 54 communities included in the project.
Massachusetts Maritime Academy for Buzzards Bay Stormwater Collaborative – $47,000
Massachusetts Maritime Academy will train municipal staff on the utility trailer outfitted for illicit discharge detection sampling that was funded under the same program in fiscal year 2020. The eight Buzzards Bay municipalities participating in this program will also benefit from storm sewer system mapping support from Mass. Maritime Academy.
The grants are funded through the Commonwealth’s Fiscal Year 2021 capital plan’s “MS4 Municipal Assistance Grant Program.” For more information on MS4 permits and their requirements, 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.
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