Community Engagement | Tools and Resources | Local Planning Guidance
Wastewater management on Cape Cod impacts everyone and requires broad engagement and focused working groups. In the coming months the Cape Cod Commission will work to develop an approach for establishing a watershed-based community engagement process. The process will facilitate dialogue where local stakeholders provide input and contribute to the development of a solution. This collaborative approach will be designed and conducted in a way that balances local input with local needs, interests, and capacities.
Tools and Resources
The RWMP identifies a broad framework within which a range of potential solutions can be discussed. The Cape Cod Commission will provide technical assistance in identifying solutions that are specific to the individual needs of each watershed and fit within the following framework:
- Faster – approaches that will remediate the necessary nitrogen in the shortest time frame;
- Cheaper – approaches that will remediate nitrogen at the lowest cost to individual taxpayers; and,
- Better – approaches that are most sustainable, both environmentally and financially, over the long term.
Throughout the process of engagement and solution identification, a number of tools and resources will be available.
- Watershed MVP (for "Multi-variant Planner") is the first in a series of tools and resources. Watershed MVP is not only a powerful technical tool, but also it will provide opportunities for education and community engagement. Watershed MVP is an innovative and accessible web-based, scenario-planning tool that allows technical experts and the general public to compare various wastewater treatment options at scales ranging from the neighborhood, watershed and sub-regional level. See the introductory slide show…»
- Green Infrastructure Site Selection – A screening process for identifying site opportunities for green infrastructure and low impact development techniques has also been developed. Read more…»
- Additional tools and resources:
A Systems Dynamics Model – A computer-aided approach to understanding the dynamics of a natural, built, or social system. For Cape Cod, the model evaluates the impacts of different forms of wastewater treatment on nutrient loading in the region’s estuaries. The model is being further developed to include impacts of wastewater treatment choices on the economy and society.
A Rate Model – A financial model that considers a number of global inputs and assumptions about developed parcels, parcels to be sewered in any given scenario, and capital and operations/maintenance (O&M) costs for various treatment options, as well as customer characteristics and financial inputs such as inflation rate and debt service.
A Game-based Planning Tool – A new tool will be used for community education and to encourage participation in developing planning scenarios for addressing wastewater Cape-wide.
As Cape Cod residents are given an effective way to participate and provide input and town officials and community members better understand their options for moving forward, a Cape-wide strategy will emerge—a product developed through coordination and cooperation.
As tools and resources are finalized they will be made available to aid in watershed planning efforts.
Local Planning Guidance
Under its regulatory authority, the Cape Cod Commission reviews local wastewater management plans as well as applications for State Revolving Fund (SRF) zero-percent interest-rate loans. The Commission has written the following guidance documents to aid towns undergoing those reviews:
- Guidance for Municipal Consistency: State Revolving Fund Zero-percent Interest-rate Loans – The Commission plays a role in determining whether communities in the region have demonstrated "flow neutrality" to qualify for zero-percent interest-rate loans for wastewater infrastructure construction. The Commission determines if local plans and land use controls are consistent with the RWMP, which informs the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as it reviews applications for these loans.
Note: The intent of the flow-neutral limitation is to ensure that availability of sewers does not lead to unplanned and sprawling growth. The term "flow neutral" does not mean that towns are limited to the amount of flow currently generated, but rather the amount authorized by existing land use controls. Towns may make the choice to grow while complying with the flow-neutral principle. Applicable law allows a town to grow according to the zoning, local land use regulations, and Title 5 limitations in place at the time of the state approval of the town’s Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan (CWMP), under certain conditions.
Watershed Solutions: [Green Infrastructure Site Selection]
Watershed Solutions: [Moving Forward with Watershed Solutions]