Narragansett Bay Commission

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The high cost of government in Rhode Island is once again in the forefront, as voters in Coventry dissolve the Coventry Fire District. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay asks if this can be a spur for consolidation in our tiny state.

In a referendum  Coventry voters resoundingly refused to give any more of their property taxes to the stanch the river of red ink drowning the Coventry Fire District. They  turned thumbs down on the fire district even though it provides fire and emergency services to the most densely populated part of the community..

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.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The Department of Environmental Management has extended an existing shellfish closure in an area of Upper Narragansett Bay known as Conditional Area A and the Conimicut Triangle.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

Narragansett Bay has encircled Rhode Island’s history and culture since the colonial era. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay kicks off our One Square Mile series on the bay.

Narragansett Bay was ours before we were Rhode Island. In 1524, the Italian explorer Giovanni de Verrazano sailed into the uncharted waters of the bay. He was impressed with what he saw, says Christopher Pastore, a professor at the SUNY at Albany and author of the new book `Between Land and Sea’ a history of the bay.

Vincent J. Mesolella has been reelected chairman of the board of commissioners of the Narragansett Bay Commission, the agency that runs sewage treatment facilities in metropolitan Providence communities.

Mesolella, who has been chairman of 19-member commission since the 1990s, was reelected unanimously at a commission meeting yesterday, said Jamie Samons, the commission’s public affairs officer.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Starting today, the Narragansett Bay Commission will temporarily close a tunnel that’s part of a long-term, massive project designed to meet the federal clean water act. During heavy rains, that tunnel normally stores overflows of sewer and street runoff that are later treated and released into Narragansett Bay. Now the tunnel will be offline for the next three to four weeks.

The Narragansett Bay Commission has started to re-evaluate the third and final phase of the combined sewer overflow project. The project aims to reduce the amount of untreated sewage and polluted runoff overflows entering Narragansett Bay and its tributaries. Federal officials ordered the overhaul to meet the federal Clean Water Act.