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RI Department of Environmental Management
235 Promenade St., Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-2771 TDD/(401) 222-4462
DEM, USDA PROVIDING FUNDS FOR POLLUTION ABATEMENT AT DAIRY FARM
PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has awarded $75,000 to the Bailey Dairy Farm in East Greenwich for projects to abate water pollution in the Hunt River attributed to runoff from the farm. The grant is matched by $58,000 from the US Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, which also worked with the farmer to design the necessary improvements.
The Bailey Dairy Farm is a historic farm located between Route 4 and Route 2 south of Middle Road in East Greenwich. It contains several wetlands and borders Fry Brook and several other tributaries to the Hunt River. DEM has found elevated fecal coliform bacteria levels in the stream near the farm, attributed in part to cow manure washed into the streams and wetlands with each rainfall.
Several improvements are planned to reduce the amount of manure runoff from the farm. An open, roofed structure, known as a "loafing area," will be constructed to provide a facility where cows can congregate out of the rain; the concrete floors of the facility can be easily cleaned after use and the runoff contained. To exclude livestock from the streams and wetlands, fencing and stream bridges will be installed. Moreover, a new manure storage structure will be built to shelter the collected manure from rain.
Improvements are also being made to reduce other potential sources of water pollution from the farm. A fuel containment structure will be built to protect groundwater from potential contamination from diesel fuel and gasoline stored at the farm. A failing septic system at the milkhouse has already been replaced.
All of the improvements are expected to be made over the next two years.
"This project demonstrates DEMís commitment to work with farmers to mitigate environmental impacts while supporting them as stewards of the land," said DEM Director Jan Reitsma. "We commend Mr. Bailey for his efforts to improve his farm and the watershed around it."
DEM's funding comes from the unexpended balance of the third and final round of grants from the $1.5 million Non-Governmental Water Pollution Control Facilities Fund. That fund is part of the RI Clean Water Act Environmental Trust Bond Fund, approved by Rhode Island voters in 1986. The program has provided funds to businesses, non-profit organizations, and other non-governmental entities for water pollution abatement projects.