BOSTON — A plan to prevent pollution of the Monatiquot River has been identified by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) as one of eight mitigation projects that will receive a combined $1.15 million in grant funding targeting stormwater runoff and erosion.
Braintree will receive a total $138,250 to design and construct infrastructure upgrades along the Monatiquot River to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff.
“Comprehensive watershed protection efforts like these are critical in order to keep our communities safe and healthy,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “These grants will help local officials and regional groups to protect and enhance vital local watershed resources from nonpoint source pollution.”
The grants, which utilize funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded under section 319 of the Clean Water Act, will also support projects in Milton, Monterey, and Sturbridge, as well as in Barnstable, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire Counties.
The grant program focuses on implementation of measures to control nonpoint source (NPS) pollution to both surface and groundwater. Unlike pollution from industrial facilities and sewage treatment plants, NPS pollution is unregulated and comes from a variety of sources. NPS pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and ground waters.
“The State of Massachusetts is taking a big step toward cleaner waterways by funding eight local projects aimed at reducing nonpoint source pollution,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro. “Phosphorus and nitrogen are pollutants that have been exacerbating problems like toxic algae blooms in the Commonwealth and reducing the runoff that carries these pollutants is a big first step in water quality.”
Common types of NPS pollution include phosphorus and nitrogen from lawn and garden fertilizers and agricultural operations, bacteria from pet waste and waterfowl, oil and grease from parking lots and roadways, and sediment from construction activities and soil erosion.
“These projects represent important approaches to addressing the issue of stormwater,” said Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The reduction of bacteria and nutrients in our waterbodies through the implementation of green infrastructure is a key step in our water resource protection efforts across the Commonwealth.”
The projects will help to protect Massachusetts’ water resources by restoring and preserving watershed areas, constructing BMPs, demonstrating innovative technologies, and educating the public on how to protect sensitive natural resources. Recipients include municipalities, regional planning agencies and environmental organizations.