Friday, March 06, 2009

Federal Funding For Easton's Pollution

It's good news for both Newport & Middletown: "Newport Mayor Jeanne-Marie Napolitano and Department of Utilities Director Julia A. Forgue went to the Statehouse this morning to accept a $2.5 million state grant that will help pay for an ultraviolet facility to treat stormwater before it flows into Easton’s Bay. The stormwater, with its bacterial contamination, collects in the moat around Easton’s Pond and has been responsible for swimming bans at Easton’s Beach." (NDN)

Both towns were going to have to come up with big bucks to pay for this treatment plant to contain some of the pollution which causes Easton's or First Beach closings (and Atlantic Beach in Middletown) during the summer beach season. Will this new facility solve the problem? No, but it ameliorates it. The system which is quite expensive to run, has a certain capacity for cleaning water. If the capacity is exceeded, and it may be in very heavy rains, the polluted water carries directly into the beach water. If the system is not being run (non-beach season), then the pollution continues.

This State grant is also giving monies directly to Middletown to help with its sewer/wastewater problems in the area of town by the moat feeding into the beach. What the town has been trying to do is seperate these two systems and repair them. Good news all around for both towns. And not from our property taxes. Hurrah! Although I'm still waiting to see the street improvements which the State promised more than 3 yrs. ago. They were supposed to continue from E. Main down Aquidneck Ave., eliminating open ditches, & adding sidewalks. This project is no longer on any funding list. Darn! The State has spent little enough improving its own streets here for years.

Thanks to NDN reporters Sean Flynn & Matt Sheley.
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