Environment

Courtesy of Narragansett Bay Commission

The board of the Narragansett Bay Commission has voted to move forward with the final phase of a water quality project designed to overhaul its old sewer systems. The wastewater agency is struggling with how much it will cost to complete the project, aimed at further improving water quality in Narragansett Bay.

The Narragansett Bay Commission’s third and final phase of a multi-year water quality project will cost about $815 million, if state and federal regulators approve the plan. This final phase could bring the project's total cost to about $1.5 billion.

The project, known as the combined sewer overflow (CSO) project, involves installing a large tunnel that would run through Pawtucket, Central Falls and the northern part of East Providence. The tunnel would stop untreated sewage and stormwater from overflowing into Narragansett Bay during heavy rainstorms.

The board of the Narragansett Bay Commission will vote tomorrow on how to approach the third and final phase of the Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) project. That project aims to reduce the amount of untreated sewage and polluted runoff entering Narragansett Bay and its tributaries. The board will discuss three options at a meeting tonight.

Five New England governors met yesterday in Hartford, Connecticut, to talk about increasing the region’s energy supply. No solutions are set in stone, but environmental advocates are concerned proposals rely too heavily on natural gas.

Gov. Gina Raimondo said this winter New England’s average wholesale electricity prices were significantly higher than neighboring regions. And those high prices are tough on consumers and businesses. Raimondo said at the regional meeting, the governors committed to provide relief.

meltedplastic via Creative Common License

A new pool of money is available for cities and towns looking to reduce their energy use and costs. The state is setting aside more than $500,000 to retrofit existing streetlights to more energy-efficient ones with light-emitting diode (LED) technology.

Marion Gold, commissioner at the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, said streetlights are one of the biggest expenses in a municipality’s energy budget.

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