Three Town Clean Waters Plan Moves Forward

DENNIS – The Clean Waters Community Partnership is moving forward.

Selectmen from Dennis, Harwich, and Yarmouth, along with other state and local officials, held a meeting on Thursday to discuss their proposed sewer plan including what might be added or changed.

The project has already been awarded a $2 million grant from the states Efficiency and Regionalization Grant Program, and each town has received $150,000 to further evaluate their efforts.

Martin Suuberg, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, says the state is well-informed of the problem and its biggest cause. “We’ve been aware for some time of the growing water quality problems facing Cape Cod. With the dramatic increase in development, more and more nitrogen has been discharged into the Cape’s waterways, primarily from septic systems. This contamination poses both environmental and issues related to the economy.”

The towns have been meeting on a monthly basis since June of last year. In November, their community meeting included Suuberg and State Representative Tim Whelan.

Suuberg points out that the DEP has been involved with the process for quite some time. “Mass DEP, in 2013, directed the Cape Cod Commission, and provided financial support to do it, to prepare an updated regional water quality plan in accordance with the federal Clean Water Act.”

Some cost saving estimates for the three town partnership are $100 million in capital costs and 6.5 million in operating and maintenance. These figures are based on buildout.

All three towns will need approval of the project at town meeting.

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