BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) has extended the current shellfish harvesting closure in Mount Hope Bay following an unauthorized wastewater discharge from a nearby pump station.
The closure has been in effect since Sunday, when roughly 11,250 gallons of untreated wastewater was accidentally released from the pump station on Annawamscutt Avenue, according to the DEM.
The DEM noted that Mount Hope Bay’s conditionally approved shellfishing waters were already closed at the time due to excessive rainfall.
The rain-related shellfishing closure will remain in effect until Oct. 29. But the DEM specified that the waters impacted by the unauthorized discharge will remain closed until further notice.
The extended closure impacts Mount Hope Bay north of a line extending from the southernmost tip of Mount Hope Point in Bristol east to the northern tip of Common Fence Point in Portsmouth. The Kickemuit River Shellfish Management Area is not impacted by the extended closure.
The DEM added that it would be testing the water quality and shellfish meat in those waters to verify acceptable conditions prior to reopening the impacted waters to harvesting.