Nonpoint Source Funding
In November 2010, the Department of Environmental Management awarded approximately $745,700 in federal Clean Water Act grants for six water quality improvement projects. The grants are from the Clean Water Act Section 319 Nonpoint Source Program administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency. They were awarded in response to a request for proposals for use of federal fiscal year 2009/2010 nonpoint source grant funds.
DEM received 36 grant proposals requesting approximately $4.8 million in funding. Highest priority in grant selection was given to construction and design projects that control or abate nonpoint source pollution impairments that have been characterized by a water quality restoration plan and projects to control nonpoint source pollution in impaired waterbodies that require a restoration plan. Priorities were given to watersheds in which significant public investment has been made, but which require additional investment to meet restoration goals.
For this RFP, DEM established an early submission date specifically for shovel-ready projects. Projects in Burrillville for porous pavement and in Warwick for removal of an onsite wastewater treatment system were selected for early award, and both have been completed.
Additional grants have recently been awarded to the towns of Bristol, Middletown and North Kingstown and to the RI Department of Transportation for projects to control and treat stormwater. These grants will fund construction of stormwater treatment structures in Bristol, Middletown and North Kingstown, and a feasibility study to identify the best approach for reducing phosphorus pollution in a watershed in Middletown.
The six projects awarded grants with the FY 2009/2010 funds are briefly described below:
Bristol: Town Beach Stormwater Pipe Retrofit Construction Project -- $158,000
This project is for construction of a gravel wet vegetated treatment system that was designed with funds from a previous nonpoint source grant. Stormwater from a large residential neighborhood currently flows untreated into a small coastal wetland adjacent to the town beach. The project is part of a large suite of low impact design retrofit projects the town is undertaking throughout the adjacent recreation area to reduce and treat stormwater runoff at Bristol Town Beach in an effort to reduce the number of beach closure days caused by excessive bacteria.
Burrillville: Stillwater Mill Porous Pavement Auxiliary Parking Lot Project - $66,030
This grant provided funding to assist the Town of Burrillville in constructing a porous pavement system at the auxiliary parking lot at the Town's new library, which is adjacent to the Clear River. The pavement was successfully installed in November 2010, and signage will soon be in place to educate the public about porous pavement systems. The site will serve as a municipal demonstration project for the newest porous pavement design processes.
Middletown: Feasibility Study for the Attenuation of Phosphorus in Stormwater in the North Easton Pond Watershed - $31,000
This project will assess the sources of phosphorus and other pollutants in the stormwater contributing to North Easton's Pond and develop a feasibility study to determine best management practices (both structural and non-structural) that can be used to reduce the phosphorus pollution.
North Kingstown: Sawmill Pond Watershed Restoration Project - $200,000
The Town of North Kingstown has recently completed the development of a watershed plan for the Sawmill Pond Watershed. This project will fund the construction of three stormwater treatment systems in the watershed and the implementation of a public education and outreach program that will include 10 demonstration rain gardens.
RI Department of Transportation: Reconstruction of Two Mile Corner - $265,000
This project is for the design and construction of a gravel wet vegetated treatment system to treat stormwater from Two Mile Corner in Middletown. This is an urbanized intersection in the Bailey Brook Watershed where West Main Road (Route 114), East Main Road (Route 138) and Coddington Highway converge. Runoff from this area currently flows untreated directly into Bailey Brook, which leads to Easton's Pond, a public water supply reservoir.
Warwick: Connection of Warwick Fire Station #5 to Municipal Sewer System - $25,711
This grant provided funding for the City of Warwick to connect Fire Station #5 to the public sewer system and to disconnect from their failed onsite wastewater treatment system. This failed system threatened groundwater that feeds the Maskerchugg River, which flows to Greenwich Bay. The project was successfully completed in July 2010.
For more information about the Nonpoint Source Grant Program, contact Betsy Dake by e-mail at Betsy.Dake@dem.ri.gov or by phone at 401-222-4700 x7230 or Ernie Panciera at Ernie.Panciera@dem.ri.gov or 401-222-4700 x7603.
Summary of RI Municipal Onsite Wastewater Programs
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2009-2010 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Implementation Grants RFP
2009-2010 NPS Grant Workshop Slides - 1/22/10
Nonpoint Source Grant Program Quality Assurance Project Plan