Stormwater, Hazard Mitigation and Climate Resiliency Efforts 

The Town of Lincoln is working on a variety of initiatives to address Stormwater and Climate Changes. 

HAZARD MITIGATION

Hazard mitigation takes action to reduce or eliminate risks to people and property from natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes, and hurricanes. The Federal Disaster Mitigation Act requires all municipalities who would like to be eligible to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hazard mitigation grants adopt a local hazard mitigation plan. Please note that this planning requirement does not affect disaster assistance funding.

Lincoln’s Plan was approved by FEMA on June 7, 2018 and is now an official plan and good for 5 years (June 2023). To read the plan click here.

MUNICIPAL VULNERABILITY PREPAREDNESS (MVP)

The Town was awarded a planning grant to help assess its vulnerability to climate change, identify risks and strategies for creating resiliency in such areas as infrastructure and energy, agriculture and forestry, transportation and other service areas.

The Completed plan was approved by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affair and Lincoln is now designated a state-certified MVP community, making it eligible for additional state grants to implement the plan’s recommended actions. Click here to view the plan.

CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCY PLAN

Lincoln in collaboration with MAGIC communities (sub regional planning organization under MAPC made up of 13 communities including Lincoln) developed a Climate Resiliency Plan which looks at community and regional vulnerabilities and strategies. Click here to review the plan.

STORMWATER

Lincoln is one of many Massachusetts communities regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and the 2016 Massachusetts Small MS4 General Permit. This permit program was created with the intention of improving the quality of the nation’s waterways by reducing pollutant loads associated with stormwater runoff. Under this permit, Lincoln is required to work on a range of measures to address regulation requirements.

The Town in collaboration with MAGIC (sub regional planning organization under MAPC made up of 13 communities including Lincoln) was awarded a $102,000 grant to take a regional approach to complying with the Storm Water Program. 

In addition to the regional effort, Lincoln with the assistance of a consultant is working on a wide range of efforts which include developing many plans, policy, resources and educational information to address stormwater.

Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) Plan 

Catch Basin Management Plan

Stormwater Management Plan

Lincoln submits Annual Reports to EPA and MassDEP by September 30th of each year summarizing the progress of its SWMP. The NOI and Annual reports are available on EPA’s website as well as clicking here.

What Is Stormwater?

Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow that does not soak into the ground. In a natural environment, stormwater is filtered by the soil and does pose a threat to the quality of nearby waters. In a developed environment, stormwater can become polluted when it runs over streets, lawns, farms, and construction sites as it picks up pollutants such as dirt, oil, nutrients, sediments, pesticides, and bacteria. If untreated, stormwater can cause water quality impairments when it flows into our lakes and rivers.

Stormwater and the pollutants it may carry can have negative impacts on Lincoln’s receiving water bodies, threatening the quality of their use for shellfishing, swimming, fishing, boating and drinking water. Proper management of stormwater runoff will help ensure these water resources can be enjoyed by future generations.

Pollutant sources related to stormwater runoff are discussed below.

• Impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, decks, and even compacted soils, change the way the water flows over and through the land. They prevent stormwater from soaking into the ground, which increases the volume of stormwater runoff that needs to be managed by the Town. Unmanaged stormwater runoff contributes to flooding, stream bank erosion, and reduced groundwater recharge.

• Erosion is the gradual wearing away of land by water, wind, or ice. During construction, land can be disturbed by excavation, filling, and paving. This can increase erosion by exposing the soil to stormwater. Nutrients such as phosphorus have the ability to “stick” to soil and can be transported to lakes and rivers.

• Fertilizer, pet waste, and septic systems can contribute excess nutrients that speed up plant and algae growth, including cyanobacteria, which can harm humans and animals and can be a nuisance for swimming and boating. They can also contribute bacteria that can make swimmers sick and lead to beach closures.

• Other pollutant sources that may contaminate stormwater runoff include salt and deicing materials, lawn and agricultural pesticides, and automobile chemicals among others. Many of the chemicals in these products may be toxic to aquatic organisms, humans, and other animals.

Resources for Residents

The Town of Lincoln is doing its part to manage stormwater. However, everyone living in Lincoln can help manage stormwater and prevent water pollution. The following practices will help reduce the volume of stormwater created and help prevent pollutants from coming in contact with stormwater. Click the links below to learn more!

• Only rain down the drain - never dump anything down a storm drain. Anything dumped down a storm drain, such as chemicals, oil, etc. will eventually end up in a local waterbody.

• Reduce the amount of runoff from your property – plant rain gardens, reduce the amount of impervious surfaces, or install a rain barrel. Learn more!

• Disconnect roof leaders – direct roof leaders onto pervious surfaces and away from walkways and driveways so that stormwater can infiltrate into the ground.

• Pick up pet waste and flush it down the toilet. Learn more!

• Take care of your septic system – have your septic tank pumped and inspected at least once every two or three years. Plant only grass over your drainfield to avoid damage from roots and do not park or drive on it. Only put washwater and wastewater down the drain. Don’t dump excessive chemicals, medications, food or household products into your system. Learn more!

• Practice good lawncare techniques – leave lawn clippings on the ground, as they decay, they provide a natural fertilizer to the ground. Piles of old grass clippings can cause nutrients and bacteria to enter waterbodies. Minimize water usage to conserve water. Create a compost pile or bin to use as localized fertilizer but keep it away from wetlands and waterbodies. Learn more!

• Plant native and drought tolerant species that require less water and vegetate bare spots in your yard to minimize erosion of soils into local waters.

• Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly to minimize water quality impacts. Fertilizers contain nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen that can cause too much plant growth such as algae in waterbodies. This can lead to problems with boating, fishing, shellfish harvesting and swimming. Learn more!

• Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and/or waterbody. Learn more!

• Proper handling of chemicals – if you spill oil or other substances on a road or driveway, immediately clean up and properly dispose of materials. Learn more!

• Take care with swimming pool water – don’t discharge into a storm drain or waterbody. If discharging onto the ground first dechlorinate water. Learn more!

Resources for Commercial and Businesses

The Town of Lincoln is doing its part to manage stormwater. However, everyone working in Lincoln can help manage stormwater and prevent water pollution. The following practices will help reduce the volume of stormwater created and help prevent pollutants from coming in contact with stormwater. Click the links below to learn more!

• Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly to minimize water quality impacts. Fertilizers contain nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen that can cause too much plant growth such as algae in waterbodies. This can lead to problems with boating, fishing, shellfish harvesting and swimming. Learn more!

• Practice good lawncare techniques – leave lawn clippings on the ground; as they decay, they provide a natural fertilizer to the ground. Piles of old grass clippings can cause nutrients and bacteria to enter waterbodies. Minimize water usage to conserve water. Create a compost pile or bin to use as localized fertilizer but keep it away from wetlands and waterbodies. Learn more!

• Manage winter salt application and storage. Cover stockpiles of salt for use in winter road maintenance. Limit the amount of salt applied. Sweep and properly dispose of any visible salt deposits once the application surface or storage area has dried. Learn more!

• Practice proper building maintenance – do not use detergent if possible, or use only the smallest amount necessary for the job. Try to minimize or prevent wash water from entering the drainage system or a waterbody.

• Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and/or waterbody. Learn more!

• Take care with swimming pool water – don’t discharge into a storm drain or waterbody. If discharging onto the ground first dechlorinate water. Learn more!

• Encourage infiltration by installing infiltration-based features such as rain gardens and bioswales.

• Sweep paved roads, parking lots, and storage areas with a type of vacuum sweeper that incorporates HEPA filtration or other high efficiency method of filtration of the exhaust air from the sweeper to trap the very fine metallic particles found in road or parking lot dust reduce these discharges to storm water.

Resources for Developers and Site Operators

Stormwater discharges from construction activities that disturb one or more acres or smaller sites disturbing less than one acre that are part of a larger common development are regulated under the NPDES stormwater permitting program. Lincoln’s Stormwater Regulations have requirements for developers and site operators designed to protect water quality. Prior to the start of construction, operators must obtain coverage under a NPDES permit, administered by EPA under the Construction General Permit (CGP). The CGP requires operators of construction sites to meet effluent limits and requires operators to develop a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) detailing the erosion and sediment controls and pollution prevention measures that will be implemented to meet the requirements of the CGP.

The following practices will help reduce the volume of stormwater created and help prevent pollutants from coming in contact with stormwater. Click the links below to learn more!

• Reduce the amount of runoff from development – maintain existing vegetation where possible. Learn more!

• Use erosion controls, install perimeter controls such as hay bales and silt fences, and reduce the total amount of impervious cover on your site. Learn more!

• Encourage infiltration by installing infiltration-based features such as rain gardens and bioswales. Learn more!

• Only rain down the drain – protect all storm drain inlets and streams located on your construction site or property.

• Limit access to and from the site and stabilize construction entrances and exits.

• Use Low Impact Development (LID). LID is an approach to land development that works with nature to manage stormwater at the source and includes principles such as preserving and recreating natural landscape features and minimizing effective imperviousness. Incorporate LID practices into site designs. Learn more!

• Protect stockpiles by storing under a roof, impermeable tarp, or plastic sheeting. Do not store or stockpile materials near a storm drain, wetland, or stream.

• Perform major maintenance and repair of vehicles off site.

• Wash out concrete mixers only in designated washout areas away from resources, and set up small mixers on tarps.

• Designate waste disposal areas – remove trash, debris, and wastes on a regular basis and ensure that dumpsters are covered.

• Clean up small spills immediately using dry cleanup methods.

• Make sure you have a permit from EPA if you’re disturbing more than an acre. Learn more!

Other Resources

EPA NPDES MS4 Information

Massachusetts Stormwater Handbook and Standards

MAPC’s Low Impact Development Toolkit

Cape Cod Commission’s Stormwater Website

Think Blue Massachusetts

For more information please contact the Planning and Land Use Department at burneyj@lincolntown.org or 781-259-2610