News & Notes
  A publication of the MWRA Advisory Board 
  July 2015

MWRA Advisory Board Field Trip

Have you signed up yet?

This year's Advisory Board Field Trip will explore the Wachusett Reservoir region of the MWRA system.  Along with our partners at the Department of Conservation and Recreation Division of Water Supply Protection, we will be observing ongoing critical watershed protection activities such as stormwater detention improvements, invasive species removal and bird control programs. We will also be able to walk across the top of Wachusett Dam.

Wachusett Dam

We will also be taking a tour of the Clinton Wastewater Treatment Plant, as well as demonstration of an Emergency Preparedness Drill at the Cosgrove Intake.

A barbecue lunch will be provided.

Reserve your spot by contacting Mary Ann McClellan at 617-788-2052 or Please let Mary Ann know if you wish to depart from Weston or Chelsea.

Did you know...

...the Clinton Wastewater Treatment Plant was not originally part of the transfer from the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) to the MWRA?  In 1987, the Commonwealth, in order to preserve Federal Clean Water Grants, turned operation of the plant over to the MWRA.  

We last visited the plant in the early 1990s.  Although it is a wastewater treatment plant, it was built to ensure reservoir protection; therefore, charges for the plant are paid through the communities' wholesale water assessments.

Governor Vetoes Debt Service Assistance
in the FY16 State Budget  

Among his $162 million in vetoes to the FY16 State Budget, Governor Charles Baker vetoed the $1.1 million that the legislature had included for Debt Service Assistance (DSA).  

The Advisory Board and MWRA staff have already initiated discussions with the Speaker's office to override the Governor's veto.  

Based on the adopted policy proposed by the Advisory Board, and approved by the MWRA Board of Directors ("Pay it Forward"), any DSA funds received will be used to offset the next fiscal year's increase; therefore, the approximately $800,000, if received, would be used to offset the projected $26.1 million increase for FY17.

Did you know...

...based on the original formula established in 1994 with the creation of the Commonwealth Sewer Rate Relief Fund, that he MWRA would be eligible to receive $70 million in DSA today, if fully funded?

A Letter from 

MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey


Dear Colleagues,


July 1, 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the operation of the MWRA and I would be remiss if I didn't take a minute to reflect back on how far we have come and to thank you for your dedication and fine public service.


In 1985, Boston Harbor was one of the dirtiest harbors in the country with dry weather SSOs and CSOs, the Charles River was literally a cesspool, our great water system was in disrepair, and the neglect of the watersheds compromised the quality of our source water.  The situation was beyond an embarrassment and the daunting tasks before the Board of Directors and staff must have seemed insurmountable.


I believe that we have and are accomplishing the mission envisioned by authors of the enabling act.  The cleanup of Boston Harbor is now considered one of the great environmental success stories in the country with the harbor being swimmable even during rainfall events.  This summer Save the Harbor/Save the Bay studied water quality from major beaches around country and determined that Boston had the cleanest urban beaches in the nation.  The EPA rated the Charles River water quality as a B+ and our CSO program is on schedule to be completed this year.  The water system is now back in the forefront of water systems nationally and our drinking water was selected as best in the country by the American Water Works Association. The results of our efforts across the board are positive and irrefutable.


It is important that the members of the Board of Directors should be recognized for their dedication and vision.  They set high standards for staff and hold themselves to those same standards.   The members of the Advisory Board, along with their staff, have played a critical role in this success as they continue to work to protect and promote the interests of our member communities. Without the support of our 61 member communities, none of this would have been possible. In addition, the thoughtful oversight of both Judge Mazzone and Judge Stearns have ensured that we have stayed the course. Finally, we have shown our ratepayers - who have borne the burden of rate increases necessary to pay off the bonds that funded these important projects - that we have spent their money wisely and effectively.


In closing, I hope that you too take pride in being part of this great organization and the great success that we have achieved.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your dedication to our important mission of providing a clean environment and safe drinking water for the 2.5 million people we serve.




Fred Laskey

 Governor Michael Dukakis
Signing the MWRA Enabling Act
Center: Gov. Michael Dukakis. L-R: William Golden, Robert Ciolek, Lorraine Downey, Alfred Saggese, Thomas Brownell, James Hoyte, John Cusack, Thomas Arnold, Margaret Riley, Anthony Fletcher, John Carroll, William Coughlin, Paul Anderson, Charles Lyons.

Did you know...

... that John Carroll is the only member of the Board of Directors who has served for the entire 30 years?

Upcoming Events


August 3rd at 1pm - Andrew Pappastergion's Swearing In Ceremony (Governor's Office)


August 20th -

MWRA Advisory Board Field Trip


Don't Forget to Reserve Your Spot!


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