By Brian Steele
The Connecticut River Clean-Up Committee has again secured state funding to prevent stormwater and wastewater from entering the longest river in New England as it passes through Chicopee, Holyoke and Springfield.
The CRCC -- a working group involving all three cities and administered by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission -- received $1.5 million from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for upgrades along the most urbanized portion of the river.
In those areas, untreated stormwater and wastewater still discharge from combined sewer overflows, or CSOs, during storms.
The CRCC was formed in 1993. Its efforts have reduced CSO discharges by more one billion gallons per year.
"The work required to rebuild the region's stormwater and sewer systems is expensive and more than most communities can shoulder alone," said Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. "This grant will allow us to continue to meet federal and state requirements and protect our shared natural resources."
The town of Ludlow was a CRCC member, but has completed all necessary stormwater and CSO improvements.