April 2018

Climate Change Forum Planning

in Full Swing

#MuniWorks 2018


If you haven’t already, sign up for our June 15th Community Climate Change Forum at Boston College. So far, 59 people have registered for the event, which also serves as the Advisory Board’s June monthly meeting. The morning features an impressive roster of speakers, including former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, EPA Region 1 Administrator Alex Dunn, former Senator Bill Golden, and MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey. See the complete list of speakers on our website. In the meantime, we are working with our moderator Sangita Chandra, producer of “Chronicle” on WCVB ABC, to put together topics for the afternoon panel session. It will focus on financial opportunities, barriers, and strategies for communities to get started in facing this challenge. Sign up today, and please share with any interested colleagues. We hope to see you there!


Comments and Recommendations Preview

Reduce Cap and Rates by 21%

At its April meeting, Advisory Board staff previewed the emerging Comments and Recommendations on the MWRA’s proposed FY19 capital and current expense budgets. Staff is recommending the Authority reduce its proposed capital spending cap for FY19-23 from $1.2 billion to $950 million - a 21% reduction. Additionally, staff recommended reducing the combined rate revenue requirement increase from the proposed 3.91% to 3.07% - also a 21% reduction. Staff also unveiled a new rates challenge for the Authority over the next ten years: reduce the next five years’ rate increases to under 3.5% and achieve 2.4% rate increases by FY24. Staff outlines one potential pathway to get there, but emphasizes that there are many options and other tools the Authority can use to achieve the same result. Staff recognize that achieving this goal will not be easy - but looks forward to working with the Authority to rise to this new challenge.


Board Approves Authority Appointment for Director of Tunnel Redundancy

PMD Makes a Return

Kathleen Murtagh

Following the recommendation of the Advisory Board to utilize the Program Management Division model used on the Boston Harbor Project, the Authority has hired Kathleen Murtagh to the position of Director of the Tunnel Redundancy Program. Ms. Murtagh will assemble her team to get the project up and running. She served as Vice President of CDM Smith since 1997 and has over 28 years of geotechnical engineering experience. She also worked at Haley and Aldrich, Inc. The Advisory Board looks forward to working with Ms. Murtagh on this critical project for MWRA communities.


DCR Announces Watershed Appointments

Leading Water Supply Protection

Leo Pierre Roy, DCR Commissioner, recently approved the appointment of John Scannell as the Director of DCR’s Water Supply Protection Division. Previous Director, Jonathan Yeo, left in January for a position with the City of Newton. Mr. Scannell has 25 years of experience working with DCR, including 17 years as the Regional Director for the Wachusett/Sudbury Region. Patricia Austin was appointed as Acting Regional Director for the Wachusett/Sudbury Region. She has over 30 years of DCR experience, having served as the Division’s Director of Environmental Quality and leading the development and implementation of Watershed Protection Plans. Finally, Ken Mackenzie will be serving as the Acting Director of Natural Resources for the Division of Water Supply Protection. He worked as DCR’s lead wildlife biologist since 2007.

The Advisory Board looks forward to working with John, Pat, and Ken to continue prioritizing water supply protection.


Upcoming Events

For the Month of May

May 7-8 | NEWEA Stormwater Conference at the Sheraton Portsmouth
May 11 | 8:30 AM, Executive Committee Meeting at Advisory Board offices
May 17 | 11:30 AM, Advisory Board Meeting at Canton Public Library
May 30 | 10:00 AM, MWRA Board of Directors/Budget Meeting in MWRA Board Room


Connect With Us!

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