Mattapoisett Bike Path passes EPA hurdle

Oct 10, 2016

Mattapoisett — A ruling by the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Agency on Friday means the Mattapoisett Bike Path will be able to proceed without what would probably have been an additional two-year review.

The second phase of the project, from Mattapoisett Neck Road to Depot Street, crosses an environmentally sensitive area, for which bike path planner received environmental permitting through the Massachusetts EPA. Friday's ruling determined that the path did not need a federal environmental impact report, which would have been a repeat of the testing already done, said Bonne DeSousa, president of the Friends of the Mattapoisett Bike Path.

“We would have had to do all the work we just spent the last four years doing,” said DeSousa.

DeSousa said the state's requirements mirror those of the federal government, which will fund much of the project.

She called the ruling “an important milestone in the project process,” and said it allows the project to continue as planned.

That's not to say the environmental permitting and reviews are done. There's still lots to go before construction begins. DeSousa said endangered species, the waterways among other areas will still be reviewed with OK's needed from the state and the Conservation Commission.

The project is up for funding in 2018.

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