The Boston Harbor Case
Since 1985, MWRA has been subject to a Clean Water Act enforcement action to end years of wastewater pollution of Boston Harbor and its tributaries from the old Deer Island and Nut Island treatment plants and combined sewer overflows (CSOs).
The enforcement case was initiated by the Conservation Law Foundation in 1983 and taken up by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1985. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission, the City of Quincy and the Town of Winthrop are also parties to the case.
The late Federal District Judge A. David Mazzone presided over the litigation from 1985 to September 2004. Judge Mazzone's initial remedial order in December 1985 established the framework for his oversight of the case and the schedule of activities to be undertaken to achieve compliance with the law. Since that time, MWRA has planned and built extensive new facilities, on Deer Island and Nut Island and in Quincy. MWRA has a long-term CSO control plan approved by EPA, MassDEP and the Federal Court, has completed 32 of the plan’s 35 site-specific CSO projects, and expects to complete construction of the remaining three projects by December 2015.
As part of compliance with the Judge's order, the MWRA was required to file a monthly compliance and progress report on its ongoing activities. On December 15, 2000 Judge Mazzone amended his order to require MWRA to report on a quarterly basis, beginning March 2001. On September 30, 2004, the Boston Harbor Case was transferred to Judge Richard G. Stearns.
Updated August 3, 2015
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