The Martha’s Vineyard Commission received a $250,000 Southeast New England Program (SNEP) grant from the Environmental Protection Agency Monday for its permeable reactive barrier (PRB) project.
The commission will install and test the innovative new technology, which will reduce pollution — primarily nitrogen — from septic systems, according to the project summary. The PRB uses a 200-foot underground barrier that has wood chips and oil that attract nitrogen molecules and catch them.
“PRBs are low-cost bioengineered systems that remove nutrients from groundwater as it flows from upland areas to coastal waters. The project will foster clean water and healthy shellfish habitat in Lagoon Pond on Martha’s Vineyard, while piloting a technology with the potential to provide significant benefits throughout southeast New England,” the award states.
Partners in the project included the University of Massachusetts and the towns of Tisbury and Oak Bluffs.
“It’s a pretty big deal we worked hard at it,” MVC executive director Adam Turner said of the grant. “It’s very exciting.”