New Bedford could be shelling out more money to deal with water quality issues in the not too distant future.

Speaking on his weekly radio program on Wednesday Mayor Jon Mitchell said that he found out that the cities of Taunton and Brockton will be forced to upgrade their wastewater treatment plants to comply with new standards put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency.

While New Bedford hasn't been given any directives yet, Mayor Mitchell says complying with these new EPA standards could be quite expensive for the city.

"We paid, back in 1996, $150 Million to build the current treatment plant and there's a movement in the EPA to heighten the nitrogen standards which we think will cost, in the ballpark, of another $40 million or so," said Mitchell.

Mayor Mitchell said that there is pending legislation that could turn permitting authority from the EPA to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection an agence which he said is more responsive and more willing to work with municipalities.

He also highlighted pre-emptive efforts, such as planting of trees to reduce stormwater runoff into the Acushnet River, as ways the city has undertaken to improve water quality.

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