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Mystic River Watershed

Mystic River Watershed Stormwater Management Community Support Solicitation

August 27, 2018

US EPA Region 1 and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection are seeking two municipalities in the Mystic River Watershed to work with over the coming year on jointly planning for enhanced stormwater management. The project is a pilot effort to support two leadership communities that want to be pro-active in finding innovative approaches to address water resource challenges.  There are many ways to improve upon traditional stormwater management practices to address nutrient pollution in our local waterways and other water resource concerns.  Through collaborative problem solving, we can develop creative and efficient solutions to achieve significant progress on water quality improvements while addressing other community water resource priorities.

The Opportunity
Two communities in the Mystic River Watershed will be selected to receive technical support from a team including the University of NH Stormwater Center, EPA, MassDEP, Eastern Research Group (ERG), and the Mystic River Watershed Association between November 2018 and June 2019. Approximately 2-6 representatives from each municipality will work with the project team over five half-day meetings to delve into challenges of effective nutrient management and explore options for strategically improving stormwater management in the next decade. This effort will specifically focus on small scale, cost effective, opportunistic stormwater controls.  While this technical assistance will help improve awareness of new approaches and may help meet the requirements of your MS4 (stormwater) permit, the project is primarily focused on creating an efficient and effective stormwater management program to address water resource concerns, rather than meeting specific MS4 permit requirements.

See the project overview document for more information.

How to Indicate Interest
All Mystic River watershed communities are welcome to apply to participate in this project.

Please submit a 1-3 page letter of interest to EPA via email to Caitlyn Whittle (whittle.caitlyn@epa.gov) and Suzanne Warner (warner.suzanne@epa.gov) by September 21.

EPA will be holding two conference calls to answer any questions about this project on September 11, 10am-11:30am and September 13, 1pm-2:30pm.  Please submit questions to whittle.caitlyn@epa.gov.

EPA will answer all questions received on or before September 14 and post the information on our website: https://www.epa.gov/mysticriver.

Consider the following questions in writing a letter of interest:

  1. What work has your community been doing in the past few years to address stormwater runoff and pollution? This could include an overview of the basic elements of your stormwater management plan.  
  2. What are your plans, aspirations or concerns moving forward in the next few years? What are the biggest challenges that your community faces in effective stormwater management?
  3. Why is your municipality ready to move to the next level on stormwater management?
  4. Who would participate on behalf of your municipality, why they are the right people, and have each of the people and organizations named committed to full engagement? It is expected that each community that applies will commit the full participation of those people who are key in managing, planning, or approving stormwater management in the municipality. The group could include municipal planning staff, DPW staff, town engineers, consultant designers and engineers invited by the town/municipality, highway department staff, conservation agents, or others.
  5. What are the most important natural water resources in your community (including rivers and ponds used for drinking water or recreation, and possibly groundwater or wetlands)?
  6. What is your municipality’s experience with green infrastructure? Does the knowledge or experience differ across municipal departments? Having little experience is a valid answer; communities will not be penalized for this in the review process.
  7. Are there other water resources challenges you are dealing with in your town (e.g. flooding, groundwater recharge, erosion, beach closures, etc.)?

The project team will review applications and select two communities by October 1. They will consider: the timeliness of this effort to the community, the level of commitment from key individuals in the community, and detail of responses indicating a willingness to start the process of identifying challenges and opportunities in stormwater management.

Timeline
  • August 27 – solicitation released
  • September 11 and 13 – conference calls for communities to ask questions about the solicitation and project
  • September 21 – deadline for letters of interest
  • October 1 – communities will be notified
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