The Town of Bourne is partnering with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy on an $80,000 state grant to help the town meet state-mandated stormwater management regulations.
Bourne Conservation Agent Samuel O. Haines told the Bourne Board of Selectmen Tuesday night, May 28 that the town and MMA are co-grantees for the funds through the state’s Coastal Zone Management division. The town and MMA, Mr. Haines said, will work together on sampling stormwater outfalls in the town.
As part of the federal Clean Water Act, the Environmental Protection Agency issues to municipalities what is referred to as an “MS4 permit”: MS stands for “Municipal Stormwater.” Cities and towns are required to comply with the parameters of the permit in order to discharge stormwater into waterways and wetlands under federal jurisdiction.
Mr. Haines told the board that he has finalized a draft of the town’s stormwater management plan to comply with state regulations. The stormwater plan describes the control practices that will be implemented consistent with requirements of the EPA permit, to minimize the discharge of pollutants into outfalls, estuaries and waterways.
The plan is due for submission to the EPA on July 1, he said. It is currently on the town’s website at the conservation department’s page. Residents have 21 days to review the 60-page document, and ask any question or make any comments, he said.
Requirements the town had to meet to secure its permit from the EPA were extensive. In addition to the stormwater management plan, procedures needed to be drafted for detection and elimination of illicit discharge. Additional procedures had to be drafted for cleaning catch basins, inspecting construction sites for runoff controls, street sweeping, and winter road maintenance. All of them needed to be completed by June 30.
Mr. Haines noted the participation of Department of Public Works personnel and Superintendent George M. Sala in securing the CZM grant. The grant requires that the town provide a manpower match for doing the water inspections. That will be done with DPW crew members, Mr. Haines said.
“It will be the DPW opening the catch basins and learning to sample,” he said. “A lot of the members of the staff will be trained in how to properly sample catch basins.”
To be in compliance with the state’s stormwater regulations, Mr. Haines said, changes will probably have to be made to some of the town’s bylaws. He said that for the town to meet the new state standards, changes will likely need to be made to Bourne’s zoning and conservation bylaws.
He also handed out to the selectmen dog waste bag holders that can be attached to a dog’s leash. He noted that there is harmful bacteria contained in dog waste that is left by the side of the road when people do not pick up after their pet.
“If it’s not picked up, it all goes into our stormwater basins, and goes into the water that we swim and recreate in,” he said.
The holders, he said, will be available at the Bourne Town Clerk’s office for residents to pick up when they get their annual dog license.