New Bedford is committed to the highest environmental standards
New Bedford supports local maritime businesses and encourages responsible waste management through the operation and maintenance of port waste facilities. Also, the NBPA monitors the waterfront for oil spills and floating debris daily, and ensures that operational activities do not interfere with natural resources. The NBPA is also responsible for containing spills. If a vessel is damaged, sinks, or otherwise spills oil in New Bedford Harbor, the NBPA will use a 110 foot oil boom to isolate and contain persistent and non-persistent substances.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
$366 Million settlement for New Bedford Harbor Superfund Cleanup
The EPA manages the cleanup of the New Bedford Harbor Superfund site, which extends from the northern reaches of the Acushnet River estuary south through the commercial harbor of New Bedford and into Buzzards Bay. The historic settlement announced on October 10, 2012 will dramatically shorten the clean up period to five to seven years! The Port of New Bedford will report updates when they will potentially affect Harbor users on our home page under Special Announcements.
The cleanup includes dredging approximately 450,000 cubic yards of PCB-contaminated sediment from the Harbor. The dredged sediment will be contained in shoreline confined disposal facilities (CDFs) or transported offsite to a licensed landfill. Once completed, the CDFs will be available for reuse as shoreline open space and parks.
Local Environmental Organizations
The Buzzards Bay Action Committee, created in 1987, brings together town officials from 13 municipalities around Buzzards Bay to foster regional cooperation and discuss specific ways for communities to address environmental problems.
The Buzzards Bay Project National Estuary Program is a planning and technical assistance unit of the MA Office of Coastal Zone Management that is primarily funded by the EPA. The program works with communities, government agencies, and others to implement recommended actions in the Buzzards Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan, which was completed in 1991.
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the restoration, protection, and sustainable use and enjoyment of Buzzards Bay and its 432-square mile watershed. Founded in 1987, the coalition works to improve the health of the bay’s ecosystem through education, conservation, research, and advocacy.
Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
The MA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is responsible for protecting human health and the environment by ensuring clean air and water, safe management and disposal of solid and hazardous wastes, timely cleanup of hazardous waste sites and spills, and preservation of wetlands and coastal resources. New Bedford is within DEP's Southeast Region.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The U.S. Customs in the Port has jurisdiction over the Ports of Plymouth, Fall River, Cape Cod, and the Islands. Customs inspectors enter and clear all foreign commercial vessels entering these ports. Private vessels also have to comply with Custom reporting requirements. Customs also performs inspections at the New Bedford Municipal Airport when private aircraft arrive from outside the Customs territory. Through diligence, close inspection, and sophisticated technology, Customs has fought the flow of illegal drugs into this country. Customs also examines conveyances, cargo, and passengers entering the United States to collect tariffs on imported goods. New Bedford has the oldest continuously operated U.S. Custom House in the country.