News & Notes
  A publication of the MWRA Advisory Board 
  February 2015
"Getting to Know You"

With every election cycle comes the responsibility / opportunity to re-introduce ourselves, share our beliefs, share our positions and concerns, exchange ideas and forge relationships with our newly sworn in state leaders.

As part of our March meeting, we are honored that the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Chairman of the MWRA Board of Directors, Matthew Beaton, will be addressing the Advisory Board

In the coming months, the we will be inviting many leaders of state government to an Advisory Board meeting.  Staff is also assembling information packets to provide to leaders as we schedule briefings.    
So Long, Farewell...
Congratulations Rachel!

It's official, Rachel Madden, former MWRA Director of Administration and Finance, was sworn in as Under Secretary of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth at a State House ceremony on February 6, 2015.
State House Ceremony to swear in Rachel Madden as Under Secretary of Administration and Finance

Rachel has accepted the Advisory Board's invitation to join us at our March meeting in Boston.

Environmental Appeals Board Denies Review of Charles River Pollution Control District's NPDES Appeal

Last September, the Executive Committee of the MWRA Advisory Board voted to financially assist the towns (Bellingham, Franklin, Medway and Millis) that make up the Charles River Pollution Control District (CRPCD) in their appeal of the CRPCD's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.  (See September 2014 News and Notes.)

Together with the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District, the town's petitioned the Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) to review both their status as co-permittees and the permit conditions that apply to them.

Oral arguments by the plaintiffs' attornies, Bowditch and Dewey, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were heard in December.  

In a decision handed down on February 4, the three-member EAB denied review of the appeal, siding with EPA on all issues.

All parties are determining next steps.  To access the decision, click here.

Staff will keep you informed of any future developments.

If A Picture Paints A Thousand Words

The Advisory Board's stated objective is simple.  The MWRA and its contractor, New England Fertilizer Company (NEFCo), must be able to distribute pellets as unrestricted-use as fertilizer in-state 12 months of the year.

Currently, that is unattainable due to the exceedence of the Massachusetts Department of Envrionmental Protection's (DEP's) limit for molybdenum concentration in bio-solids.

The DEP level of 25 mg/kg is three times lower than the EPA level of 75 mg/kg.  New York's level is 40 mg/kg, based on a scientific study done by O'Connor, et al., which calls 40 mg/kg "conservative."

As things stand today, the only way for the Authority to ensure meeting the DEP-set level of molybdenum concentration in bio-solids is to control levels of molybdenum entering the system or outright ban its use, possibly forcing the MWRA through a regulatory process to classify cooling towers as significant industrial users (SIU), which will trigger the Toxic Reduction and Control (TRAC) Division of the Authority to issue permits, perform site inspections, assess fees, and issue fines for non-compliance.

Take a look at that picture again...can you see a common-sense solution?   

Upcoming Events


March 11th - MWRA Board of Directors - Charlestown

at 10:00 a.m.


March 13th - Executive Committee Meeting - Charlestown at 8:30 a.m.


 March 19th -

Advisory Board Meeting - Boston at 11:30 a.m.


Join Our E-Mail List
In addition, if you are interested in receiving the monthly News & Notes, along with any other important updates regarding the Advisory Board, please subscribe to our mailing list.  Thank you!
Website & Twitter
If you are interested in finding out more about the Advisory Board, click here to visit our website. You can also follow us on Twitter by clicking on the link below.

Follow us on Twitter