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Chamber Opposes Proposed EPA Regulations

The Milford Area Chamber of Commerce (MACC) has sent a formal letter of comment to the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protesting its proposed regulations to manage stormwater runoff into the Charles River. "To put it simply, the business owners and property owners in these communities just do not have the financial resources to pay for the retrofitting technologies required," the letter stated.

"The stark reality is that implementation as proposed will dramatically undermine the same quality of life that you proclaim to be defending. Without the support of the municipalities and the business communities – support that, following public hearing comments, you must realize is lacking – successful implementation of the proposed regulation will prove difficult if not impossible," wrote MACC President and CEO Barry Feingold and Board Chairman Robert Kilroy.

The EPA's pilot program in Milford, Bellingham and Franklin would require anyone with two acres or more of impervious surfaces – roofs and pavement – to comply with the new regulations. At a May 12 public informational meeting in Franklin, EPA officials projected the cost of compliance as ranging from $5,100 to $117,600 per acre, depending upon soil types in affected areas.

"We strongly and respectfully request the EPA revise the pilot program so as to allow for a more realistic process and timeline," Feingold and Kilroy wrote. "As well, we recommend that the program not be implemented unless and until vital municipal support programs are established and operational, and unless and until the EPA has secured federal funding that will substantially, if not completely, mitigate the exorbitant costs that will be imposed on our communities and businesses," they continued.

"Absent such funding, there can be no credible dispute that this new program as presented by the EPA will create a devastating financial burden on local businesses and will seriously put these three communities at a tremendous disadvantage when it comes to not only attracting new economic development, but in maintaining existing development in the area," wrote Feingold and Kilroy.

On July 13, the EPA officially announced that it was extended its "public comment" period for the proposed regulations by three months – from June 30 to September 30.


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