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Protect our sole source aquifer for future generations, Stop the Rest Stop.

This petition had 316 supporters


Please protect all the benefits associated with Pawcatuck Basin Aquifer System, a sole source aquifer (SSA) – to include its wildlife and recreational opportunities. We need to protect our precious fresh water source for the use of residents, recreation and businesses.  And most important, we need to preserve it for future generations. We do not need another Flint Michigan disaster.

10/26/2015 — 

WASHINGTON, DC – In an effort to provide new retail, food, and fuel services for both local residents and travelers, as well as a multimodal transit hub, Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation was joined by Governor Gina M. Raimondo today in announcing a $9 million federal grant to build a new, state-of-the-art travel plaza and welcome center at Exit 1 off Interstate 95.  The U.S. Department of Transportation approved the state’s application for a competitive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant, which means the federal government will cover about 75 percent of the $12 million transportation project, should the state and local officials decide to move forward with its proposal.

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is proposing to build the new facility on a 20-acre site at I-95 Exit 1 in Hopkinton, near the border with Connecticut.  The project includes:

•           A 6,000 square foot Welcome Center, providing rest rooms, food options, convenience shops, bike amenities, and tourism information for Rhode Island destinations and beyond

•           A park and ride facility for up to 200 vehicles, serving RIPTA and intercity bus operators as well as tourists and carpoolers

•           A RIPTA bus hub with shelter

•           An intercity bus hub serving regional destinations

•           Up to 10 fueling stations, including alternative fuels and electric vehicle stations

 We do not support this activity because the multimodal transit hub will sit directly on the Pawcatuck Basin Aquifer System, a sole source aquifer (SSA).

Hopkinton Storm Water Management Program Plan Town of Hopkinton Rhode Island Adopted: October 7, 2013

2.3 Sole Source Aquifer   

The entire Town, overlays a sole source aquifer (SSA), known as the Pawcatuck Basin Aquifer System. It was designated as a SSA by the USEPA on May 13, 1988. The USEPA defines a SSA as one that supplies at least 50% of the drinking water consumed in the area overlying the aquifer. To be designated as an SSA, USEPA requires that a recharge area have no alternative drinking water sources(s), which could physically, legally, and economically supply water to all who depend on the aquifer for drinking water. Given the critical nature of this aquifer, the Town should consider the following four factors:

Encourage infiltration to replenish aquifer water supply.
Enhanced controls to protect groundwater from potential pollutants such as nitrogen and petroleum hydrocarbons.
Focus infiltration efforts in areas with highly permeable soils and low amounts of higher risk land uses.
Proper protection of wellhead areas.
 

FEDERAL WATER POLLUTION CONTROL ACT (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.) more commonly known as Clean Water Act (CWA) - DECLARATION OF GOALS AND POLICY SEC. 101. (a) The objective of this Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters. In order to achieve this objective it is hereby declared that, consistent with the provisions of this Act—

Additional concerns in protest of the multimodal transit hub:

Loss of property that would eliminate potential of future small business at the site like neighboring properties.
Loss of industrial property tax revenue.
Visitor centers are not as relevant as in the past as visitors check the internet for tourist information, mainly used for rest rooms and possibly eating.
The Exit 3 Visitor Center on I-95 was closed in 2011 due to a lack of funds and changes in tourism trends nationwide.

 
Rational for the Exit 3 closure. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) along with the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) http://www.ri.gov/press/view/14858   “The Internet and GPS devices have replaced these more outdated approaches to getting information. Today the Center is mainly used as a place to rest or find a bathroom and that can be done at other locations. Exit 3 (Route 138) has many gas stations, restaurants and convenience stores close to the highway interchange. Additionally, a large truck stop is located at Exit 5B (Route 102) in West Greenwich.”

 

Please protect all the benefits associated with Pawcatuck Basin Aquifer System, a sole source aquifer (SSA) – to include its wildlife and recreational opportunities. We need to protect our precious fresh water source for the use of residents, recreation and businesses.  And most important, we need to preserve it for future generations. We do not need another Flint Michigan disaster.

 



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