We believe that two state policies are unreasonably limiting the impact of stormwater control measures we can take in the Green Hill watershed. We are challenging those policies where the opportunity for nitrogen and bacteria reduction is substantial. We are focusing on two areas in particular:

  • Conducting Route 1 Water Sampling Aimed at Increasing DOT Priority. As noted in the assessment, the Route 1 catchment area represents a significant opportunity for reducing nitrogen and bacteria. This land area is owned and managed by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT). RIDOT recognizes that there is an opportunity to better control stormwater on this section of Route 1, but has put this area at priority 4, the lowest category. It is unclear when any action will take place. FGHP is trying to raise that priority. In 2022, we took water samples from the Route 1 runoff and had them tested by URI Watershed Watch. The results were astounding: The bacteria load in one sample was 4,400 times the maximum shell fishing standard. RIDOT and DEM took note and acted. Animal carcasses along the road were removed. FGHP will be following up with more tests in 2023 to identify not only any other point sources but also if there is a systematic problem in this area that demands a higher priority for a more permeant solution.
  • Opening Up Factory Pond Stream to Diversion and Treatment. As noted in the assessment, implementing stormwater control best practices such as diversion and treatment in Factory Pond Stream could be a significant opportunity to reduce nitrogen and bacteria. While we appreciate regulators concern over altering the natural flow of a stream, we think that the severe downstream consequences to Green Hill Pond need to be taken into account. We plan to meet with RIDEM to discuss this situation and hopefully persuade them to allow some form of stormwater control of Factory Pond Stream.