Category Archives: Environmental

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.

MMA

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

URGENT: YOUR LEGISLATOR WILL VOTE NEXT WEEK ON IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION FILED BY GOV. BAKER

  1. 4254 WOULD ALLOW THE STATE TO OVERSEE FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS – INCLUDING MS4 STORMWATER PERMITS

THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT, NATURAL RESOURCES AND AGRICULTURE EXPECTED TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARING ON H. 4254 NEXT WEEK…

…AND YOUR LEGISLATOR IS ON THE COMMITTEE THAT WILL DECIDE WHETHER THE BILL MOVES FORWARD

PLEASE CALL TODAY AND ASK YOUR LEGISLATOR TO SUPPORT AND VOTE IN FAVOR OF H. 4254 IN COMMITTEE

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,

 

Dan

_________________________________________

Daniel K. Moon

President and Executive Director

Environmental Business Council of New England

375 Harvard St., Suite 2

Brookline, MA 02446

617-262-4050

dmoon@ebcne.org

www.ebcne.org


PAST WINNERS –

The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration
2013
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
2012
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
2011
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
2010
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
2009
Governor Deval Patrick
The EBC Nicholas Humber Environmental-Energy Award for Outstanding Collaboration
2008
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
2007
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
2006
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
2005
Mayor Menino’s Green Building Task Force
Jim Hunt, Chief of Environmental and Energy Services, City of Boston
2003
NSTAR
Pamela J. Szatek – Director, Procurement
Stephen J. Driscoll – Director, Materials Management/Transportation
Dennis K. Burke, Inc.
Ed Burke, President
2002
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!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EA-RerqAA4&ab_channel=MichaelCowell

MS4 from EPA

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

Gateway-1

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

Gateway-3

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

Trees save towns $

This came in today on the benefits of trees to a town, some of which are economic in ways that had not occurred to me.  For instance, one benefit is extended roadway asphalt life due to the shading and temperature control.

Medfield needs better data on all our town trees by means of an inventory, and then a thoughtful plan on where and when to plant more trees.

Also, I noticed while jogging at the former MSH site this weekend that many of the sugar maples that line the main entrance driveway that crosses the front view scape are now looking like they are beyond saving, and since they are now the town’s responsibility, we should probably cut many down and trim the rest, to reduce the safety risk and prolong the life of those we can save.  In years past someone has taped the trees for their sap to make maple syrup, which is a great synergy, especially if the sugar shack could be located in town –  Weston has one attached to its middle school and the kids help out.

Finally, the DPW was at the former MSH site this weekend taking collapsed porches off some buildings.

Below is an excerpt from the tree article –


 

Everyone knows trees are good for the environment – they generate oxygen, filter air pollutants and absorb rainwater during storms. A growing volume of research indicates trees are also providing perks to local transit, quality of life and property values.

According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, for every single street planted – at a cost of around $300 – the city will enjoy more than $90,000 in direct benefits throughout the lifetime of the tree. The research suggests adding trees to urban landscapes can bring about a significant number of benefits to the local community including:

  • Increased motorized traffic and pedestrian safety through reduced speeds
  • Creating safer walking environments
  • Increased access to green space
  • Boosted security
  • Economic growth and sustainability
  • Less drainage infrastructure
  • Protection from rain, sun and heat
  • Reduced impact of tailpipe emissions
  • Gas transformation efficiency
  • Lower urban air temperatures
  • Reduced blood pressure, improved overall emotional and psychological health
  • Added value to adjacent homes, businesses and taxes