The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will hold a public meeting on Thursday, June 23, 2016 from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm in the Meeting Room of the Town Hall Annex, 856 Main Road, Westport, MA regarding the proposed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for nitrogen inputs into the Westport River. DEP staff will discuss and respond to any public comments on the TMDL report.
A TMDL is essentially a “pollution budget” and an outline of a cleanup plan designed to restore the health of an impaired waterbody. A TMDL establishes a maximum amount of pollution that a water body can accept and still meet water quality standards. The waterbody segments of the Westport River watershed are listed on the 2014 Massachusetts Integrated List of Waters (Category 5) as impaired.
The Westport Fishermen’s Association supports the proposed TMDLs as a first step in addressing a very serious problem that is degrading the river’s water quality. After this public hearing, DEP will hopefully finally issue the official TMDLs. Then the Town needs to develop an action plan that prioritizes its next steps in reducing the excess nitrogen flowing into the Westport River that is coming primarily from septic systems, lawn and agricultural fertilizers and stormwater.