State and Federal Requirements

Yarmouth Wastewater Project

The creation of a new wastewater system is a daunting task guided by two types of laws; laws and agencies that guide the implementation of the project, and laws or agencies that will take action if progress is not completed in a timely fashion. This page outlines both the act of moving forward and the possible consequences of not moving forward.

Wastewater infrastructure is a crucial component to improve the environment and sustain good water quality in Yarmouth. Proper attention to regulatory guidance is important to the development of these systems to ensure the outcome of the project achieves its highest potential. In addition to regulations there are funding sources, such as the State Revolving Loan Fund, that require a specific application process and stipulations on system parameters. These regulations require a timetable which becomes the basis for the project sequence. Primary regulations such as the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act establish the foundation of the permitting stream for the project. Regulatory requirements exist at all levels (local, state, and federal). Therefore it is crucial to develop the town’s wastewater project to achieve these required approvals.  

Adhering to regulations during project implementation is crucial, however no action and continued environmental degradation can lead to another regulatory problem - the cost of doing nothing. Lawsuits from environmental groups become an issue as environmental degradation continues and a solution is not proceeding. The worse the problem becomes the more likelihood action will be taken. As indicated in articles below, the impact is not limited to the municipality. Stipulations in lawsuits, such as a moratorium on septic connections, can cause serious impacts to property owners. Invariably lawsuits lead to an expedited implementation of a required solution, which limits the municipality’s control over the project. 

The Town of Yarmouth moving forward with a wastewater project that is within local, state, and federal guidelines is a viable approach which will mitigate environmental deterioration. If no action is taken the Town, along with its residents and businesses, could be placed in a position of not having complete control over the eventual project and its costs.

Excerpt from Article on Environmental Lawsuits

BPatriot Quote April 2021

Costs of Doing Nothing

The Costs of Doing Nothing
UMass Donahue Institute Report - Costs of Doing Nothing