SEPP (Supplemental Environmental Project Program) is part of an innovative agreement reached in March 1999 to allow a phased approach to reduce sewer overflows in the Merrimack and Piscataquog rivers. The City is working together with State and Federal agencies to take a comprehensive view of other environmental problems facing the City. With this holistic approach, the City achieves greater environmental and public health benefits than with a traditional regulatory approach, with lower up-front capital costs for the City, and an opportunity for future cost savings by Manchester ratepayers.
Under a traditional regulatory approach, the City would have had to spend an additional $100 million to address sewer overflow problems. Instead, the City will complete a phased combined sewer overflow (CSO) control program over 10 years, and in addition, will complete $5.6 million in supplemental environmental projects over the next five years. This $5.6 million agreement is called the Supplemental Environmental Projects Program. Officials at the City, EPA and DES are all quite excited about this innovative approach in Manchester.
There are six major pieces of the SEPP, these include:
Who is involved ?
- City of Manchester Elected Officials and Departments
- EPA New England
- NH Department of Environmental Services
- New Hampshire Audubon
- The NH Nature Conservancy
- New Hampshire Cooperative Extension
- The Way Home: Healthy Home Program
- The American Lung Association of New Hampshire
- Merrimack River Watershed Council
- Hillsborough County Conservation District
- Manchester Middle Schools
- Amoskeag Fishways
- United States Army Corps of Engineers
How does the SEPP benefit the City?
Some of the future benefits to the City and its residents due to the implementation of the SEPP include:
- Property values are protected by making the city more livable and attractive
- Addition recreational opportunities are created: nature trails, urban gardens, river access
- Fewer hospital visits for treating asthma
- Increased tax base income from high quality development
- More citizen involvement means a cleaner city for less money