State Officials Seek to Reduce Stormwater Pollution

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), in partnership with the Statewide Stormwater Coalition, announced the launch of a new stormwater awareness campaign to help Massachusetts cities and towns comply with new federal stormwater management requirements. The announcement was made during an event at the Joseph H. Gibbons Elementary School in Stoughton.

“Stormwater runoff threatens the health of all water resources across Massachusetts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “This unique public education campaign provides important information to residents, businesses and developers about what they can do to reduce these contaminants in our environment and keep our rivers and streams safe from pollution.”

The public awareness campaign, “Think Blue Massachusetts,” is designed to generate awareness among businesses and residents of the effects of stormwater pollution on waterways and wetlands and encourage people to do their part to reduce pollution from stormwater runoff. The campaign was developed by the Statewide Stormwater Coalition with a grant from MassDEP and will help 260 communities in Massachusetts meet new federal requirements for stormwater management. The new permit, called the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, requires cities and towns to implement a host of stormwater pollution prevention efforts, including public educational activities and outreach to targeted audiences.

“The new campaign is a toolkit to help cities and towns meet the public education and outreach requirements of MS4,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “The material is available online and can be easily downloaded and customized to reflect a community’s individual needs. It provides one-stop shopping for our local officials who are working hard to meet these requirements.”

Stormwater runoff occurs when rain or snow-melt travels along roadways and parking lots and picks up contaminants on its way to local rivers, streams and groundwater sources. Contaminants – such as fertilizer, trash, oils, gasoline, solvents, pollen and pet waste – is washed into catch basins and into our stormwater systems and eventually discharged into the environment. The new requirements in the MS4 permits will reduce the overall amount of stormwater runoff entering our waterbodies.

MassDEP is responsible for ensuring clean air and water, safe management and recycling of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills and the preservation of wetlands and coastal resources.

Read More

May Day Observances

May Day Observances

Chelsea residents held up a sign reading “Chelsea Workers United” as they marched on Broadway for International Workers’ Day on Tuesday, May 1, in the annual May 1st Coalition procession from East Boston to Chelsea and Everett. After the march, a rally was held in Everett with all three communities showing solidarity for numerous causes.

Read More

City Conducts Flag Raising Ceremony in Coordination with Gay Pride Month

By Cary Shuman

City Councillor Matt Frank, Jimmy Dwyer, and John Valinch organized a ceremony celebrating June as National Gay Pride Month for the first time in the city’s history.

Dwyer presided over the ceremony that was held June 18 at City Hall. The day included a memorial to the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting, speakers, and culminated with the Gay Pride flag raising.

The Rev. Ellen Rohan Ball and the Rev. Edgar Gutierrez-Duarte honored the victims of the tragedy with the reading of the names and the beginning of the healing process.

Speakers for the flag-raising included John Valinch, who delivered a speech about the history of the Gay Pride Movement. Other speakers included State Rep. Dan Ryan and City Councillor Matt Frank.

“It was amazing to see so many people join us for this display of unity, celebration, and love,” said Frank. “This is the first time the city has ever raised the Gay Pride flag – it shows how far the city and the nation have come in regards to gay rights’ and equality.”

The rainbow-colored Gay Pride flag, flying for the first time in Chelsea’s history, is pictured following the ceremony and memorial held June 18 at City Hall.

The rainbow-colored Gay Pride flag, flying for the first time in Chelsea’s history, is pictured following the ceremony and memorial held June 18 at City Hall.

If anyone wants to be involved in the Chelsea LGBT Coalition, the email address is HYPERLINK “mailto:LGBTCoalition@gmail.com” LGBTCoalition@gmail.com.

Read More