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United States v. Metropolitan District Commission

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 5, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COMMISSION, et al. CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION OF NEW ENGLAND, INC.
v.
METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COMMISSION

          SCHEDULE SEVEN COMPLIANCE ORDER NUMBER 241

          RICHARD G. STEARNS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         On June 15, 2017, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) filed its Biannual Compliance and Progress Report (the 241st such report over the course of this litigation). The United States and the Conservation Law Foundation have since notified the court that they do not intend to file responses.

         Schedule Seven

         There were no scheduled activities during the past six months on Schedule Seven.

         Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) Program

         a. CSO Post-Construction Monitoring

         The MWRA has continued preparing for the post-construction CSO monitoring program and performance assessment that will begin in January of 2018. The assessment will conclude in December of 2020 with the submission of a final report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

         b. CSO Water Quality Standards Variances

         On May 1, 2017, in compliance with a condition in the CSO variances to the Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards for the Lower Charles River/Charles Basin and the Alewife Brook/Upper Mystic River, the MWRA submitted to DEP a proposed Scope of Work covering the post-construction monitoring and assessment program. DEP published the Scope of Work on May 24, 2017, opening a thirty-day period for public comment. DEP has been asked to submit any final comments promptly in order to allow the timely issuance of a Request for Qualifications/Proposals. This will permit the awarding of the consultant contract this fall, consistent with Schedule Seven.

         c. Annual CSO Discharge Report

         On April 30, 2017, the MWRA submitted to EPA and DEP its annual report estimating CSO discharge frequencies, durations, and volume for 2016. The report is the latest installment in the ongoing process of compiling historical hydraulic data. In addition to the modeling of rainfall events in 2016, the MWRA has incorporated the 2016 data into the Typical Year Rainfall Model. With respect to the year 2016 itself, the Compliance Report provides the following summary.

Drought conditions prevailed [in 2016]. While there were more storms (approximately 99) in 2016 than in the Typical Year (93), amounts of rain and rainfall intensities were low for most storms, contributing to a total rainfall volume of 32-37 inches across the region compared to 46 inches in the Typical Year, resulting in significantly lower CSO discharge frequencies and volumes.

         d. City of Cambridge CSO Restoration Work

         Since the successful completion of the CAM004 sewer separation project in December of 2015, the MWRA has continued to support the City of Cambridge in repairing the disturbances caused by the CSO work to 7.8 miles of roadway, 15 miles of sidewalk, and 150 pedestrian ramps. The restoration work has been focused during the past six months in the Huron Avenue East and Concord Lane sectors of the City. All remaining restoration work is scheduled to be completed by December of 2017. Pursuant to various financial agreements reached with the City beginning in ...


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