June 2017

Stay of Execution

MS4 Requirements on Hold

EPA intends to grant a stay to postpone the July 1, 2017, effective date of the Massachusetts Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) General Permit. EPA actions were a direct result of a request from the Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship and the City of Lowell’s request for a stay pending their appeal of the 2016 Massachusetts MS4 General Permit.

Additional information from EPA on this postponement will follow. EPA expects the information to be on their website in the near future. We’ll continue to update you as we learn more.

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MWRA Board of Directors Approves 3.19% Rate Revenue Increase for FY18

Lowest in 5 Years

In February, MWRA proposed a rate revenue requirement increase of 3.79%. Through the statutory review of the Advisory Board staff and discussions with MWRA staff, the BOD approved on Wednesday a $743.6 FY18 Current Expense Budget, which represents a rate revenue increase of 3.19% from FY17.

3.19% is the lowest percentage increase in the Authority’s CEB in five years. Click here to view the complete list of MWRA’s responses to Advisory Board recommendations. Find the FY18 community assessments here.

The FY18 budget continues to reflect both staffs’ stated goal of sustainable and predictable rate increases, and is well within the Advisory Board mantra of “Four No More.” Advisory Board staff would like to thank MWRA staff for their cooperation, diligence, and professionalism throughout the FY18 budget process.

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Harbor Cruise Field Trip

Join Us!

First notices for our August 17, 2017, field trip will be going out next week. This year’s theme is “The Renaissance of Boston Harbor: An Environmental and Economic Success Story.” Our guided cruise will start at Deer Island and circle back for a cookout lunch at the plant. (Tours of Deer Island will be available.) Stay tuned for more details!

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Information as it Occurs

A New Approach to BOD Summaries

The Advisory Board has been creating MWRA Board of Directors summaries since the creation of the Authority. Over the years, we have tweaked and changed their format to keep them relevant to our membership.

Here we go again!

As a staff, we are experimenting on how to best communicate the happenings of BOD meetings moving forward, hoping to avoid flooding your inbox with yet another lengthy email. Here’s our revised approach:

• Both the Authority and the Advisory Board will post BOD agendas and detailed Board meeting materials (staff summaries) to our websites the Monday before meetings. You can always find meeting materials for these meetings as well as any other meeting on the calendar event page for the date of the event. Try it out now.

• During the actual meeting, Advisory Board staff will live-tweet important conversations and points that are raised, flagging topics for more detailed blog posts later. We use the hashtag #MWRABOD if you want to quickly search and/or follow along or engage.

• All Board votes will be posted to our website after the conclusion of the meeting and the minutes shortly thereafter, also on the calendar event page.

• We will continue to audio record all meetings to ensure a complete record for our office archives. 

• Lastly, we will create a new section of News and Notes to highlight the discussion topic that we consider to be most significant from that month’s meeting.

This new approach allows us (and you) to hone in on the important issues in a timely, almost instantaneous manner. We debuted our new approach with the meeting on June 28th. Thank you for your patience and feedback as we try to make these resources as useful as possible.

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Board Briefs

Odor Control "Belt and Suspenders" =

$4 Million... $8 Million... $12 Million?

An issue raised at the Board meeting centered on odor control at Nut Island. A dual odor control system being proposed would cost ratepayers an additional $4 million. How might decisions for this facility increase costs at other headworks? Learn more as well as see other critical issues discussed at the BOD meeting, in the new “Board Briefs” blog post here.

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Upcoming Events

In July and August

July 19 | 10:00 AM, MWRA Board of Directors Meeting in Charlestown
August 17 | 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM, Advisory Board Field Trip (starts at Deer Island)

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July! 

Hope to see you on the Field Trip!

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Connect With Us!

MWRA Advisory Board | 617-788-2050 |  mwra.ab@mwraadvisoryboard.com