September 9th Information &
Resources Update
EPA Stakeholder Session on Potential New Stormwater Requirement for Commercial Properties

In May 2019, EPA Region 1 received a petition from the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) asking that EPA use its residual designation authority to require permits for stormwater discharges that are not otherwise regulated for commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities within the Charles River watershed in order to address phosphorus-driven algae blooms. 

EPA is now formulating a response to the petition. A residual designation could mean that properties including office parks, industrial parks, shopping centers, large-scale residential, private colleges and universities, and hospitals would be subject to new federal Clean Water Act stormwater permits. 

EPA wishes to engage stakeholders to discuss how residual designation would affect commercial real estate. This webinar will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn more and ask critical questions as EPA begins this process. Space is limited so early registration is encouraged. 

The webinar will take place on Thursday, September 17th, at 9:00 AM. Click here to register.

  • Tamara Small, CEO, NAIOP Massachusetts

EPA Region 1 Speakers:
  • Ken Moraff, Water Director
  • Newton Tedder, Senior Permit Writer
  • Erin Flannery-Keith, Attorney-Advisor

Mass. Life Sciences Center Accepting Applications for
Research Infrastructure Program

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) is currently accepting applications for its Research Infrastructure Program, formerly known as the Open or Competitive Capital Program. The purpose of the initiative is to provide grants for capital projects that support the life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts by enabling and supporting life sciences research and development in the Commonwealth.

Up to $10 million in capital dollars is available to support capital projects ranging from $1.5 million to $5 million across the state for not-for-profit partners. Applicants will have to demonstrate how the requested infrastructure will benefit the entire life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts.

The deadline to apply is November 20th, 2020 at 1:00 PM EST.

Applicants must be a Massachusetts legally organized “not-for-profit” entity such as an academic/research institution, a hospital engaged in research, business incubator or accelerator, or other not-for-profit entity that would be eligible for capital funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Institutions that are exclusively health care providers and/or requests for the purchase of equipment associated with standard healthcare would not be eligible for capital funding.

Eligible applicants must meet the following criteria:
  • Applicants must be requesting funding for life sciences “infrastructure” defined as: “advanced and applied sciences that expand the understanding of human physiology and have the potential to lead to medical advances or therapeutic applications” according to the Massachusetts General Laws (MGL), chapter 23I, section 2
  • The MLSC anticipates each award to provide $1.5 million to $5 million in funds to the eligible applicant. The MLSC expects to invest up to $10 million through this Research Infrastructure Program
  • The MLSC envisions that recipients receiving a grant under this program identify and raise additional funds for the proposed project that leverages the MLSC funding. Applicants that have succeeded in attracting significant additional funds will benefit during the review process
  • Applicants will have to demonstrate how the requested infrastructure will benefit the entire life sciences ecosystem in Massachusetts

Submission of applications must be done online. MLSC staff will conduct an initial screen and then submit to experts for review. Applicants may receive invitations to present their proposals to address questions or provide clarification. The MLSC will provide final recommendations to its Board of Directors for approval.

Upcoming Webinars on Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI)

The TCI states (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia) and Georgetown Climate Center have announced two upcoming webinars on the regional Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI). A brief description and registration information is included below.

TCI webinar on program design, modeling, and the implications of COVID-19 

This webinar will feature updates on the development of a regional low-carbon transportation policy, including presentations on new modeling results and discussion of how a regional TCI program could effectively manage a wide range of uncertainties, including those related to COVID-19. The webinar will also provide an opportunity for further public input regarding modeling and how the program could be designed to ensure participating jurisdictions achieve environmental, economic, and social equity goals.

TCI webinar on ensuring environmental justice and equity in a regional low-carbon transportation program

This webinar will focus on proposed measures intended to ensure the program fosters equity for overburdened and underserved communities, building on states’ longstanding commitment to designing a program that benefits all communities, including those on the frontlines of air pollution and climate change impacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fact that racial disparities in exposure to air pollution are reflected in disproportionate impacts of the coronavirus and other health threats. The TCI jurisdictions have received extensive input from a wide range of interested people and organizations on ways states could design and implement a regional low-carbon transportation program that advances equity and environmental justice. Informed by that input and further outreach, TCI state officials will provide updates on proposed strategies to ensure that overburdened and underserved communities benefit from investments and reduced air pollution and have opportunities for meaningful engagement in shaping TCI commitments and implementation moving forward.
MEMA to Open Round of Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities (BRIC) Funding, Municipal Governments Eligible

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) will soon begin accepting applications for its 2020 Building Resilient Infrastructure in Communities (BRIC) Program.   

The BRIC Program will support states, local communities, tribes and territories, as they undertake hazard mitigation projects reducing the risks they face from disasters and natural hazards. BRIC is a new FEMA pre-disaster hazard mitigation program that replaces the existing Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) program. The BRIC program guiding principles are supporting communities through capability- and capacity-building, encouraging and enabling innovation, promoting partnerships, enabling large projects, maintaining flexibility, and providing consistency.

Click here for further information on the BRIC Program. To access the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) directly, click here

Local governments (including cities, towns, and special district governments), and State Agencies apply to MEMA. For projects that benefit private organizations, individual homes or businesses, the local government must be the applicant on behalf of the individuals and businesses. To be eligible for project grants, applicants (except State Agencies which are covered under the Standard State Plan) must have a locally adopted and FEMA-approved Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (in accordance with 44 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 201) by the application deadline.

Statements of Interest submitted on MEMA’s website are due October 16th, 2020. Full applications will be due in the FEMA GO system on December 11th, 2020.  
Westborough-Based Online Retailer Aims to Connect Customers to Locally Sourced Products, a Westborough-based multi-vendor marketplace, is dedicated to enabling online shoppers to better identify products produced locally. This new platform is a multi-vendor eCommerce marketplace designed to serve local stores, and customers who seek to support them, as the trend towards online shopping accelerates. 

The company is offering area retailers access to a series of webinars this month, focused on generating business opportunities during the pandemic. Click here for more information. For more information, contact Dion Kenney via email.

The company is offering charter members in the MetroWest region an opportunity to sign up for free accounts without setup fees, listing fees, monthly subscription fees, or percentage of sales charges.
You're Invited: A Conversation with Senate President Karen E. Spilka
You are invited to join the 495/MetroWest Partnership for a conversation with Senate President Karen E. Spilka, focused on issues relating to municipalities and the business sector in the 495/MetroWest region as they respond to COVID-19.

This event will take place on Friday, September 18th, 2020 at 11:30 AM. Click here to register.

Senate President Karen E. Spilka represents the MetroWest communities of Ashland, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Medway and Natick, which comprise the Second Middlesex & Norfolk district. Before ascending to the presidency, she served as the Chair of the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways & Means beginning in January 2015. Prior to that, she served as the Senate Majority Whip, Assistant Majority Whip, Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies, and Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. She began her legislative career as a State Representative for the Seventh Middlesex district in 2001. Prior to becoming a legislator, Senate President Spilka was in private practice as an arbitrator and mediator, specializing in labor and employment law and community and court mediation.

Advance registration is required for this event, as capacity is limited. Questions for the Senate President may be submitted in advance via email to [email protected]; questions on similar topics will be consolidated due to time limitations.  
Biweekly MetroWest Employer Town Hall Series

Area employers are invited to join the 495/MetroWest Partnership and the MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board for our continuing discussions, occurring every other week, surrounding critical issues business are facing. We will answer questions about the various resources that are available to companies and their workers during these difficult times.

These discussions are open to any interested party, and are held every other Wednesday at 1:00 PM via Zoom. The next session will be held on Wednesday, September 16th; click here to sign up!

  • Jason Palitsch, Executive Director, the 495/Metro West Partnership
  • Greg Bunn, Executive Director, MassHire Metro South/West Workforce Board
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you. You may reach me directly via email at [email protected].

Jason Palitsch
Executive Director
The 495/MetroWest Partnership