Housatonic River Natural Resource Restoration

 
 
 




USFWS


Mass EEA

 

 

 

 

 

 


Natural resources of the Housatonic River Basin have been injured by the release of chemical wastes, primarily polychlorinated biphenyls ("PCBs"), from the General Electric facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.  The contamination has affected aquatic organisms and their habitats, as well as water-related natural resources such as waterfowl and predators that consume contaminated aquatic organisms.  In addition to the harm done to natural resources, natural resource services have been impaired.  Natural resource services are functions provided by natural resources for the benefit of humans or other natural resources, such as recreational fishing for humans or nesting habitats for birds.

Restoration is managed by a group of federal, state, and local stakeholders. A group of Trustees as well as Connecticut and Massachusetts SubCouncils have been convened to guide the restoration process and to solicit input from the public.

The MA SubCouncil has retained the assistance of Stantec Consulting Services Inc. (Stantec)1 through a contract with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to coordinate restoration activities. 

 


Latest News


Public Meeting and Public Comment Period – Draft Round 4 Restoration Plan 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, together comprising the Massachusetts SubCouncil of the Housatonic River Natural Resource Trustees (MA SubCouncil), will hold a public meeting on May 1, 2019, at 5:30 PM at the Lenox Public Library (Welles Gallery), 18 Main Street, in Lenox, MA, to present the Draft Round 4 Restoration Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (RP/SEA) for the Massachusetts Housatonic River Watershed Restoration Program (Restoration Program). Round 4 of the Restoration Program will provide a means to disburse up to $1.5 million of the approximately $7.75 million recovered from General Electric to fund compensatory restoration projects that restore, rehabilitate, replace, and/or acquire the equivalent of injured natural resources and their services in the Massachusetts watershed of the Housatonic River.

The Draft Round 4 RP/SEA presents the MA SubCouncil’s preferred compensatory restoration projects for Round 4 of the Restoration Program. The Draft Round 4 RP/SEA will be subject to public comment for a 30-day period beginning on April 16, 2019, and ending at 5:00 PM, May 15, 2019. The Draft Round 4 RP/SEA is available on-line at www.ma-housatonicrestoration.org/library and hardcopies are available at the Lenox Library and other public libraries in the Housatonic River watershed.

The MA SubCouncil will receive public comments during the May 1, 2019, public meeting, and written public comments on the Draft Round 4 RP/SEA will be accepted until May 15, at 5:00 PM, at:

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup
One Winter Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Re: BWSC-NRD-2018-12
Att: Thomas M. Potter

The Final Round 4 RP/SEA, addressing written comments received during the public comment period, will be developed after the close of the public comment period.

Additional information can be obtained by contacting Thomas M. Potter, MassDEP, State Trustee Representative and Lead Administrative Trustee, at 617-292-5628 or thomas.potter@state.ma.us.

ROUND 1 RESTORATION PROJECTS

·       West Branch of the Housatonic River Revitalization – Dam Removal Component – City of Pittsfield & MA Division of Ecological Restoration

·     Rare Species Recovery on the Housatonic River – MA Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program

·     Housatonic Flats Land Acquisition Project – Berkshire Natural Resources Council

·     Barker Conservation Area Acquisition Project – City of Pittsfield

·     Housatonic River Floodplain Forest Restoration Project – Project Native

·     Great Barrington Housatonic River Walk – Great Barrington Land Conservancy

·     Old Mill Trail – Housatonic Valley Association (HVA)

·     Enhanced Public Access to the Housatonic River – HVA & ESS Group

·     Housatonic Environmental Literacy Program (HELP) for the River – Mass Audubon in partnership with HVA

·     Berkshire Conservation Agent Program – Berkshire Regional Planning Agency

ROUND 2 RESTORATION PROJECTS

·       Invasive Species Control in the Housatonic River Watershed – Native Habitat Restoration

·     Bartholomew’s Cobble Floodplain Forest Restoration and Habitat Improvement Project – The Trustees of Reservations

·     Habitat Continuity Project – HVA & Berkshire Environmental Action Team & City of Pittsfield

·     Sackett Brook Restoration Project – Education Component – Mass Audubon

ROUND 3 RESTORATION PROJECTS

·      Green River & Hinsdale Flats land acquisitions – MA Dept. of Fish and Game

·     Thomas and Palmer Brook Conservation Project – Berkshire Natural Resources Council

·     Jug End Fen Conservation Area – MA Dept. of Fish and Game

·     Parsons Marsh Conservation Project – Berkshire Natural Resources Council

·     Lime Kiln Farm Wildlife Sanctuary – Mass Audubon

Additional information can be obtained by contacting Thomas M. Potter, MassDEP, at 617-292-5628 or thomas.potter@state.ma.us.

 


   

 

 

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  1Field work and report filings performed prior to October 1, 2007, were conducted by Woodlot Alternatives, Inc.  On October 1, 2007, Woodlot Alternatives, Inc. was acquired by Stantec Consulting Services Inc.  
     
 
 

Massachusetts SubCouncil, Housatonic River Natural Resource Trustees
1 Winter Street, 6th Floor, Boston, Massachusetts 02108
(617) 292-5785