Water Quality Management Committee (WQMC)

A new committee, the Water Quality Management Committee (WQMC), authorized by Town Meeting and appointed by the Board of Selectmen, is now in place, charged, among other duties, with advising the Board of Selectmen on the implementation of these recommendations and on preparation of a draft Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan for the Town to be submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. This Committee has become increasingly aware of a shift in direction at the Federal and state regulatory level, away from a simple, one-size-fits-all sewering solution, and toward a more complex outlook.

Plan Inclusions

These agencies are now looking for Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plans to include:
  1. Infrastructure investments that maximize environmental and community benefits, such as energy saving, and job creation.
  2. Science based adaptive management - monitoring and learning from the results of demonstration projects, as well as studying changes that are due to the impacts of global warming and sea level rise.
  3. Integration of pilot project findings. As pilot projects progress, the results regarding performance, cost, homeowner acceptability, etc. should serve to continually modify the assumptions around long term future plans.
  4. Management measures for non-traditional technologies. If the alternatives are to become permanent parts of the Town's plan, regulators need to know how they will be managed and monitored in the long term.
  5. Identifying high priority areas for sewering solutions. An area where the least cost investment in sewering infrastructure can produce the greatest reduction in nitrogen to an affected water body should be part of the Town's draft Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan.
The Committee feels that this direction is very much in line with what people of the Town of Falmouth have come to support over the past 5 years. We are recommending that the Board of Selectmen submit this draft Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan that incorporates these elements as well as the proposals of the Review Committee.