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News Release
RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462

For Release:

September 25, 2000

Contact:

Sally J. Spadaro 222-4700 ext. 2426
Stephanie Powell 222-4700 ext. 4418

HUNT RIVER WATERSHED MEETING ANNOUNCED

PROVIDENCE- The Department of Environmental Management will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, September 27th, at the East Greenwich Town Hall to discuss strategies for restoring water quality in the Hunt River watershed.

DEM has developed a water quality restoration plan to reduce bacterial contamination in the Hunt River and its tributaries to acceptable levels. The plan, which is required by the Clean Water Act, establishes the maximum pollutant loading that a waterbody can assimilate and still meet water quality standards. Accordingly, the plan is also known as TMDLs, or Total Maximum Daily Loads.

The Hunt River, and its associated tributaries and wetlands in North Kingstown and East Greenwich, serve as important fish and wildlife habitat and support a wide variety of recreational activities.

During dry weather, sections of the Hunt River and several of its tributaries do not meet the water quality standards for fecal coliform bacteria. The problem is even more pronounced following wet weather conditions, as evidenced by DEMís water quality sampling results.

The principal sources of pollution in the watershed are stormwater runoff from paved areas, i.e., roads, parking lots and buildings. Other significant sources include agricultural runoff, pigeons roosting under an overpass, and waste from domestic pets and waterfowl. In addition, large populations of Canada Geese are likely contributing to water quality degradation in localized areas of the watershed. The restoration plan identifies means to reduce and prevent pollution from these sources.

The draft water quality restoration plan will be presented at the September 27th meeting, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the East Greenwich Town Hall, 125 Main Street, East Greenwich. A public review and comment period will extend until October 27.

The executive summary of the plan is available on line at http://www.dem.state.ri.us/huntrvr/index.htm and at local libraries. Additional information about the meeting and watershed management is available by calling Brian Zalewsky in DEMís Water Quality Assessments Section at 222-4700 ext. 7145.


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