ARLINGTON, MA — The US Environmental Protection Agency recognized Arlington Town Engineer Wayne Chouinard as a 2020 Merit Award winner from Massachusetts for his work protecting New England’s environment. Chouinard was among 24 recipients across New England honored at the 2020 Environmental Merit Awards virtual ceremony Sept. 15.
EPA New England’s annual Environmental Merit Awards are given to community leaders, scientists, government officials, business leaders, schools, and students who represent different approaches, but a common commitment to environmental protection.
“It’s wonderful that Wayne is being recognized by the EPA for all the hard work he has put into water quality issues in Arlington,” Arlington Director of Public Works Michael Rademacher said. “From the stormwater series he started back in 2012 to the recent installation of 20 Infiltration Trenches and two additional Bioretention basins at Hebert and Milton Street, Wayne’s work continues to bring positive results to the Arlington community.”
As Town Engineer, Chouinard has collaborated with the Mystic River Watershed to explore how communities can reduce nutrient pollution in stormwater discharges. EPA led a pilot project to work with Arlington and Winchester to better manage stormwater, specifically related to the reduction of phosphorus in discharges. Through the process, Chouinard was dedicated to installing small-scale innovative stormwater controls to reduce phosphorus in discharges. His work resulted in a standard detail for an innovative infiltration trench retrofit. As a result, nine infiltration trenches installed in 2019 led to annual reduction of nearly a pound of phosphorus and 1,296 gallons of runoff.
“I’m overwhelmed by this recognition,” Chouinard said. “My work on stormwater mitigation includes the efforts of many in the Arlington community who have a shared passion for the environment. I would like to thank the Mystic River Watershed Association (MyRWA) for their partnership and collaboration on many of these initiatives as well as Bill Copithorne (Assistant Town Engineer) and Emily Sullivan (Environmental Planner) for input, guidance, ideas and endless discussions about stormwater. I look forward to expanding these programs in the future and am appreciative the community support so far.”
Chouinard has transitioned the town from demonstrating updated infrastructure to putting in place stormwater innovations that are more effective and economical. He has continued to design and install small scale green infrastructure in Arlington.
Chouinard’s efforts helped spark a second round of municipal and agency collaboration in the watershed with four more communities, which are likely to result in green infrastructure throughout the watershed and a cleaner Mystic River.
View more about Arlington’s Engineering Division, including information about the Stormwater Awareness Series Chouinard produced in 2012 – 2015, at arlingtonma.gov/engineering.