Category Archives: Environmental

MS4, stormwater regulations, appeal status


MS4 Appeal Status

This email was forwarded by Mike Sullivan this afternoon, which email explains that the coalition of towns appealing the new federal stormwater regulations is entering a  litigation phase.

Dear MS4 Contributors,


The following update was provided to MCWRS members via our newsletter. I also wanted to share the latest information with those of you who have contributed to the appeal or plan to.


On August 24, 2016, MCWRS and the Town of Franklin jointly filed a Petition for Review of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Final MA Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) General Permit with the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. Prior to the MCWRS/Franklin appeal, the Center for Regulatory Reasonableness (CRR) filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in Washington, D.C. Several events have occurred since these two initial filings. Three additional appeals were filed in the First Circuit – by the City of Lowell, the National Association of Home Builders/Home Builders Association of MA, and the Conservation Law Foundation/Charles River Watershed Association (CLF/CRWA).

The U.S. Department of Justice (on behalf of EPA) has filed a motion to transfer the appeals filed by MCWRS, Lowell, National Association of Home Builders, and CLF to the D.C. Circuit. The transfer request was triggered by the CRR appeal first filed in the D.C. Circuit, and EPA’s submittal of the Administrative Record Index to that court. The appeals are expected to be transferred. Meanwhile, in the First Circuit, MCWRS/Franklin filed a motion to intervene in the CLF/CRWA appeal on the ground that other parties in that case (i.e. EPA) would not protect the municipalities’ interests in that case. CLF/CRWA’s position is that the MS4 Permit does not go far enough. CLF/CRWA have filed motions to intervene in all of the pending appeals.

Our attorneys are prepared to submit briefs and oral arguments in the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. We will continue to keep you apprised of events related to this critically important action to protect Massachusetts communities’ interests. Read the full press release on the MCWRS website for complete details on the announcement.


Going forward, now that the appeal is filed all communications between MCWRS and its attorneys are privileged and confidential. Additionally, since as public agencies you are all subject to public records laws, we do not want to supply updates via email that may include sensitive information and strategies. Instead, we think a periodic conference call may be the safest and best way to provide our supporters with updates. Of course, we would also not want you to share details of the call content via email with anyone else in your department or other town staff as they would be subject to the same public records regulations. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about our planned approach to keeping you updated.


As always, we greatly appreciate your support in this important matter!


Best regards,





Kate Barrett

Vice President for Public Involvement

Regina Villa Associates, Inc.

51 Franklin Street, Suite 400

Boston, MA 02110

Warning -wonky material

The alert below from the MMA – I just called Senator Timilty’s office, and also thanked him for sponsoring the pending legislation to make work spaces handicap accessible.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016






The Legislation is Necessary to Allow MassDEP to have “Delegated Authority” over Federal Water Quality Regulatory Programs


Over the past year, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has been examining the possibility of obtaining authority from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over the National Pollutants Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. Governor Baker recently filed H. 4254, An Act to Enable the Commonwealth’s Administration of the Massachusetts Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Please click here to see Governor Baker’s press release and a link to the bill text.

The bill is expected to have a hearing before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture early next week. MMA is urging local officials in the districts of committee members to contact your legislators right away and ask them to support this important legislation. Please see the contact information for your legislators at the end of this alert.

NPDES is the federal regulatory program, currently administered by the EPA, that includes permits, compliance, inspection, and enforcement activities for facilities that discharge effluent into surface waters (such as municipal wastewater treatment plants), as well as stormwater systems managed by over 250 cities and towns.

The MMA has been very involved in this discussion over the past few months, through participation in MassDEP’s NPDES advisory group and conversations with the Administration. The MMA will testify in support of this legislation at the public hearing, but it is very important that legislators on the committee hear from their local officials on this issue.

The Governor’s legislation is an essential step in MassDEP’s obtaining delegation over this program. The bill would make technical changes to the state’s Clean Waters Act to make it consistent with federal law. The bill also specifically authorizes MassDEP to begin to process of applying to the EPA for delegation.

There are many advantages to having MassDEP manage and oversee the NPDES and MS4 stormwater permit process, including:

  • DEP has a much stronger relationship with cities and towns than the EPA;
  • DEP has much more experience working with local officials, and has a much better understanding of our cities and towns than the EPA;
  • Permitting decisions would be based on local conditions and more thorough up-to-date data;
  • Having DEP oversee the MS4 stormwater and NPDES programs would provide many more opportunities for integrated water management;
  • DEP would offer enhanced technical assistance – they are already planning on coordinating technical assistance and information sharing on stormwater issues; and
  • Delegated authority would allow DEP to provide better information on water quality conditions across the Commonwealth.

This bill will not change the new MS4 stormwater regulations recently released by the EPA, but MMA believes that MassDEP’s greater understanding of our cities and towns would lead to greater flexibility and responsiveness as the permits are implemented. And MassDEP would have a greater role in shaping future permit requirements. If DEP does not have delegated authority over NPDES programs, a more removed federal agency (U.S. EPA) will continue to develop and enforce the regulations for Massachusetts.

If you are receiving this action alert, your community is in the district of one or more members of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. Please look for your legislator’s name and phone number below and contact them right away to ask them to support H. 4254. It is very important that your legislators hear from local officials BEFORE the public hearing, which is expected to be early next week, which is why we are asking you to call today.

Senate Committee Members:

Anne M. Gobi, Senate Chair, 617-722-1540

Michael F. Rush, Senate Vice Chair, 617-722-1348

James B. Eldridge, 617-722-1120

James E. Timilty, 617 722-1222

Thomas M. McGee, 617-722-1350

Ryan C. Fattman, 617-722-1420


House Committee Members:

Paul A. Schmid, House Chair, 617-722-2210

Brian R. Mannal, House Vice Chair, 617-722-2210

Robert M. Koczera, 617-722-2582

Carolyn C. Dykema, 617-722-2680

Mary S. Keefe, 617-722-2210

Christine P. Barber, 617-722-2430

James M. Kelcourse, 617-722-2130

James M. Cantwell, 617-722-2140

Josh S. Cutler, 617-722-2210

Jay D. Livingstone, 617-722-2396

Donald R. Berthiaume, 617-722-2090


Please Contact your Legislators Today and Ask Them to Support H. 4254 at the Public Hearing Next Week

Thank You Very Much!


Town wins award for river remdiation

Charles River Gateway

Kristine Trierweiler shared this afternoon’s announcement that town has won an award for the collaborative remediation at the Charles River –

Dear Kristine,

It is my pleasure to congratulate you and formally notify you that the Town of Medfield, along with the following organizations, has been selected to receive the 2016 EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration presented by the Environmental Business Council of New England.


Award Recipients for the Medfield Charles River Gateway Project

  • Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance
  • Charles River Watershed Association
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
  • Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
  • State Hospital Environmental Review Committee
  • Weston & Sampson, Inc.
  • Charter Contracting Company, LLC
  • The Trustees of Reservations
  • The Garden Continuum
  • Spectra Energy


About the EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration  


Award Description: Medfield Charles River Gateway Project

In Recognition of the Outstanding Public-Private Collaboration Resulting in the Comprehensive Remediation of Soil, Sediment and Groundwater at the Former Medfield State Hospital Site and the Major Restoration of Wetlands on the Charles River


Accepting the Award for the Town of Medfield –   Kristine Trierweiler, Assistant Town Administrator

If a different person than you will be accepting the award for your organization, can you please let me know the name of that person.

The person accepting the award will be the guest of the EBC for the awards program.


Please mark your calendar for Thursday evening, starting at the 5:00 p.m. reception on June 18th at the Marriott Hotel in Newton, Massachusetts.


Environmental Business Council  23th EBEE Awards Celebration

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Marriott Hotel

Newton, Massachusetts


For registration Information for others at your organization who may wish to attend the EBEE Awards Celebration go to:  EBEE REGISTRATION


We’re looking forward to presenting the Town of Medfield with this award.  Please email me or call if you have any questions.


Warm regards,




Daniel K. Moon

President and Executive Director

Environmental Business Council of New England

375 Harvard St., Suite 2

Brookline, MA 02446



The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration
Martha’s Vineyard Hybrid Submarine Cable Project
Comcast, Northeast Division – Mike Ahearn, Director of Construction, Greater Boston
NSTAR Electric Company – Craig Hallstrom, President
Power Engineers, LLC – David J. Columbo, P.E., Principal
Epsilon Associates, Inc. – Lester B. Smith, Jr., Principal and Project Manager
Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management – Bruce K. Carlisle, Director
New Bedford Boat Slip MGP
MA Dept of Environmental Protection – Millie Garcia Serrano, Deputy Regional Director
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Ira Leighton, Deputy Regional Administrator
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Lt. Colonel Steven Howell, Deputy Commander
City of New Bedford – Cheryl Henlin, Environmental Planner
NSTAR – Kathleen Freeman, Director, Environmental Affairs
GEI Consultants – Jim Ash, Vice President
Charter Environmental – Robert Delhome, President
Lightship Engineering – Tim Condon, President
Beals & Thomas – Stacy Minihanem, Associate
Sprague Energy – Elizabeth Hernberg, Managing Director
New Bedford Harbor Commission
U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office – Alex Travis
Modern Electroplating Facility – Redevelopment Project
City of Boston – Property and Construction Management Department
City of Boston – Boston Redevelopment Authority
City of Boston – Department of Neighborhood Development
City of Boston – Boston Police Department
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Kathleen Castagna, Program Lead
MA Department of Environmental Protection – Kenneth Kimmel, Commissioner
NASDI, Inc. – Michael Francis, Executive Vice President
Weston & Sampson, Inc. – Michael Scipione, President
GEI Consultants – Ileen Gladstone, Vice President
Covered Water Storage Facility, Blue Hills Reservation
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority – Fred Lasky, Executive Director
MA Department of Conservation and Recreation – Rick Sullivan, Commissioner
MA Department of Environmental Protection – Laurie Burt, Commissioner
Barletta Companies – Vincent Barletta, President
MA Department of Fish & Game – Mary Griffin, Commissioner
Acknowledging the Contribution of Numerous EBC Member Companies
Governor Deval Patrick
The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration
Braintree Electric’s Thomas A. Watson Generating Station
Braintree Electric Light Department- Bill Bottiggi, General Manager
Town of Braintree – Joseph Sullivan, Mayor
State Senator Michael Morrissey
State Representative Joseph Driscoll
Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – Robert Varney, Regional Administrator
Redevelopment of the Former Fort Devens U.S. Army Base
Bristol-Myers Squibb – Paul McKenzie, General Manager
Devens Enterprise Commission – William P. Marshall, Chairman
MA Department of Environmental Protection – Arleen O’Donnell, Acting Commissioner
MassDevelopment – Robert L. Culver, President & CEO
Redevelopment of South Weymouth Naval Air Station
South Shore Tri-Town Development Corporation – Terry N. Fancher, Executive Director
LNR Property Corporation – David Hall, Senior Vice President
Mayor Menino’s Green Building Task Force
Jim Hunt, Chief of Environmental and Energy Services, City of Boston
Pamela J. Szatek – Director, Procurement
Stephen J. Driscoll – Director, Materials Management/Transportation
Dennis K. Burke, Inc.
Ed Burke, President
Creation of a Park from the Gardner Street Landfill
Joseph Casazza, Public Works Commissioner, City of Boston
The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration
Greater BostonMA Regional Director
The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration
CommissionerSouth Executive Director

MHS students -> NO IDLING!

quit idling

Message to parents:

Hopefully you have noticed the new No Idling signs posted outside of our schools. Despite the signs, some parents are still idling their cars in drop-off and pick-up lines and in parking lots. Mr. Cowell’s High School Environmental Science students wrote and produced a terrific video to highlight the importance of not idling your car. Please take a few moments to watch the video via the link below, and perhaps to show it to your kids, as it is a fun way to educate them about this issue. The No Idling Committee and the students, faculty, staff and community members who breathe the air in our schools’ driveways and parking lots thank you!

MS4 from EPA


This month the EPA will release its new stormwater permit rules and regulations, which are termed “MS4.”  Selectmen had a presentation on MS4 this past month by people from the Neponset River Watershed Association (NRWA), who explained the expected regulation and  shared the planning other towns are doing to respond.  Most disturbing was their representation that some towns, such as Dedham, are expecting it to cost them upwards of $1m./year to respond to those MS4 regulations.

Mike Sullivan says Medfield is fortunate to have planned ahead and has already instituted all the matters he expects will be required by the MS4 permit and its regulations, such that Mike did not think that we need to budget anything for next year to be in compliance.

The NRWA representatives indicated that many towns will be implementing fees to residents for the amount of impervious surface on their lots. Again, since Mike says we will not have extra costs, we will not need to look at such fees to cover the cost of compliance.


Gateway opening


This morning was the official ribbon cutting and opening of the new Charles River overlook dubbed the Gateway at Medfield.  Over one hundred people gathered in the strong fall winds at Medfield’s newest jewel, high above the Charles –  some walked, some rode bikes, and some came on horses.  Richared DeSorgher officiated with a loud speaker’s voice honed by years in the classroom.

Richard declared it Arbor Day in town, reading the proclamation citing teh 55 trees planted at the site, and then introduced the series of speakers:

  • Carol Gladstone, DCAMM Commissioner
  • Carol I. Sanchez, DCR Commissioner (see photo below)
  • Mike Francis, TTOR Superintendent
  • Bob Zimmerman, CRWA Executive Director


Bill Massaro, John Thompson, and John Harney were signaled out repeatedly for their efforts that turned the ship of the Massachusetts state away from its less expensive, simplistic, but legally sufficient cap and cover formulaic clean up, to the result that has created the state’s newest park, with dramatic views down to the Charles River below and the largest recreated wetlands in the history of the river.

Even the ruins of the old pump house has been made interesting –

MSH-pump house after

Thoughts on MSH as planning begins

Sarah Raposa, our Town Planner, sent out the agenda for the first meeting on Wednesday with the town’s master planning consultant, VHB, for the former Medfield State Hospital site.  As part of her email, Sarah suggested that people jot down thoughts, and below are mine:

Medfield State Hospital Site – Issues to Consider at Outset of the Planning Process

1.    Clean Slate – The past discussions and the visioning session created an interesting list of ideas, but should in no way limit options going forward.

2.    Infrastructure – lots needed, and best if developers instead of town can be made to pay

3.    Natural Resources – exist in abundance, and will continue to exist in abundance even if the town opts for a dense development

4.    Environmental – site has been mainly cleaned of known hazards, except the lead paint and asbestos in the buildings

5.    Transportation – none available – shuttle to downtown and train would be ideal

6.    Historic Resources – buildings are beautiful, but likely too far gone to be preserved

7.    Arts & Culture – it would serve the town well to spend to make such uses happen

8.    Housing – will be the economic engine of any development, and if planned well, even if dense, need not be feared in terms of municipal costs and impacts

9.    Open Space & Recreation – exist in abundance, and will continue to exist in abundance even if the town opts for a dense development