Author Archive

At long last, EPA (again) issues draft stormwater permit for MA

September 30th, 2014
Comments Off

This morning, the EPA released the long-awaited draft stormwater general permit (MS4) for Massachusetts.  Unlike the last MS4 permits, which came in a set of two for the state back in 2010 (and were never issued in final form), this time the EPA has issued one permit for the state.  You can find the 2014 permit, and supporting documents, as well as a (partial) list of information sessions and a public hearing at http://massriversalliance.org/wp-admin/post-new.php

read more...

SWMI Regs out for Public Comment

April 15th, 2014
Comments Off

The proposed regulations on the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) are out for public comment; comments are due June 10.  Hearing dates and locations are listed on the calendar on the right.  The new regulations and accompanying guidance document are the product of over four years of effort by the environmental agencies, and broad stakeholder participation.  While the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance strongly supports the SWMI principles of “no backsliding,” “mitigation commensurate with impact,” and improving flow-depleted rivers, we believe the regulations and guidance still need

read more...

2013 Annual Meeting brings together river advocates

December 12th, 2013
Comments Off

The Alliance’s Annual Meeting at Mass Audubon’s Habitat Sanctuary in Belmont (Dec. 11th) attracted 50 environmentalists from across the state, and again showcased presentations by our organizational members about their work.  This year’s featured speakers were Judy Grinnell of the Hoosic River Revival, Bruce Osterling and Garry Crago of Greater Boston Trout Unlimited, and Sue Flint of OARS.  Grinnell shared stories about her group’s quest to improve the Hoosic in her hometown of North Adams (the river is encased in a long, concrete culvert for

read more...

New SWMI grants available

September 17th, 2013
Comments Off

MassDEP has announced a new round of $1M in grants to help communities comply with the agency’s proposed changes to Water Management Act permits (permits for water withdrawals of greater than 100,000 gallons per day).  Planning, conservation, or environmental mitigation projects are all eligible for funding – last year, MassDEP funded several collaborative projects with municipal and watershed organization partners.  Details here: https://www.ebidsourcing.com/processPublicSolSummView.do?doValidateToken=false&docStatus=OPEN&soltypeCd=UNIVERSAL&docUserId=200120&docViewType=OPEN&action=soltypeCd&docId=162331

read more...

$929,000 in SWMI grants announced

March 18th, 2013
Comments Off

Today MassDEP  awarded $929,000 to 11 municipalities and water districts to assist them with “water conservation, demand management and other projects that will help to mitigate the ecological impacts of water withdrawals.”  The grants are part of the Sustainable Water Management Initiative, and an effort by the state to help towns comply with new permit requirements expected as a result of upcoming changes to Water Management Act regulations.  For more information about the grants: http://www.mass.gov/eea/pr-2013/swmi-grants.html

read more...

Some rivers and their people…

September 5th, 2012
Comments Off

Okay, so it’s not a policy update, but I finally got a chance to travel west, past Worcester, this summer, where I visited some rivers and met with some of the people who are looking out for them. Andrea Donlon and her daughter, Ursula, are passionate about the Connecticut River.  Andrea, who is a fierce and effective advocate for the river, works for the Connecticut River Watershed Council. The Connecticut, of course, has the biggest watershed in Massachusetts.  Upstream, it forms the divider between New

read more...

SWMI Pilots Underway

June 13th, 2012
Comments Off

The Sustainable Water Management Initiative continues to move (slowly) forward…  The Mass Rivers Alliance’s Julia Blatt, along with Ian Cooke of the Neponset River Watershed Association, are participating on the Pilot Oversight Committee (which also includes two water supplier representatives and staff from EOEEA, DEP, DCR, and DFG). The state’s consultants are currently scrambling to collect information on the water supply systems and hydrologic conditions of the four pilot areas, and have set up meetings with the municipalities and watershed groups in these areas.  They

read more...

SWMI Comments Now Online

April 25th, 2012
Comments Off

Against the backdrop of an unusual spring drought, the Sustainable Water Management Initiative (SWMI) is continuing to move ahead.  The dry weather and very low streams highlight the importance of curbing excessive, non-essential water use in order to sustain both our streams and our public water supplies. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has posted all the comment letters it has received on the draft SWMI framework.  You can click on this link to read the framework and the letters.  The environmental community

read more...

SWMI committees reconvening

January 9th, 2012
Comments Off

For two years, state staff, environmental advocates, and water suppliers have wrestled with the question, “how much water should we leave in streams to keep them healthy – and how should this work under the state’s Water Management Act, the statute that regulates water allocation in Massachusetts?  After a seven-month hiatus, the state’s environmental agencies are reconvening the Sustainable Water Management committees to work on some remaining technical issues (with the technical subcommittee, on 1/17) and review the draft framework document (to be presented to

read more...

Dam bill to get hearing on Monday 3/14

March 9th, 2011
Comments Off

This just in – the Legislature’s Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee will hold a public hearing on dam legislation this coming Monday, March 14 at 11:00 A.M. in room B-1 in the Massachusetts State House. We invite you to testify IN FAVOR of the bill.  The dam bill is the version reported out by the Environment Committee last session and has been filed this session by both Senator Pacheco as Senate 367 and Representative Straus as House 265.  Bill text at: dam bill The

read more...
Page 1 of 212»

Search this site