October 2017

John Carroll Sworn In


John Carroll was sworn in for the tenth time earlier this month by Governor Baker. John was first elected by the Advisory Board to the Board of Directors in 1985 and is now the only original member still serving. In fact, the Advisory Board has the three longest-serving members on the Board. Congratulations, John!

Although John is remaining on the Board of Directors, he has decided to retire from his post in Norwood. He served as Town Manager since 1978. There is a dinner planned in John’s honor scheduled for November 16 (click to see event details).


Auditor Bump Calls for Primacy Funding

Promoting a Successful Program

Last week, in her statement of support of state administration of NPDES permits, State Auditor Suzanne Bump advocated for changes to program funding as currently proposed in H.2777. First, Auditor Bump called for a user fee in addition to a small component from the general fund. To promote long-term sustainability, she also called for major industrial and commercial sources to contribute through a fee. Her comments stressed that the current funding estimates are too low to maintain a successful program, echoing her office’s January report about the need for increased water infrastructure spending.

You can read Auditor Bump’s comments in full here, as well as the Advisory Board position here.


Environmental Quality Update

The Science Looks Good

With drastically reduced bacteria levels in Boston Harbor water, swimmable beaches, and healthier Massachusetts Bay wildlife, the vast scores of MWRA monitoring data paint a picture of a reinvigorated ecosystem. Much of this success can be attributed to the creation of the MWRA, its renovation of Deer Island, and controlling combined sewer overflows as part of the Boston Harbor Project.

The Environmental Quality (EnQual) department has released a helpful brochure describing these improvements. Highlighted is the monitoring data on Enterococcus, an indicator bacteria found in human waste, and how Enterococcus levels have changed since the court-ordered upgrades to treatment. A before and after comparison demonstrates an extreme reduction in Enterococcus levels in the Bay, as well as in contributing waters.

Check out EnQual’s pamphlet here. And you can find the Advisory Board's Just The FAQs video on Enterococcus here.


Upcoming Webinars

And Our Climate Change Video

Charles River Watershed Association and Geosyntec Consultants are hosting a stormwater management webinar today, October 31 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM. The event is free and focuses on TMDL compliance. More information about joining the webinar can be found here.

EPA’s Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), which works in coordination with the State Revolving Fund, is having a number of webinars in December related to eligible water and wastewater projects, program loans, and the application process. Register for the upcoming webinars here.

In case you missed it, our video on the MWRA’s approach to storm preparedness and climate change is available online. From routine deployment of emergency equipment to strategic long-term planning, learn more about what the Authority is doing to protect its assets in the event of major storms here


A Day Without Water

Hosted by the Value of Water Campaign

On October 12, 2017, the Advisory Board was one of 750 organizations to encourage water users (i.e., everyone) to consider the essential value of water in our everyday lives. Everyone from community leaders to water agencies to students engaged in a conversation about how difficult it would be to live even just one day without water. Especially after environmental disasters like Flint, Michigan and the recent wave of hurricanes, the need for improved water infrastructure becomes all the more acute. Find more resources available from the campaign here. Make sure you follow us on Twitter (@ABmwra) and search #ValueWater to see how we contributed to the campaign.


Upcoming Events

For the Month of November

November 9* | 8:30 AM, Executive Committee Meeting at AB Offices
November 10 | Veteran’s Day (Office Open)
November 14 | Advisory Board and WAC Discuss Primacy
November 15 | 10:00 AM, MWRA Board of Directors Meeting, Charlestown
November 16 | 11:30 AM, Advisory Board Meeting at BWSC
November 16 | John Carroll’s Retirement Party
November 23 | Happy Thanksgiving!
November 24 | Office Closed

*Executive Committee meets on a Thursday this month due to the Friday holiday.

Have a Happy Halloween!


Connect With Us!

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