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Commissioners Share News, Elect Officers, Tour Green Infrastructure

Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017 | Posted in iWR

iWR October 2017 Front Page

Stormwater infiltration and urban development are compatible, according to Kate England of the Boston Water and Sewer Commission. England led NEIWPCC’s Commissioners on a tour of green infrastructure in downtown Boston on September 28. Above, she explains how pavers with an open lattice design provide both infiltration and a durable surface for driving and parking. Also viewing the pavers (left to right): Maine Commissioner Mick Kuhns, NEIWPCC’s Michael Jennings, and Connecticut Commissioner Yvonne Bolton.

Vermont experienced widespread algae blooms in late September, according to Pete LaFlamme of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

Meanwhile in Connecticut, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is deploying its limited resources on the agency’s most critical services as that state grapples with a budget crunch.

Welcome to the state reports, where members of NEIWPCC’s governing Commission share news about challenges and ongoing work in their agencies and their states.

The reports are a regular, and lively, part of every Commission and Executive Committee meeting. These excerpts are gleaned from the Commission’s September meeting in Boston.

In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker is seeking state authority to write discharge permits currently issued by the EPA. He has asked the legislature to authorize such a request to the Federal government.

In New Hampshire, a legislative committee is studying the possibility of doing the same.

Rhode Island is taking the EPA’s side in a legal dispute between the agency and the City of Taunton, Massachusetts. Taunton sued the EPA to contest the terms of its wastewater discharge permit, which would require a costly upgrade. Narragansett Bay is downstream.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is drafting a new general storm sewer permit in advance of the current permit’s expiration in July of 2018. The Department is gathering comments from affected local governments.

In New York, public alert systems are increasing public awareness and public concern about algae blooms and sewer overflows.

Also at its September meeting, the Commission elected officers. The new chair is Douglas Fine, who is assistant commissioner for water resources for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

The Vice Chair is Mark Klotz, the director of the Division of Water at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Richard Kotelly of Massachusetts was reelected as the Commission’s Treasurer.

Commissioners also viewed green-infrastructure projects in Boston (photo).

iWR • October 2017 • To front page