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Joint Base Cape Cod sheds wastewater treatment plant from mission

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Ktr101, CC BY-SA 4.0
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Wikimedia Commons
Entrance to Joint Base Cape Cod

A Massachusetts-based company has reached a deal to take over a wastewater treatment plant on Joint Base Cape Cod.

Converge LLC acquired the plant. In exchange, the company will build a recreational facility for the Air Force and other users on the base.

Base officials call the agreement a win as they divest utilities and other non-mission critical infrastructure.

Several towns surrounding Joint Base Cape Cod have expressed an interest in bringing sewage to the plant, as they try to mitigate nitrogen pollution in local estuaries.

Converge founder Matt Kennedy says he’s open to working with the community.

"A big part of that has been the potential opportunity to also work with the surrounding community to build — over time what would look like a regional wastewater treatment system, that could meet the needs of the Upper Cape community for water quality issues that the whole region is wrestling with," Kennedy told CAI.

Converge worked with Barnstable on a feasibility study, as part of the last two years of negotiations with the base. Barnstable is planning a more than billion dollar sewer plan to address pollution in its estuaries.

“But we’re also committed to meeting the needs of the adjacent towns – Sandwich, Bourne, Falmouth, and Mashpee – to ensure those water quality issues are solved for everybody,” Kennedy said.

The treatment plant would likely need to be expanded if other towns pipe sewage to the plant, which Kennedy says he's open to doing.

Meanwhile, U.S. Air Force officials say they are excited with the agreement.

The Air Force has been attempting to divest utility assets for more than a decade.

“This is a tremendous accomplishment for the Massachusetts Air National Guard and the Air Force,” said Colonel Sean Riley, 102nd Intelligence Wing Commander. "Managing utilities is not part of our core competencies; this divestment will allow our people to focus more on their primary military missions."

A formal ceremony will be scheduled at a later date to commemorate this transfer.

A water plant is also part of the agreement. Kennedy says they'll work with communities on the Upper Cape to help supply water to the region.

Sam Houghton has been with the station since the summer of 2017. Before that, he worked at the Falmouth Enterprise, where he covered local politics.