Thursday, July 7, 2011
State budget funds Cape wastewater study

The $30.6 billion state budget that lawmakers passed last week includes $150,000 to explore ways Cape Cod towns can save money through regional wastewater management efforts.

The money will be used to fund a comprehensive, countywide analysis by the Cape Cod Commission on wastewater issues and potential cost savings from regional planning.

"This is clear recognition at the state level of the importance of this issue not just for our communities, but for the state as a whole," state Sen. Dan Wolf, D-Harwich, said in a press release.

Part of the study will focus on areas of high-density development on Cape Cod near nitrogen sensitive watersheds. The research also will include a build-out analysis of the Cape and cost estimates for savings if towns pursue regional wastewater efforts.

Gov. Deval Patrick has 10 days from the day the budget was passed to sign it and veto any individual line items.

Cape Cod is facing a $4 billion to $8 billion price tag for wastewater projects such as sewers to reduce the flow of nitrogen into area bays and ponds. The cost of the projects pose a challenge to local officials, who are seeking ways to ease the burden on individual homeowners and taxpayers.

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