A study proposed by the Town of Marion to assess the vulnerability of its wastewater infrastructure was one of nineteen projects to have been awarded a Coastal Resilience Grant from the Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM). The Town received $93,660 to assess the risks from coastal flooding and storm surge to its pumping stations, and to identify what improvements are needed to reduce their vulnerability.
The Coastal Resilience Grant Program supports local efforts to increase awareness and understanding of climate impacts, and to plan for changing conditions related to coastal storms, flooding, and erosion. All eight of Marion’s pumping stations are located in a flood zone, and two are in the zone designated as most vulnerable. Analyses funded by this grant will compare the existing flood-level with future flood-level projections at each pump station to identify necessary upgrades to address storm surge and a heightened flood risk. Recommended upgrades may include elevating the pump station, raising its electrical components, waterproofing the structure, and modifying piping networks.
According to the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Statewide and Major Basin Climate Projections, sea levels will likely rise between two and four feet by the year 2100. Over the same period, experts say there is a higher chance for extreme weather, including heavy precipitation events (which are already occurring 70% more often since the 1950s), and total winter precipitation could increase by as much as 34 percent.
The proposed study is part of the Climate Resiliency element in the 2017 Marion Master Plan. Addressing the vulnerability of the Town’s wastewater infrastructure was also identified as a high priority in the state’s Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program (MVP) assessment for Marion. Participants at the MVP workshops in May 2018 identified key hazards, vulnerabilities, and actions that the Town of Marion should take to reduce risks and build resilience.
For further information, please contact the Town Planner, Gil Hilario at 508-748-3513 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.