United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
SCHEDULE SEVEN COMPLIANCE ORDER NUMBER 243
RICHARD G. STEARNS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
15, 2018, the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA)
filed its Biannual Compliance and Progress Report (the 243rd
such report over the course of this litigation). The United
States and the Conservation Law Foundation have elected since
not to file responses.
three-year performance assessment of the Long-Term Combined
Sewer Overflow (CSO) Control Plan was inaugurated in January
of 2018 in compliance with the milestone set out in Schedule
Seven. The performance consultant contract awarded to AECOM
Technical Services, Inc. (AECOM), in October of 2017 provides
for periodic inspections, wastewater system and CSO metering,
hydraulic metering, CSO performance assessments, and water
quality assessments. A final report demonstrating that the
MWRA has achieved compliance with CSO control standards is
expected in December of 2020 in compliance with the last
milestone of Schedule Seven.
Sewer Overflow (CSO) Program
CSO Post-Construction Monitoring
the date of this report, AECOM has now inspected the more
than 200 regulator structures associated with the 84 CSO
outfalls identified in the Long-Term Control Plan (many of
which have been closed). AECOM has overseen the installation
of metering at 58 CSO regulator sites (33 active sites and 25
sites capable of activation during extreme weather events).
The gathering of data from the sites began on April 15, 2018,
and is being used to reconcile differences (minor for the
most part) between verified discharges and the predictions of
the current hydraulic model in order to make adjustments to
the model as needed.
with the MWRA, AECOM has also begun collecting and recording
data from the existing permanent meters installed in the
pumping stations and treatment facilities maintained by the
MWRA, as well as the regulator meters maintained by the four
CSO communities (Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, and Somerville).
AECOM has also begun collating rainfall data from the network
of gauges that the MWRA uses for its hydraulic model
with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP), the MWRA has continued its program of monitoring water
quality in the receiving waters (the Lower Charles River and
Charles Basin, and the Alewife Brook/Upper Mystic River)
granted CSO variances by DEP. The MWRA is currently in
discussions with the DEP over the scope of the information it
needs to support its long-term water quality standards
determinations for the variance waters.
Annual CSO Discharge Report
April 30, 2018, the MWRA submitted to the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) and the DEP the seventeenth in its
series of annual reports estimating CSO discharge
frequencies, durations, and volumes at each of the active CSO
outfalls. In preparing the report, the MWRA modeled all of
the some 100 rainfall events in 2017 and compared them with
the predictions of the Typical Year rainfall model developed
for setting performance standards under the court-ordered
Long-Term Control Plan. The Report notes that 2017 saw the
end of drought conditions in the Greater Boston area and a
total rainfall amount in line with the Typical Year forecast.
CSO discharge frequencies largely tracked the model
predictions for the Typical Year, while predicted discharge
volume was higher, most likely because of the unusual
closeness of a number of storm events.
Financial Assistance Agreements
MWRA reports that its CSO Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
and Financial Assistance Agreement with the City of Cambridge
expired on June 30, 2018. Under the Agreement, the MWRA
provided the City of Cambridge with more than $100 million to
support the design and construction of the Alewife Wetland,
as well as the sewer separation and hydraulic relief projects
that have greatly reduced the frequency and volume of CSO
discharges to Alewife Brook and the Charles River. Under the
Cambridge MOU and MOUs entered previously with the Boston
Water and Sewer Commission and the Town of Brookline, the
MWRA supported community design and construction of 16 of the
35 Long-Term Control Plan projects and the installation of
over 100 miles of new drain and sewer pipes. Collectively,
the MWRA provided $428 million in capital construction funds
to the CSO communities in a collaborative effort to reduce or
eliminate CSO discharges to the Charles River, the Reserved
Channel, the Fort Point Channel, the Neponset River, South
Dorchester Bay, and Constitution Beach.
Water Quality ...