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DEM Seeks Input on Draft Discharge Permits for Two Rhode Island Wastewater Treatment Facilities

PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is soliciting public comment on draft discharge permits for the Narragansett Bay Commission's (NBC) Bucklin Point and Field's Point Wastewater Treatment Facilities. The comment period runs through January 31, 2017. DEM will also hold a public hearing to review the permits next month.

WHAT: Public hearing on draft discharge permits for NBC Bucklin Point and Field's Point Facilities

WHEN: Thursday, January 26, 2017 // 5:00 p.m.

WHERE: DEM Headquarters, 235 Promenade Street, Providence // Room 300

The Bucklin Point facility serves Central Falls, Cumberland, Pawtucket, and portions of Lincoln, East Providence, and Smithfield. The Field's Point facility serves Johnston, Providence, North Providence, and portions of Lincoln and Cranston. The draft Rhode Island Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) permits authorize the discharge of treated domestic/industrial sewage from these facilities, stormwater that enters the combined sewer systems, and the Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) associated with the collection systems. The permits set discharge limits to protect water quality and ensure compliance with technology-based caps.

Under the new permit requirements, NBC must develop a program to reduce the amount of stormwater discharged to its combined sewer systems, provide web-based notification to the public on CSO occurrences; and submit regular monitoring data electronically. The current RIPDES permits for these facilities were issued in 2001 and modified in 2005 to include nitrogen limits. They will remain in effect until the new permits are issued.

From 2004 to 2015, compliance with the RIPDES permits resulted in a 75 percent reduction in the total nitrogen discharged into local waters from these facilities. So far in 2016, as a result of Phases I and II of NBC's CSO plan, over seven billion gallons of sewage has been captured and treated at the Fields Point facility. Previously the industrial and sanitary wastewater and stormwater combination would have been discharged untreated, with only a small portion receiving primary treatment.

Oral comments will be accepted at the public hearing in January. Written comments should be submitted to DEM by 4:00 p.m. on January 31, 2017 per the public notice. For more information, visit Follow DEM on Facebook at or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.

Related links

  • Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management
  • Online:
  • Release date: 12-05-2016

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