Cape Cod Facilities Contributing to Scourge of Toxic Algae

CLF to sue resort and wastewater treatment facility for nitrogen pollution

Toxic algae in a pond. Photo: Mikhailissimo via Shutterstock

August 6, 2020 (BOSTON, MA) – In the latest effort to protect Cape Cod’s waters from toxic nitrogen pollution, Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has announced plans to sue the Town of Barnstable and Willow Bend Resort in Mashpee for violating the Clean Water Act.

“Cape Cod’s bays and ponds are facing disaster,” said Chris Kilian, Vice President of Strategic Litigation at CLF. “As these facilities continue to dump harmful levels of nitrogen, the climate crisis is warming these waters and making them even more susceptible to toxic algae outbreaks. We will continue to hold these polluters accountable until every last one has stopped pouring pollutants into waters that belong to all of us.”

Notices of intent to sue were sent this week to the Mashpee resort and the Hyannis wastewater treatment facility, located in Barnstable.

The Cape’s septic and wastewater treatment systems contribute large amounts of nitrogen pollution to the area’s waterways. This type of pollution fuels toxic algae outbreaks that can sicken people and kill wildlife and pets. Algae outbreaks also force the closure of ponds and beaches each year, which harms the local economy and dampens tourism.

CLF’s notice letters call for these facilities to implement proven technology that will drastically reduce nitrogen pollution, or the organization will file lawsuits. The notice letters can be found here.

CLF experts are available for further comment.