HCN News & Notes

State Grants Aim to Safeguard Drinking Water, Protect Public Health

BOSTON — The Healey-Driscoll administration announced more than $1.5 million in grant funding to protect and conserve drinking water resources in Massachusetts. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is awarding grants from the Drinking Water Supply Protection program to seven communities, which will enable them to acquire land to ensure the safety and quality of drinking water and protect public health.

“It is fundamental that all of our residents have access to safe drinking water. Conserving this resource is vital,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper said. “Our investment in these projects strengthens communities’ ability to protect their existing or future wells and reservoirs that supply their drinking water. We are proud to assist municipalities in providing clean water.”

One of the seven grants was earmarked to a Western Mass. community. The town of Amherst will receive $65,220 to protect 11 acres of watershed lands that feed two streams that contribute to the Atkins Reservoir, which provides one-third of the town’s drinking water. The property is adjacent to a 252-acre conservation area owned by the town of Amherst.

“It’s a wonderful thing to live in a state where municipalities and the state can partner effectively to protect our drinking water,” state Rep. Mindy Domb said. “I appreciate the due diligence done by the state on this matter, and I am grateful to the town for pursuing and securing these state resources for such an important goal.”