Category Archives: Climate

TOMCAP published today

The Town of Medfield Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP) was published today after a year and a half of work by the Medfield Energy Committee TOMCAP working group.

Posted on: September 23, 2022

Town of Medfield Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP)

TOMCAP Opens in new window

In 2021, the residents of Medfield voted to support a Net Zero 2050 climate goal and charged the Town with writing a climate action plan.

The Energy Committee is proud to presenting the draft of the Town of Medfield Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP) for public comments.

The strategies and actions identified in the TOMCAP mirror the sustainability goals set in plans that Medfield has developed in the last few years such as the Townwide Masterplan, the Municipal Vulnerability Plan and the Rapid Recovery Plan.

Please use this form to comment on the TOMCAP 2022 draft. Thank you!

Watering lawns still banned

Maurice Goulet, Director of the DPW addressed the status of the drought and the watering ban issues at the Select Board meeting last night.

My key take always were:

  1. despite recent rains and an easing of the drought tiers, the town still has an outdoor watering ban in effect, so that only hand held outdoor watering is currently permitted.
  2. Moe said that the town will re-examine that status in the near term (week to two weeks), to see if lawn irrigation can be permitted so as to allow residents to plant and establish new grass this fall before it becomes too late to do so.

For those like me searching for a lawn solution beyond my current tall fescue, I recently came across this interesting drought tolerant and very expensive grass, sold at Whole Foods Market.

I just bought a lot of white clover seed, to reinstall the clover in my lawn, which my recent reading tells me I killed off by fertilizing the grass. But clover needs watering too.

Drought now Level 3-Critical – We are told to stop watering!

From: Burney, Danielle (EEA)
Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2022 3:03 PM
Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Drought Conditions Worsen in CT River Valley, Southeast, and Cape Cod Regions

Drought Conditions Worsen in CT River Valley, Southeast, and Cape Cod Regions

Public is Asked to Continue to Practice Water Conservation Methods

BOSTON —  Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Beth Card today declared the Connecticut River Valley and Southeast Regions will join the Northeast and Central Regions as a Level 3-Critical Drought. The Cape Cod Region will elevate to a Level 2-Significant Drought, and the Islands and Western Regions will remain at a Level 1-Mild Drought. As outlined in the Massachusetts Drought Management Plan, a Level-3 Critical Drought and a Level 2-Significant Drought calls for the convening of an inter-agency Mission Group, which has already began to meet, to more closely coordinate on drought assessments, impacts, and response within the government. Additionally, a Level 1-Mild Drought recommends detailed monitoring of drought conditions, close coordination among state and federal agencies, and technical outreach and assistance to the affected municipalities.

“With the majority of the state now experiencing a Level-3-Critical Drought, it is incredibly important that we all practice water conservation and adhere to local requirements and recommendations in order avoid over stressing our water resources,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Efforts to minimize water usage now will help our water systems to rebound more quickly, and ensure that essential public health, safety and environmental needs continue to be met.”

“The continued dry, hot weather has increased drought-related hazards for much of Massachusetts including the risk for fires,” said Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Acting Director Dawn Brantley. “We need the public to be especially careful during this time by adhering to local water use restrictions, and exercising caution around any outdoor activities that increase the risk of brush and forest fires such as barbecues, campfires, and safe disposal of smoking materials.”

The month of July 2022 experienced minimal precipitation and high temperatures throughout the state. Rainfall was the lowest across eastern Massachusetts, particularly within Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard reporting less than an inch of rain, less than 50% of normal precipitation. Within eastern Massachusetts, rainfall totals ranked within the top 15 driest Julys on record with Boston and the Blue Hills experiencing the 4th driest. However, slightly higher rainfall totals occurred across much of central and western Massachusetts, ranging from 50 to 100 percent of normal, as well as on Nantucket. Totals ranged mostly between two and four inches, while some locations in the Springfield area and southern Berkshire County experienced higher totals of four to five inches.

Additionally, the Commonwealth is also experiencing decreasing levels in some reservoirs, dry streambeds, ponding, and diminished extent of streams in many watersheds leading to lack of flow, increased turbidity, higher water temperature, and increase in growth of plants and algae in the water. Groundwater, which is a slow reacting index, is starting to be impacted in many regions. Caution is also advised as fire activity has increased across the state as drought conditions have set in, and wildfires in remote areas with delayed response are now burning deep into the organic soil layers. Drought induced fire behavior can result in suppression challenges for fire resources and result in extended incidents so residents are asked to exercise caution while working with open flames, and to completely drown all campfires out cold.

The agricultural sector continues to also experience drought impacts, such as some depletion of water sources, and production acreage and are irrigating crops on a more consistent basis due to current precipitation deficits, high temperatures, and low soil moisture. Consumers are encouraged to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and other products at local farm stands and retail stores throughout the Commonwealth.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) water supply system is not experiencing drought conditions, as defined within its individual plan. Private wells, local streams, wetlands, vernal pools, and other water-dependent habitats located within MWRA-serviced areas are being impacted by drought conditions while water quality in ponds can deteriorate due to lowering of levels and stagnation.

Below are recommendations for communities and individuals living and working within a Level 3 – Critical Drought, Level 2 – Significant Drought and Level 1 – Mild Drought region, including those utilizing a private well. Residents and businesses are also asked to check with their local water system in case more stringent watering restrictions are in place.

For Regions in Level 3 – Critical Drought

Residents and Businesses:

  • Minimize overall water use.
  • Stop all non-essential outdoor watering.


Immediate Steps for Communities:

  • Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought; Level 3 restriction calls for a ban on all nonessential outdoor water use.
  • Provide timely information on the drought and on water conservation tips to local residents and businesses.
  • Enforce water use restrictions with increasingly stringent penalties.
  • Strongly discourage or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
  • Establish or enhance water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
  • Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
  • Prepare to activate emergency inter-connections for water supply.
  • Develop or refine your local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

For Regions in Level 2 – Significant Drought

Residents and Businesses:

  • Minimize overall water use;
  • Limit outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, to be used only after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m.
  • Follow local water use restrictions, if more stringent.

Immediate Steps for Communities:

  • Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought; Level 2 restriction calls for limiting outdoor watering to hand-held hoses or watering cans, to be used only after 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m. If local restrictions are more stringent, continue to keep them in place during the course of the drought.
  • Limit or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; watering during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
  • Establish water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
  • Provide timely information to local residents and businesses.
  • Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
  • Check emergency inter-connections for water supply.
  • Develop or refine your local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

For Regions in Level 1 – Mild Drought

Residents and Businesses:

  • Toilets, faucets and showers are more than 60% of indoor use.  Make sure yours are WaterSense efficient.
  • Limit outdoor watering to one day a week (only from 5:00 pm – 9:00 am), or less frequently if required by your water supplier

Immediate Steps for Communities:

  • Adopt and implement the state’s nonessential outdoor water use restrictions for drought.
  • Limit or prohibit installation of new sod, seeding, and/or landscaping; watering during or within 48 hours after measurable rainfall; washing of hard surfaces (sidewalks, patios, driveways, siding); personal vehicle or boat washing; filling of swimming pools.
  • Establish water-use reduction targets for all water users and identify top water users and conduct targeted outreach to help curb their use.
     

Short- and Medium-Term Steps for Communities:

  • Establish a year-round water conservation program that includes public education and communication.
  • Provide timely information to local residents and businesses.
  • Implement or establish drought surcharge or seasonal water rates.
  • Check emergency inter-connections for water supply.
  • Develop a local drought management plan using guidance outlined in the state Drought Management Plan.

Practicing water conservation now will greatly help reduce water use to ensure essential needs, such as drinking water and fire protection, are being met, habitats have enough water to support their natural functions, and to sustain the Commonwealth’s water supplies in the long-term. State agencies will continue to monitor and assess current conditions and any associated environmental and agricultural impacts, coordinate any needed dissemination of information to the public, and help state, federal and local agencies prepare additional responses that may be needed in the future. Furthermore, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) will continue to provide technical assistance to communities on managing systems, including emergency connections and water supplies assistance.

“Under current drought conditions, it is critically important that all residents heed their water suppliers’ requests to cut back on nonessential water use,” said MassDEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg. “Cutting back on outdoor water use and following local conservation requirements will help sustain our water sources until precipitation rates can rebound.”

The Drought Management Task Force will meet again on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, at 10:00AM. For further information on water conservation and what residents can do, please visit EEA’s drought page and water conservation page. To get the most up-to-date information on the drought indices, go to the state’s drought dashboard page.

Call Governor to ask he sign the climate bill

Ask the Governor to sign the climate bill –

This summary is from Environment Massachusetts –

Logo
With major climate and clean energy legislation moving through Congress, this is a big week for climate action. And it could get even bigger. In Massachusetts, there’s a bill on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk that would help make our homes and businesses more energy-efficient and put more electric vehicles on the road. But Gov. Baker only has until Thursday night to act on the climate bill — and he hasn’t said yet whether he’ll sign it into law or veto it. We need to show the governor that there’s broad support for the commonsense climate policies in this bill. Whether you’re a municipal official, small business owner, civic leader, or concerned citizen, your voice can make a difference.

Will you call Gov. Baker today and ask him to sign the climate bill into law?

Here’s the number to call: (617) 725-4005

When you call the Governor’s office, you might speak with a live person or you might be directed to voicemail. Either way, you should keep your message short and sweet. Here’s what you can say:

Hi, my name is _______ and I live in ______ (your town). I’m calling about the climate bill, House Bill 5060. I’m asking Governor Baker to sign this bill into law. [You can add a sentence or two about why the bill matters to you.]

Once you make the call, reply to this email and let us know how it went!

Thanks for taking action. With your help, we can take a big step toward a cleaner, healthier, and safer future.

Sincerely, Ben Hellerstein
State Director P.S. After you call Gov. Baker’s office, share our tweet and help us spread the word!
Wait a minute. This all sounds familiar. Wasn’t there a climate bill on Gov. Baker’s desk a couple of weeks ago?

In a word, yes. The Massachusetts House and Senate passed a climate bill on July 21 with broad, bipartisan support. The following week, Gov. Baker sent the bill back to the Legislature with suggested amendments. Legislators then passed a revised version of the bill, adopting some of the governor’s amendments while rejecting others.

The bill that’s currently on Gov. Baker’s desk reflects a compromise between the governor’s vision for climate legislation and the efforts of House and Senate leaders. This bill would take several important steps toward powering Massachusetts with 100% clean energy. If signed into law, it will:

* Ensure that 100% of the cars sold in Massachusetts are electric vehicles by 2035.

* Allow up to 10 cities and towns to adopt local policies requiring new buildings to use fossil-fuel-free heating and appliances, an important step toward safer, healthier homes and businesses for everyone.

* Require the owners of large buildings — such as offices, apartment buildings, hospitals, and universities — to disclose their energy use each year, in order to help identify the biggest opportunities to improve energy efficiency.

You can help make sure this bill becomes law by calling Gov. Baker’s office today!

Copyright (C) 2022 Environment Massachusetts. All rights reserved.
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Medfield cooling centers

From Chief Carrico, also the Director of Medfield Emergency Management –

From: William Carrico
Date: Wed, Jul 20, 2022 at 10:14 AM
Subject: Medfield Emergency Management – Cooling Centers
To: Kristine Trierweiler

During the heatwave that will last thru the weekend, the following locations will be made available as cooling centers.  Residents using these centers will be responsible for bringing their own food, water, and electronic devices/chargers.  No transportation will be provided.

 Town of Medfield Cooling Centers

Mass 211 will provide information on available cooling center locations for residents.

Medfield COA – The Center

1 Ice House Rd

Medfield, MA

Open: Monday thru Thursday 10AM-4PM, Friday 10AM-1PM, Saturday 10AM-3PM, and Sunday Closed

Medfield Library

468 Main St

Medfield

Open: Monday thru Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 10AM-2PM, and Sunday Closed

Public Safety Building – Training Room

112 North St

Medfield, MA

Training Room: Sunday 10 to 6 pm

William C. Carrico II

Fire Chief/EMD

Medfield Fire

112 North Street

Medfield, MA 02052

(O) 508-359-2323 Ext 3186

(C) 508-498-3570

(F) 508-359-2212

Medfield Decarbonizers 7/20 at 7:30 pm

From Fred Davis –

Hi MEC members and friends —

Now is the time for more and more Medfielders to be decarbonizing, so I hope you will attend and please invite three neighbors:

Medfield Decarbonizers

Webinar via Zoom
Wed, July 20th at 7:30 pm

A (new) panel of non-expert Medfield residents will be sharing about their decisions and experiences going EV, PV, HP.
Their non-expert perspectives provide our best resource for influencing others.
Your engagement will be helpful!

This is the time for more and more Medfielders to be decarbonizing.

Attached is the flyer, and seriously, please explicitly invite at least three of your neighbors.

Helen Dewey is doing a great job pulling this together, please support!

Thanks,

— Fred

REGISTER HERE: https://tinyurl.com/MedfieldWebinar

Medfield Decarbonizers 7/20 at 7:30 pm

From Fred Davis –

Hi MEC members and friends —

Now is the time for more and more Medfielders to be decarbonizing, so I hope you will attend and please invite three neighbors:

Medfield Decarbonizers

Webinar via Zoom
Wed, July 20th at 7:30 pm

A (new) panel of non-expert Medfield residents will be sharing about their decisions and experiences going EV, PV, HP.
Their non-expert perspectives provide our best resource for influencing others.
Your engagement will be helpful!

This is the time for more and more Medfielders to be decarbonizing.

Attached is the flyer, and seriously, please explicitly invite at least three of your neighbors.

Helen Dewey is doing a great job pulling this together, please support!

Thanks,

— Fred

REGISTER HERE: https://tinyurl.com/MedfieldWebinar

TOMCAP workshop this Thursday at 7 PM

From the Medfield Energy Committee – Learn the details of the draft Town of Medfield Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP). At the annual town meeting (ATM) last year the town voted as a town goal to have the town achieve Net Zero by 2050, and since then the Medfield Energy Committee has been working diligently to plan out how that can get done. A draft Climate Action Plan is now ready for release and to share. Participate in this interactive workshop this Thursday, May 19 at 7 PM to craft the final details of the Climate Action Plan for your town.

TOMCAP workshop – 7PM, 5/19/22

From Helen Dewey –

THURSDAY MAY 19
7:00 – 8:30 PM
INTERACTIVE WORKSHOP - TOWN OF MEDFIELD CLIMATE ACTION PLAN
Inaugural public presentation of the draft Town of Medfield Climate Action Plan (TOMCAP) ____ We want to hear from YOU! Ask questions and give feedback on the draft plan ____ All are welcome! To request babysitting, please email TOMCAP@medfield.net by Monday 5/16 ____ Hosted By MAPC and the Town of Medfield. https://mapc.ma/medfield-cap
Register here:
Dale Street School
45 Adams St., Medfield, MA

TOMCAP workshop 5/19 at 7PM

From the Medfield Energy Committee –

THURSDAY MAY 19
7:00 – 8:30 PM
INTERACTIVE
WORKSHOP - TOWN OF
MEDFIELD CLIMATE
ACTION PLAN
Inaugural public
presentation of the
draft Town of
Medfield Climate
Action Plan (TOMCAP)
____
We want to hear from
YOU! Ask questions
and give feedback on
the draft plan
____
All are welcome!
____
Hosted By MAPC and
the Town of Medfield
https://mapc.ma/medfield-cap
Register here: Dale Street School
45 Adams St., Medfield, MA