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News and Events

MassDOT Files DSEIR For South Coast Rail Project

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has announced that the South Coast Rail project is proceeding with the filing of the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (DSEIR) with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Office. The DSEIR document analyzes only the new elements proposed as part of Phase 1 that were not previously analyzed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS)/Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR).

Copies of the DSEIR have been distributed to thirty-six libraries in the region with briefings continuing for local leaders, stakeholder groups, and the Interagency Coordinating Group. In addition, a public meeting will be held on the DSEIR at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 6, at the Claire T. Carney Library, Grand Reading Room, at UMass Dartmouth (download a meeting flyer).

On February 7, 2018, the DSEIR is scheduled to be published in the issue of the Environmental Monitor.

Members of the public are encouraged to provide comments on the DSEIR by sending comments via letter, postcard, or email to the Secretary of Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs or by participating in a public meeting. Learn more on how to comment on the SCR website.

The 2018 Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program Grant Round is now OPEN!

Please visit the Recreational Trails Program website for updated grant guidelines, application materials, and past awarded projects

Applications are due February 15, 2018. Apply to receive funds for the construction or maintenance of trails and trail-related facilities, land acquisition or easements, trail assessments, and more! This year, DCR anticipates an increase in funding over past years. As such, eligible grant applications for up to $100,000 in federal-share funding are now being accepted.

Contact Amanda Lewis, Recreational Trails Program Coordinator with any questions at amanda.lewis@state.ma.us or 413-586-8706 ext. 19

Massachusetts State Rail Plan

MassDOT is seeking public comment on its newly released draft Massachusetts State Rail Plan, which articulates the Commonwealth’s priorities and proposed plans for passenger and freight rail investment over the next 20 years. Highlights from the draft plan include:

The public comment period on the Draft State Rail Plan will be open through March 2. Comments can be sent to Planning@dot.state.ma.us to the attention of Jen Slesinger.

For more information on the Draft State Rail Plan, visit the website.

2017 CEDS Report now available

The 2017 Report of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee has been completed and is available for download here.

Take Our Route 106 Corridor Study Survey

Route 106

The Old Colony Planning Council (OCPC) is currently conducting the Route 106 Corridor Study. The study area includes Route 106 in the Towns of Kingston, Plympton, Halifax, East Bridgewater, as well as Route 106 in West Bridgewater (from West Bridgewater Center and Route 28 to the East Bridgewater Town Line). The purpose of this study is to evaluate existing and future traffic conditions as well as bicycle, pedestrian, public transit, parking, and land use conditions.

OCPC has developed an online survey to provide the opportunity for community input regarding mobility needs, quality-of-life, safety, and environmental issues.

By filling out our survey, you are making a statement about your community's needs and helping us identify deficiencies and potential improvements. The survey should take you only about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your input.

Help MassDOT develop the statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan!

MassDOT is updating the statewide Bicycle Transportation Plan. You can help by taking the survey, helping to map barriers to biking in your community, and connecting with bicycle events around the Commonwealth.

MassDOT: “Scan the Street for Wheels and Feet” Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign

MassDOT has launched a new statewide safety campaign to raise awareness for the safety of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists who are sharing the streets. This initiative seeks to help reduce the number of motor vehicle crashes involving pedestrian and cyclists.

Two videos that highlight the safety risks present for all travelers on urban roadways are also available to help support this safety initiative. The videos emphasize the notion that everyone who is traveling on a roadway is responsible for doing his/her part to ensure safety.

Community Septic Management Program is Back in Hanson!

On May 1, 2017, the Town of Hanson voted at their annual Town Meeting to borrow a total of $500,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust to continue their participation in the Community Septic Management Program. The Town will be receiving their funds for future septic projects within the next year; they will first need to vote on the new interest rate and payback period. This will be done at the next Town Meeting, which will be held on Monday October 2, 2017 at the Hanson Middle School.

If you would like to read more into the program, please visit our Septic Program page. If you would like to be added to the waiting list for the Town of Hanson, please contact Shawn Bailey or (508) 583-1833 ext. 217.

Community Septic Management Program Continues for Stoughton!

On October 24, 2016, the Town of Stoughton Board of Selectmen voted to borrow a total of $400,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust. On March 7, 2017, the Board of Selectmen voted to approve the new interest rates for the Town of Stoughton’s continued participation in the Community Septic Management Program. The rates are as follows:

The Town will be receiving their funds for future septic and sewer projects by the end of March/beginning of April. If you would like to read more into the program, please visit our Septic Program page. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please contact Shawn Bailey or (508) 583-1833 ext. 217.

Notice of 2017 District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) Funding

The Old Colony Planning Council (OCPC) is pleased to announce that the Commonwealth has once again provided funding for the District Local Technical Assistance (DLTA) Program for 2017. This program enables OCPC to provide free technical assistance to member communities on eligible projects. OCPC municipalities are invited to apply for technical assistance consistent with state guidelines. For more information on eligibility and a request form, consult the soliciation letter.

Study Released on Plymouth's Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station

A study by the Center for Economic Development (CED) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst examining the impacts of a plant closure and decommissioning. The report can be downloaded here.

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