Showing posts with label EPA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EPA. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Stormwater Utility Update scheduled for Town Council meeting Jan 18, 2023

Perhaps you noticed the green info sheet on the forth coming storm water fee being implemented in July 2023 in the quarterly real estate mailer. The Town Council has an info session on the long awaited credits for rain barrels, etc. that were discussed during the run up to the approval of the storm water fee.

From the Council agenda for Jan 18, 2023

b. Discussion: Stormwater Utility Update
i. Update Memo & Draft Stormwater Credit Manual
ii. Stormwater property specific impervious surface website portal



From the Franklin Matters archive originally shared in April 2021:

One of the key items in all of the budget discussions is going to be the stormwater utility question. This has been a topic that has developed since 2007 when the initial storm water bylaw was passed. The EPA and Mass DEP have continued to add requirements to how storm water should be managed. The costs for such mitigations have grown over the years. The introduction of the storm water utility fee would allow the Town to better manage the impact on the Town budget.

Why must we manage storm water?

We are part of the area feeding into the Charles River and hence are under the provisions as outlined in the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) permit. We have an extensive outflow system to catch and manage storm water. Check out the map here -> 

Did the Town of Franklin sue the EPA?

Yes, and while we ultimately ‘lost’ the case, we did gain concessions on the implementation timeline that benefit all under the MS4 permit requirements.

When did the storm water bylaw pass?

The Storm water bylaw originally passed in 2007. Check out the bylaw language here ->

What is the storm water utility fee?

Article IV - storm water utility was added in Jan 2020. Bylaw #19-846 approved 9-0 vote. Check out the language here -> 

What is the MS4? 

Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems or by the shorter name MS4. The current storm water mitigation plan - updated in 2020 ->  Stormwater Management Plan (revised 2020)

Can I find out what my impervious coverage is?
Check out the impervious coverage map for your property ->

If you need more info on the background and information around the storm water fee follow this link ->

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Madalene Village docs from the archives

The initial application information and series of documents as Madalene Village moved through the Franklin approval cycle had been posted here and while the posts are available, the links to the docs themselves got broken over time.

The Mass EPA has scheduled hearing and input sessions for their portion of the approval required, in particular to the proposed move of the stream (at least as I understand it).

I have recreated the links in chronological order, newest first, oldest last. If you are looking for something and it doesn't appear here, let me know and I'll if I have it.

Developer Letter - Feb 2017

Town Engineer memo Feb 2017

Storm water report - revised Dec 2016

Storm water report Nov 2016

Local Bylaw - follow up Dec 2016

ConComm local bylaw - Dec 2016

Architectural Narrative - Apr 2106

Madalene Village docs from the archives
Madalene Village docs from the archives

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant Application Nu Style Jewelry Factory - Oct 24 - 6 PM (remote only meeting)

The Town of Franklin is applying for an EPA Brownfields Cleanup Grant Application for the Nu Style Jewelry Factory Site, at 21 Grove Street, Assessor Map 276 Lot 22 in Franklin, Massachusetts. 

A public meeting to discuss the Cleanup Grant Application and to receive comments will be held on October 24, 2022 at 6:00PM remotely. 

Access to the zoom meeting is or call on your phone at 312-626-6799, meeting #87942694211. 

The Draft Cleanup Grant Application includes an Analysis of Brownfields Cleanup Alternatives may be reviewed in the Department of Planning & Community Development during regular office hours. 

Please contact the Department of Planning & Community Development at (508) 520-4907 if you require further information or if you need to make arrangements to provide translation services for the hearing impaired, or for persons with language barriers.

Shared from Town of Franklin ->

Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central St
Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central St

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Recap: Economic Development Subcommittee hears about the complicated Nu-Style property

Quick Recap:
  • The neighboring residents and business property owners are not interested in remediation of the contaminated site 
  • Without additional EPA/DEP grants funds to facilitate the clean up, the Town is lacking in funds to clean it properly although it recognized  the need and obligation to do so
  • For now, the Town will continue to work the grant applications for funds, and may consider re-issuing the property for sale
My full set of notes via Twitter from the meeting ->

The Franklin TV recording of the meeting ->

Economic Development Subcommittee Meeting - Jul 20, 2022 - 5:45 PM
Economic Development Subcommittee Meeting

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Announcing MassCEC’s ACT School Bus Program

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) recently released a Notice of Intent for a new Program, Accelerating Clean Transportation School Bus (“ACT School Bus”).  MassCEC intends for this program to support electric school bus deployment and complement the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Program. MassCEC is here to help discuss your options for school bus electrification whether you own, lease, or contract with a third-party fleet. Schedule a time to meet here!
The first round of applications for EPA’s Clean School Bus rebate program are open now through August 19th! School districts and other eligible applicants can receive up to $375,000 in funding per bus based on prioritization. School districts that work with a third-party school bus company are encouraged to partner with their providers and take advantage of this funding opportunity. For more information on the EPA rebates and timeline, please visit EPA’s website to access webinars and FAQ.
Additionally, MassCEC’s ACT School Bus will offer flexible funding for deployment projects and technical assistance for electrification planning. Eligibility and prioritization will be aligned with EPA’s program. MassCEC will be opening the funding opportunity for school bus fleets in late summer 2022, after EPA applications are due. For additional information, please visit our website, sign up for our office hours, or email our team at! 

Thursday, June 16, 2022

"EPA Announces New Drinking Water Health Advisories for PFAS Chemicals"

"The Environmental Protection Agency is warning that two nonstick and stain-resistant compounds found in drinking water are more dangerous than previously thought — and pose health risks even at levels so low they cannot currently be detected. 
The two compounds, known as PFOA and PFOS, have been voluntarily phased out by US manufacturers, but there are a limited number of ongoing uses and the chemicals remain in the environment because they do not degrade over time. The compounds are part of a larger cluster of “forever chemicals” known as PFAS that have been used in consumer products and industry since the 1940s. 
The EPA on Wednesday issued nonbinding health advisories that set health risk thresholds for PFOA and PFOS to near zero, replacing 2016 guidelines that had set them at 70 parts per trillion. The chemicals are found in products including cardboard packaging, carpets, and firefighting foam."
Continue reading the Boston Globe coverage (subscription may be required)

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan speaks at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, N.C., April 14, 2022. The EPA is warning that two nonstick and stain-resistant compounds in drinking water pose health risks at levels below the government's ability to detect them.CAROLYN KASTER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Environmental Protection Agency administrator Michael Regan speaks at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, N.C., April 14, 2022. The EPA is warning that two nonstick and stain-resistant compounds in drinking water pose health risks at levels below the government's ability to detect them.CAROLYN KASTER/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Town of Franklin DPW wins "Water Conservation Award" for 2021 from MA DEP and US EPA

"Yesterday, your Public Works Department received the esteemed 2021 "Water Conservation Award" form the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This award is given out for successes in un-accounted for water (Town is less then 6%), average daily use by capita (we are a 46 gallons per person) and over all environmental stewardship.
This is truly a community award!
Your Franklin Public Works does run the Water Department on a Daily biases, but with out the investments of the Council in the infrastructure and all your help in water conservation measures this award would not be possible. So we all need to pat ourselves on the back for a job well done!"

Shared from Facebook -> 

Town of Franklin DPW wins "Water Conservation Award" for 2021 from MA DEP and US EPA
Town of Franklin DPW wins "Water Conservation Award" for 2021 from MA DEP and US EPA

Monday, March 14, 2022

Your time is needed (NOW) to pay attention to the storm water utility fee discussion

One of the recurring themes here is citizen engagement. And yes, while I attend many of the meetings and report on them so you don't need to, this week and this budget season, is THE time for you to be more engaged, period. 


The Town budget determines what services we get from the Town. No matter whether it is a pickleball court, or a ball field with nicely cut grass, books on the shelf at the library or the cafĂ© reopening at the Senior Center. The Town of Franklin is a service organization providing for all our needs and "there ain't no such this as a free lunch" (the TANSAAFL principle). Everything costs something. 

If you paid attention last week, the School Committee got their first view of the school budget. The Finance Committee got a deep dive on the DPW and all it does. The Joint Budget Subcommittee got their first look at the overall town budget. (links to the meeting audio and transcripts are provided below.)

Surprise, the initial revenue projection doesn't meet the initial expense projections. So how do we figure that out? 

This is where YOU come in to the act. If you believe that what happens in Franklin matters to you, then follow along as the discussion takes place to resolve the budget deficit this year. 

1 - Find out how the storm water utility fee takes managing storm water expenses down a more fair approach. Everyone pays a little vs. the taxpayers bearing the full burden. 

2 - Watch, listen, or read what happens at the Town Council meeting Wednesday as the discussion/action item comes up for review.

Storm water information links

 - Storm water utility information flyer

 - EPA MS4 permit quick facts and takeaways

 - Storm water items on the Wednesday Town Council agenda

Stormwater Presentation - Department of Public Works  - 
ii. Stormwater Management Plan:
Year 2 Update, July 3, 2020 - 393-page Federal Stormwater Permit
July 2021 Update 
iii. Department of Public Works:
& Parcel Level Impervious Surface Map


Last week's meeting links (audio and transcript) 

TA Jamie Hellen, Miriam Goodman and Supt Sara Ahern presenting to the Joint Budget Subcommittee
TA Jamie Hellen, Miriam Goodman and Supt Sara Ahern presenting to the Joint Budget Subcommittee

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Ted helps Steve make sense of climate - part 4 - 03/03/22 (audio)

FM #747 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 747 in the series.

This session of the radio show shares my conversation with Ted McIntyre, Franklin resident and climate activist. We recorded this via the Zoom conference bridge Mar 3, 2022.  

This is part 4 of a series on Making Sense of Climate. We talk of the weather variations, the recent MA House legislation touting wind power, the Ukraine situation, and how it ties to climate, as well recent news articles. 

Ted helps me “make sense of climate” and we hope this helps with your understanding as well. 

If you have climate questions or Franklin specific climate questions, send them in and we’ll try to answer them in a future session 

The recording runs about 38 minutes, so let’s listen to my conversation with Ted McIntyre as he helps me “make sense of climate.” Audio file ->


Links that are our talking points for this episode

Webinar for Complete Neighborhoods Initiative -> 

DOER Stretch goals (deadline extended to March 18 to submit input)

Net zero proposal


Brayton Point


Baker stalling on EJ committee

Wind legislation editorial by Rep Jeff Roy and House Speaker Mariano


Link to IPCC report page 

Bill McKibben article 

Article on IPCC report in Globe 

The Guardian article on the IPCC report


Court case could limit EPA


Implication of Supreme Court EPA possible decision beyond climate….

If you have a question to raise, you can use this form ->


Original Climate link

The 13 point article we talk to -> From WBUR -> “What you need to know about the new MASS Climate law”


Mass Climate Action Network -> 



We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio ( or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial.  

This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.


How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

For additional information, please visit or

If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.

I hope you enjoy!


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

Deepwater Wind's turbines off Block Island, R.I., as seen in 2019.RODRIQUE NGOWI/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Deepwater Wind's turbines off Block Island, R.I., as seen in 2019.RODRIQUE NGOWI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Town Council meeting recap = Jan 20, 2021 - Public House license approved, several streets accepted

Quick Recap:
  • New all alcohol license for the Public House (in Franklin Village - former location of British Beer Co)
  • Multiple streets accepted, allows for formal Town ownership, completes a process that broke when developers completed their projects in some cases years ago. Minimal patching and plowing could be done without acceptance, major repairs prohibited as government money can not be spent on private property.
  • Storm water bylaws required minor technical adjustments to bring them inline with the EPA MS4 permit. This was the first reading for the four individual bylaws to be heard. All were approved for second reading.
  • Councilor Kelly went on a 'rant' around the storm water utility fee during the storm water bylaw update thinking that the changes were bringing the utility fees to the discussion. That was not the case, the utility fee proposal, discussion, and decision will be a separate item for a future agenda but the rant continued.
  • First responder vaccine distribution completed on Wednesday, process caught attention of Milford Regional Hospital who wants to leverage our experience. No word yet on what's next for vaccine distribution. Awaiting info from MA DPH on who, what and when available. Stay tuned.

Photos captured during the meeting can be found in one folder

recording of meeting to be made available soon

As with most meetings in this pandemic period, I took my notes via Twitter during the meeting reporting in real-time via the virtual session.
The Twitter hashtag can be found online  #tc0120 

  • Shifting from one Zoom session to another to report on the Town Council meeting about to begin. Agenda doc has connection info #tc0120
  • Meeting called to order #tc0120
  • Chair Tom Mercer runs through protocol message for meeting #tc0120 reminder on incorrect calculation of interest on tax bill for 3Q. Corrected bill mailed, due date extended. online portal has correct amount.
Citizen Comment
Approval of prior minutes
  • Approval of minutes for Dec 2, 2020 via roll call passes 9-0 #tc0120 proclamation postponed to meeting in Feb Public hearing opens at 7:10 PM - license hearing for Public House
Public hearing - new alcohol license
  • Targeting for opening in May/June depending upon renovation being done, menu some carry over from The Gavel. 'Upscale American' would be Indoor and outdoor service weather permitting, capacity inside 180 (occupancy 200). No license pledge needed, self funded. #tc0120
  • All servers to be too certified, may come back with an operation manager later. #tc0120 fees reduced for this year per bylaw previously approved. Landlord needs to do something 1st, license needed to be confirmed, then restaurant would proceed. Motion 2 close hearing via roll
  • Opening hearing on street acceptances, then back to approve the license (rather than have them wait) motion to approve, seconded, passes 9-0 via roll call (Hamblen remote) #tc0120 kudos for Chrissy Whelton on this process No to the street acceptances, first wave of several
Public hearing on street acceptances
  • Last tweet should have said NOW to streets, not 'no' #tc0120 what is practical difference between public and private; primary difference town takes care of road repairs and snow plowing, the total mileage of roads helps with state reimbursement.
  • #tc0120 Q on sidewalks along Baron would they removed at sometime, and narrow like Coronation Dr. Baron is one of the work roads, can't work on it without funding, haven't taken hard look at it. Would be done via public hearing. The road is a mess. It is a concern
  • #tc0120 reinforce the state of disrepair of Baron, can't put money in it unless it is accepted. Often folks don't walk on the sidewalks, use the road instead. Don't count on getting two sidewalks, we need to reduce impervious coverage. EPA in charge of the potential fine
  • #tc0120 just not possible with EPA restrictions. Multiple councilor comments on road condition and planning for redoing eventually. It costs the Town to create the acceptance plan. We plow/filling potholes for safety reasons where streets were intended to be accepted
  • Baron due to condition would be a full depth reconstruction. #tc0120 landscaping on Coronation is aborhent claims of severely compromising safety to save some money. 1st step is recognizing the road, let's do that. Homeowners responsible for keeping sidewalks passable
Subcommittee Updates
  • #tc0120 motion to close hearing, passes 9-0 via roll call EDC met last Weds, started discussion on housing, had a pretzel discussion, need to come back with some definition, 5:45 next meeting to discuss food truck bylaw. TA review rescheduled! storm water bylaw ...
  • Passed a year ago, info sessions planned, 2 held before pandemic. #tc0120 storm water page has info and maps for property impervious coverage; utility fee more fair application, credits available, will offset ops budget funds eventually 
  • 14 Communities already have a utility fee, ours is less than the others. #tc0120 fee would raise about $1.4M each year. Would free operations capacity in FY 22 and FY 23. Check your property on the map 
  • #tc0120 Dellorco and Jones add to reinforce Hamblen's comments on the utility fee to manage the EPA mandate. Did check proof of proposed billing statement that would include the utility fee and appear on next water, sewer invoice. There are legislation tonight ...
  • To set up for the utility fee, no action on the fee itself tonight. #tc0120 * Moving to legislation for action. 
Legislation for action
Town Administrator report through to closing
  • Town Administrator report, FHS gym completed the vaccine clinics nothing wasted on doses, had backup plan for utilization of the extras Milford Regional asking for us to help them plan distribution. As to what is next? Don't know. #tc0120
  • #tc0120 early education and K-12 before the over 65 with multiple co-morbidities Health Director Liberty can now order vaccines. Some distribution will be on-site for some groups, rather than in a facility like the gym
  • #tc0120 waiting for the State to tell us when we get the next batch. For distribution to the general public, it would likely use the high school for parking, flow, etc. Billable units. Driving downtown, no cars parked at all at 11 in the morning.
  • #tc0120 "shout out to Project Envoy for helping in this way, great to see the community help." "It is sad to see the downtown so quiet and empty." "Congratulations to Declan Lynch for his scholarship win." Hotline is off the charts at SAFE Coalition with requests for help
  • #tc0120 thank the Board of Health and our paramedics, it was really well done. To hear the comments from the other Communities, it was heartening. Motion to adjourn, passes 9-0 via roll call Catch you all next time!
Town Council meeting recap = Jan 20, 2021 - Public House license approved, several streets accepted
Town Council meeting recap = Jan 20, 2021 - Public House license approved, several streets accepted