It’s been a long time coming, but finally Massachusetts has received the federal go ahead to declare Mt. Hope Bay a no-discharge zone for boaters.
The issue matters because despite Rhode Island having declared Narragansett Bay a no-discharge zone in 1998, pollution has floated into the bay from Massachusetts for years.
With a 75 percent match from the federal government for any spending to clean up the waterway, it’s not as if the Bay State was short on the funds. In fact, Massachusetts has taken $16.3 million from Washington to help it build nearly 120 pump-out facilities and buy 102 pump-out vessels (Rhode Island, with much less shoreline, has received $2.12 million in the two decades since the creation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sportfish Restoration Program).
But with Fall River spending nearly $200 million on a combined-sewer-overflow project to improve Mt. Hope Bay’s water quality, it didn’t make sense to the Patrick administration to continue to allow the literal fouling of the waters. We agree. •