Taunton River Coalition Advocacy Priorities
The Advocacy Subcommittee of the Taunton River Coalition has adopted six priority areas for action:
- State and federal legislation
- Implementation of Taunton River Wild and Scenic designation
- Water resources
- Municipal planning and land use regulation
- Review of impacts from new and existing projects
- State programs
Brockton Water Supply
The City of Brockton has had a long history of water supply problems.
In an effort to understand the situation’s history and more recent attempts to solve it, see our fact sheet and frequently asked questions.
TRWA Supports Nitrogen Discharge Limits for Taunton Wastewater Treatment Plant
The Taunton River Watershed Alliance strongly supports the proposal of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Region I to limit discharges of nitrogen to the Taunton River from Taunton’s wastewater treatment plant. In June, TRWA commented on the agency’s draft permit for the facility urging the agency to put the proposed limits into effect. Read our comment letter.
Nitrogen is a major cause of eutrophication in water bodies. Eutrophication is the process in which concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen rise to levels that accelerate growth and decomposition of plant life, which in turn depletes oxygen in the water, essential to fish and other aquatic organisms. The Taunton River is the largest freshwater source to Mount Hope Bay, supporting habitat for 45 species of fish. The Taunton plant discharges of 8.4 million gallons per day of effluent to the river. Sampling at sites in Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River estuary by the School of Marine Sciences at UMass Dartmouth showed pervasive low levels of dissolved oxygen in violation of the state water quality standards throughout the estuary and bay.
The federal Clean Water Act requires the EPA to regulate discharges of pollutants to the waters of the United States by issuing permits to facilities under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). The Taunton plant is currently operating under a NPDES permit that does not limit discharges of nitrogen. If the proposed limit is adopted, the nitrogen discharges from the plant would be restricted to 3.0 milligrams per liter and 210 pounds per day (averaged monthly).
EPA is now evaluating public comments on the draft permit. We are awaiting the agency’s decision and hope to see the proposed nitrogen limits retained in the final permit.