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Buzzards Bay National Estuary Program

2000 Announcement on Stormwater Grants Available

February 22, 2000

To: Buzzards Bay Boards of Selectmen and DPWs

From: Joseph E. Costa, Ph.D.

CC: Buzzards Bay Action Committee Representatives, Conservation Commissions, Boards of Health

Re: Grant Fund award for stormwater remediation designs

In accordance with an Interagency Service Agreement with the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHD) for a Transportation Enhancement (ISTEA) Grant, the Buzzards Bay NEP National Estuary Program (1) is providing selected coastal Buzzards Bay watershed towns with a minimum of $12,000 to assist in the development of engineering designs for a stormwater remediation project.

The purpose of the BBP Enhancement Program grant was to inventory all stormwater discharges, catchment basins and drainage areas near shore in Buzzards Bay (see attached example) and evaluate drainage areas and their impact on shellfish beds. This information will be contained in an Atlas of Stormwater Discharges in Buzzards Bay. Copies of the draft atlas will be made available to municipalities this Summer, subject to MHD funding. We will include recommendations from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries in the Atlas and each municipal Public Works department. The atlas will include a list of top priority sites for each town.

Based on this evaluation, the Buzzards Bay NEP will provide towns with a grant to develop engineering plans for the remediation of top priority sites contributing to shellfish bed closures. By having these completed designs, Buzzards Bay municipalities will be in an excellent position to obtain other remediation grant funds from other programs (e.g., Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management's Coastal Pollution Remediation Program and the Department of Environmental Protection's 319 program). These implementation programs favor applications where designs have already been completed.

This is not a grant solicitation; funds will be made available to any Buzzards Bay watershed municipality interested in participating in this program. Because the grant targeted only discharges shoreward of principal state highways, only selected municipalities are eligible for funding. Because of the presence of combined sewer overflow discharges, the City of New Bedford is not eligible. Eligible towns include Westport, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, Wareham, Bourne, and Falmouth. However, specific stormwater remediation projects must be located principally within coastal the coastal areas as approximated on the attached map. The projects must also be among the top priorities identified in the Buzzards Bay stormwater atlas that are contributing to shellfish bed closures. Town's must provide a 25% match or total project cost (=33% of grant award). This match can be met through cash or in-kind services.

If a municipality is interested in receiving these funds, a representative of the municipality must send a brief letter of interest to the Buzzards Bay NEP by 4:00 P.M. Thursday, March 23, 2000. Fax submissions (to 508-291-3628) are acceptable. A municipality need not identify the specific project to be funded, just that they wish to use the funds for the purposes provided. A municipal contact should be identified for contract administration should be identified in the letter of interest.

A total of $96,000 is available for this program. Funds will be evenly divided among interested municipalities. Because eight towns are eligible, a minimum of $12,000 would be provided to every participating town for stormwater designs. If less than eight towns participate, individual awards will be larger than this amount.

Payments would be made using the following procedure: Municipalities would enter into a standard Terms and Condition Contract with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. For at least two, funding would be provided through the Southeast Regional Planning and Economic Development District. The municipal Conservation Commission will be considered the lead agency, but where appropriate, Boards of Selectmen or Town Administrators will be the authorizing signatory on the contract. Contracts will run from April 20, 2000 to December 15, 2000. Contract funds are awarded on a reimbursement basis. For example, the town would initiate an appraisal and request a reimbursement for their expenditure from the Buzzards Bay NEP after the appraisal is complete. Payments are wired electronically to municipal accounts by the state Comptroller. Municipalities would only proceed with expenditures under their contract after the Buzzards Bay NEP has confirmed that the proposed expenditure meets the eligibility requirements of this award.

Please do not hesitate to call me at 508-291-3625 if you have any questions regarding this initiative.

1. The Buzzards Bay NEP is an advisory and planning unit of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone Management Office within the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs.