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Adams Ready For Stormwater Compliance

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The town is prepared to meet federal compliance in stormwater management and will officially begin the process next month.
The Selectmen met with Melissa Provencher of the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission on Wednesday to go over the MS4 Storm Water Management Permit Program in which the town needs to submit its notice of intent to the state Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency by Sept. 30.
"I just wanted to make sure that the board members felt comfortable and know that we ware paying attention to this," interim Town Administrator Donna Cesan said. "…I think people initially thought the sky was falling but I think because we have done some preparatory work and the DPW has already has good practices this is really manageable."
Provencher said the NOI will outline what the town intends to do to meet six best management items spelled out in the program: public education and outreach, public involvement and participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site stormwater runoff control, stormwater management in new development and redevelopment, and good housekeeping and pollution prevention.
Upon the submission, there will be a five-year window during which the town will have to execute other actions such as creating a stormwater management plan that embellishes on the NOI.
"There are definitely some things you are going to want to begin implementation on this year," Provencher said. "There are some things that are a bit easier to pick up then others and others will take a bit more time."
Cesan said much of this work has been done because the town thought it was going to be looped into a different tier of the program with earlier deadlines. She said much of what the town has to do to meet compliance they already do and for over a decade they have been preparing.
"There is going to be some cost to the town but because we already did so much of this work that cost will be minimal," Cesan said. "I don’t think we will need any new staff to implement this, I don’t think we will need $100,000 worth of mapping, and … I think this will have a minimal impact on both the town budget and the town staff."
Cesan said the town even received a DEP grant to create a Stormwater Strategic Plan that she believes with some tweaking could be used as the stormwater management plan that is due next year.
Provencher agreed and said the town is well on their way to compliance. 
"I think the town is in very good shape in a lot of ways and there is so much that you are already doing," she said. "I think there is going to be some additional steps - some bylaws that you haven’t tackled yet, but you do have time because you are new to the program."
Provencher briefly outlined what the town needs to do to hit more marks within the five years. She said the town will have to adopt a stormwater bylaw and do some mapping. She said much of the work is just designating groups or town boards to manage aspects of the program and follow up reporting.

Tags: stormwater,   

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