September 14th Information

& Resource Update

In this issue....

  • EPA to Exercise Residual Designation Authority in Charles, Neponset, and Mystic River Watersheds 

  • MassDOT Beyond Mobility Survey

  • DOER Draft Guidelines for Appliance Standards

  • TONIGHT: MassDOT to Host Virtual Public Information Meeting on Route 20 Improvement Project in Shrewsbury

  • MWRTA Seeking Drivers; $4,000 Signing Bonuses Available

EPA To Exercise Residual Designation Authority in Charles, Neponset, and Mystic River Watersheds 

EPA Region 1 announced today that they will exercise their residual designation authority under the Clean Water Act in the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset river watersheds. Certain commercial, industrial, and institutional properties with one or more acres of impervious area will be required to obtain coverage under an EPA Clean Water Act permit. Once permits are issued, property owners will be required to take steps to reduce pollutants in stormwater.

EPA anticipates issuing one or more general permits specifying the activities that property owners must implement to reduce stormwater pollution from their properties. Privately owned commercial, industrial, and institutional properties with 1-acre or greater impervious cover will need to seek coverage under one of these permits (or an individual permit if they prefer) and take the actions spelled out in the permits. "Institutional" includes but is not limited to medical and private higher education institutions. Housing properties, regardless of whether they are single or multi-family, will not be impacted. 

The general permits will be released in draft form for public comment in the future; EPA has not established a specific timeline for publication. Public comments on this determination will also be accepted at that time, per EPA regulations, before the draft permits are finalized. No property owner is subject to additional requirements until such time as the permits are finalized and take effect, and there will be opportunity for stakeholder comment on the draft permits. 

495/MetroWest Partnership communities that are fully or partially located within the Charles River watershed are Ashland, Bellingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, Sherborn, Wayland, and Wrentham. Portions of Foxborough and Medfield are located in the Neponset River watershed. 

Additional Information:

The 495/MetroWest Partnership has requested EPA staff present to our Water Resources Committee on this topic; an announcement regarding a stakeholder briefing is forthcoming.  

MassDOT Kicks Off Second Public Engagement Period for Beyond Mobility: Massachusetts 2050 Transportation Plan

MassDOT has announced the launch of a new online survey to better understand the transportation priorities of community members throughout the Commonwealth as part of its visioning for the upcoming Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan Beyond Mobility: Massachusetts 2050 Transportation PlanThe "Tradeoffs survey" focuses on how to prioritize limited resources across transportation investments. The survey is currently open and will run through Friday, October 14th, 2022. Click here to access the survey. 

Additionally, MassDOT has launched a series of fact sheets that outline the Beyond Mobility scenario planning process, which includes information on how climate change, telecommuting, population shifts, social inequities, and technological advancements will influence potential mobility outcomes and solutions. 

MassDOT will also be hosting a series of community-centered engagement activations, which involve outreach street teams setting up kiosks across the Commonwealth to inform commuters and onlookers about the survey. Click here to access the community activations schedule. One such event will be held in the 495/MetroWest region, at a date to be determined, at the Framingham Commuter Rail Station.

DOER Releases Draft Guidelines for Interpreting Appliance Efficiency Standards Regulations

On August 8th, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) released its draft guidelines interpreting 225 CMR 9.00 (Appliance Efficiency Standards) proposing additional detail about how the regulation will be implemented. The draft guidelines clarify DOER enforcement protocol and specify requirements for all regulated parties including the following actors in the supply chain for the covered products:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Retailers
  • Installers

An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (“the Act”), signed by Governor Baker on March 26th, 2021, included new energy and water efficiency standards for 15 new product types. These standards prohibit the sale and installation of inefficient versions of the covered products. On December 24th, 2021, DOER promulgated regulations pursuant to the Act that cover the following 15 product types: 

  • commercial hot-food holding cabinets
  • computers and computer monitors
  • state-regulated general service lamps
  • high CRI fluorescent lamps
  • plumbing fittings
  • plumbing fixtures
  • portable electric spas
  • water coolers
  • residential ventilating fans
  • commercial ovens
  • commercial dishwashers
  • commercial fryers
  • commercial steam cookers
  • spray sprinkler bodies
  • electric vehicle supply equipment 

The prohibition on sales and installation of non-compliant products will take effect on January 1st, 2023. Click here to view the draft guidelines.  

TONIGHT: MassDOT to Host Virtual Public Information Meeting

on Route 20 Improvement Project in Shrewsbury

MassDOT will host a Live Virtual Public Information Meeting to present the design for the proposed Route 20 Corridor Improvements project in Shrewsbury. The event will be hosted at 6:30 PM tonight, Wednesday, September 14th.

The purpose of this meeting is to provide the public with the opportunity to become fully acquainted with the proposed Route 20 Corridor Improvements project. All views and comments submitted in response to the meeting will be reviewed and considered to the maximum extent possible.

The proposed project between Route 9 and the South Street/Green Street intersection consists of the addition of an eastbound travel lane, left-turn lanes, two roundabouts and a median separating Route 20 eastbound and westbound directions between the two roundabouts. The project will also address the lack of multi-modal transportation options with the addition of 5-foot sidewalks and 10-foot shared use paths with grass buffers throughout the project area.

This is a virtual event; click here to access additional information, including the link to participate in the public meeting.

MWRTA Seeking Drivers; $4,000 Signing Bonuses Available

The MetroWest Regional Transit Authority (MWRTA) is currently seeking drivers for both its fixed route and demand response services. Free Class C CDL training is available. For a limited time, a $4,000 sign-on bonus is available. Click here for additional information

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.
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