Mass DEP Announces First-of-its-Kind Permit for Pleasant Bay Clean-Up

Courtesy of Pleasant Bay Alliance.
A map of Pleasant Bay.

ORLEANS – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has issued a watershed permit to aid in the clean-up of Pleasant Bay.

The first-of-its-kind permit will allow the towns of Brewster, Harwich, Orleans, and Chatham to consider a wider range of options as the pursue water quality improvement efforts in the bay.

“This permit was the result of a coordinated effort involving the alliance, the four communities that share the resource of Pleasant Bay Massachusetts DEP, with the EPA and the Cape Cod commission,” said Carole Ridley, coordinator with Pleasant Bay Alliance.

“It really is the first permit of its kind that has been issued in Massachusetts.”

Approximately 40,000 pounds of nitrogen need to be removed, and the permit would allow the municipalities to explore and implement non-traditional technologies to reduce nitrogen levels.

These technologies include shellfish bed filtration, nitrogen trading, among others.

“This permit will allow our communities to implement these programs and gain the nitrogen reduction credits they’re seeking to improve water quality in Pleasant Bay,” said Ridley.

Non-traditional technologies also offer a cost-savings.

“These are all measures that will help towns save money and hopefully implement nitrogen reduction strategies much sooner than otherwise would be possible,” Ridley said.

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