Public Comment Period Begins For 208 Water Quality Management Plan Update

Mark Forest, who is a candidate for County Commissioner; Paul Niedzwiecki, Cape Cod Commission Executive Director; Patti Daley, Cape Cod Commission Deputy Director; Barnstable Town Councilor Ann Canedy talk during the release of the 208 Plan draft to stakeholders last Friday at Cape Cod Community College.

Mark Forest, who is a candidate for County Commissioner; Paul Niedzwiecki, Cape Cod Commission Executive Director; Patti Daley, Cape Cod Commission Deputy Director; Barnstable Town Councilor Ann Canedy talk during the release of the 208 Plan draft to stakeholders recently at Cape Cod Community College.

CAPE COD – Supported by more than 6,000 pages of analysis, recommendations and background documents, the Cape Cod Commission released the public Draft Narrative of the Section 208 Water Quality Management Plan Update for comment.

The release opens a 90-day public review and comment period through Nov. 20. In addition to written comments, regional hearings are planned in each of the four subgroup areas used to develop the plan.

The 208 Plan Update focuses on nutrient impacts to the Cape’s estuaries, primarily caused by nitrogen in wastewater.

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The 208 Plan Update reflects a watershed-based approach, as watersheds, not town boundaries, define the jurisdiction of the problem.

The approach developed through the Section 208 Plan Update looks at targeting specific watersheds with known water quality problems.

The draft is the culmination 14 months of intensive work on the plan by Commission staff, consultants and 170 stakeholders from across the Cape.

It’s also a continuation of years of Commission effort to address excessive nitrogen entering Cape Cod embayments, mainly from residential septic systems.

Release of the draft narrative will be followed by the release of all subregional watershed reports on Sept. 5.

A series of subregional public hearings will take place in September and October from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. as outlined below:

  • Sept. 10: Outer Cape, Wellfleet Preservation Hall
  • Sept. 23: Lower Cape, Chatham Community Center
  • Oct. 7: Mid Cape, Innovation Room, Cape Cod Commission
  • Oct. 21: Upper Cape, Mashpee Town Hall