The historic Watershed Permit sets the stage for effectively addressing nitrogen pollution and helping safeguard the life of the Bay. The permit outlines the steps the Towns will take individuals and collectively to address nitrogen pollution, which is the biggest threat to the health of the Bay. The permit is the result of a collaboration of the Towns of Brewster , Chatham, Harwich and Orleans, Pleasant Bay Alliance, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, US EPA and Cape Cod Commission.
The nitrogen removal technologies proposed under the permit include a combination of traditional technologies such as sewers, and non-traditional approaches such as shellfish aquaculture to be implemented over forty years. The Watershed Permit will allow the towns to obtain permit authorization to use non-traditional technologies, and also provides a process for crediting towns with the nitrogen removal that actually occurs.
It is an honor that the four towns that share the Pleasant Bay watershed are the first in Massachusetts to receive a Watershed Permit and it would not have been possible without the vision and support provided by town officials, volunteers and Town Meeting voters who recognize the value of working together to preserve our beautiful shared resource.