EPA Recognizes Progress on Cape Cod’s 208 Plan Implementation

HYANNIS – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is acknowledging the progress being made in water quality improvements across Cape Cod.

The federal agency recently accepted and incorporated the 2017 Implementation Report drafted by the Cape Cod Commission into the Cape Cod Water Quality Management Plan Update.

The report reviews progress being made through local, regional and state regulatory changes to meet the challenges of nutrient pollution from wastewater.

“There’s a lot of work being done in shared watersheds which is a really positive step forward for the Cape communities in addressing this issue,” said Kristy Senatori, the acting executive director of the Cape Cod Commission.

Four towns have collaborated on the Pleasant Bay Watershed, the towns of Dennis, Yarmouth and Harwich are discussing a partnership to deal with wastewater issues, and the Upper Cape communities are working together on the Popponesset Bay watershed.

“Different types of progress is being made in these different watersheds and really they are looking at different types of solutions across the board that can be implemented,” Senatori said. “It’s really a positive step forward in being able to implement some of the recommendations in the 208 plan.”

Senatori said the EPA does recognize that more work needs to be done.

“I think that that’s what their letter signifies and that they are excited at the progress being made but do anticipate that additional steps need to be taken over the next year and into the future to make sure the progress is continued,” she said.

The report has identified 11 priority watersheds which should receive attention over the next 12 months.

The commission’s report was fist submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for review. MassDEP then forwarded the plan with comments to the EPA. Both state and federal regulators referenced the need for the region and communities to maintain progress towards the implementation of the plan.

The commission has forwarded the approved changes to the plan to the county’s Assembly of Delegates for consideration. The Assembly is expected to discuss the revisions in the coming weeks.

The Implementation Report and individual watershed reports can be found at www.capecodcommission.org/208.

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