Dear CRWC Member,
Last night CRWC staff, board, and members joined other community members to express concerns over Holyoke’s wastewater discharge permit. Every year Holyoke, Springfield and Chicopee, MA discharge over one billion gallons of sewage-containing overflow directly into the Connecticut River, causing significant pollution downstream of the Holyoke Dam. CRWC members and allies raised these concerns:
§ Holyoke continues to operate 14 outfall pipes, with no numerical limits set for these discharges. There is no overall plan or schedule for eliminating sewage discharge from these outfalls.
§ Like all discharge permits along the Connecticut in MA, this draft permit does not set nutrient limits on wastewater. Connecticut is spending lots of money to comply with nutrient limits to improve the health of Long Island Sound, which has a dead zone from nutrient overload. It’s time for MA to reduce nutrient loading, too.
§ Cleaning up the riverfront provides an opportunity for community revitalization. Construction costs are only rising. The time to fix these problems is now.
If you did not have an opportunity to join us last night, it is not too late to make a difference. But to do so you need to take action right now. The public comment period ends tomorrow, September 21, at midnight. Call, e-mail, or fax the Environmental Protection Agency and MA Department of Environmental Protection. Their contact information is below. To read the permit, go to: http://www.epa.gov/NE/npdes/permits/draft/2007/draftma0101630permit.pdf.
Together, we can make a difference.
CRWC Executive Director
EPA CONTACT INFORMATION:
Municipal Permits Branch
One Congress Street – Suite 1100
Boston, MA 02114-2023
TEL. (617) 918-1619
FAX: (617) 918-2064
MA DEP CONTACT INFORMATION:
MA Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Watershed Management
627 Main Street
TEL: (508) 767-2796
FAX: (508) 791-4131
Chelsea Reiff Gwyther
Connecticut River Watershed Council
15 Bank Row, Greenfield, MA 01301
p (413) 772-2020 ext 202 — f (413) 772-2090