Much of NepRWA’s work over the last few months, as well as the coming year, will focus on polluted stormwater runoff, which is our biggest remaining water quality challenge.
Polluted runoff, or “stormwater,” is created when rain falls on pavement and is discharged directly to the river via storm drain pipes along with pet waste, fertilizer, sand and other pollutants.
Earlier this year, the EPA finalized a tough new stormwater permit for local municipalities. We’ll be helping communities do a better job on their stormwater cleanup efforts through regional cooperation, under the umbrella of the Neponset Stormwater Partnership.
This year Quincy, Milton, Canton, Stoughton, Sharon, Foxborough, Medfield, Westwood and Dedham, along with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council are participating, with NepRWA serving as the lead organizer. (Is your community missing from the list? Let them know they should be participating!)
The Partnership communities are taking on an ambitious joint work plan preparing key permit documents, printing regional public outreach materials, creating model stormwater bylaws, and figuring out the best way to pay for it all. The goal is more cleanup at a lower cost through economies of scale.
We have also been working with a number of communities to start of the process of “stormwater retrofitting.” Retrofitting involves finding and upgrading older parking lots and roadways that were built without modern features to clean up polluted runoff before it reaches waterways. Once we find good potential retrofit sites, we help the towns secure grant funding for design and construction.
We have recently identified promising new retrofit sites in Milton, Westwood, Dedham, Canton and Stoughton and have a grant pending for design work in Stoughton, Westwood and Dedham.
We just received funding from MassDEP and EPA to build a $149,000 retrofit along Pine Tree Brook in Milton. We are part way through a $236,000 retrofit in Stoughton and are about to finish construction on a $148,000 retrofit project with Dedham.
For more information on joining the Partnership, or about stormwater questions, please contact NepRWA Executive Director, Ian Cooke firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-575-0354 x305.