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Mendon Selectmen Receive Stormwater Management Update

The Mendon Board of Selectmen held a discussion on August 6 regarding the town's stormwater management program following a presentation by Gabrielle Belfit, a Senior Environmental Scientist with Belfit of Tighe & Bond.

"We are here tonight to bring you up to speed on the state and federal stormwater regulations, the status of Mendon's stormwater program, looking ahead to the next five years on what is going

to be needed to comply with the new permit, and funding projections," said Belfit regarding the presentation.

Stormwater is the largest remaining cause of water quality problems in the United States, which is why the Environmental Protection Agency began to implement the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The EPA regulates three groups including construction discharges, municipalities, and industrial sites.

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems, known as

MS4s, include both large and medium municipalities, small municipalities with an urbanized area, such as Mendon, and quasi- municipal facilities that could include a university or highway system.

According to Belfit, MS4 is basically made up of roads, road systems, drainage, catch basins, gutters, ditches and storm drains. "Mendon has mapped it's stormwater system. It has over 200

outfalls; mostly discharged to the Blackstone watershed and a handful to the Charles River watershed," she said.

Mendon, like all communities, is required to incorporate best management practices for six minimum controls including public education and outreach, public participation, illicit discharge detection, construction site runoff control, post construction stormwater management, and pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations. Various departments are responsible for making certain each practice completed.

Belfit noted that Mendon is complying with current requirements and that Highway Surveyor Alan Tetreault has done a good of job staying on top of the regulations. "There's relatively few gaps that need to be filled in. It's extraordinary in part because he's had a limited budget. He done a very good job staying on task," she said.

New permit requirements include developing specific operational procedures for each department. A task force with representatives from the involved departments, which include the Planning Board, the Board of Health, Conservation Commission and possibly a member emergency management will be required to sit on the newly created task force to create a notice of intent by October 1.

Over the next five years, it's estimated that stormwater management will cost the town approximately $225,000. "It does come to be about $45,000 per year," said Belfit.


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