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Our Mission, Legal Status and Accountability
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

 

MORE INFORMATION
MWRA Board of Directors
Organization & Management
MWRA Advisory Board
Federal Court Reports
MWRA's 5-Year Progress Report
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OUR MISSION

MWRA's mission is to provide reliable, cost-effective, high-quality water and sewer services that protect public health, promote environmental stewardship, maintain customer confidence, and support a prosperous economy.

 

LEGAL STATUS

MWRA is a Massachusetts public authority established by an enabling act enacted in 1984. The enabling act is Chapter 372 of the Acts of 1984.

MWRA Enabling Act: pdf | html

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OUR WORK

MWRA is an independent authority that provides wholesale water and sewer services to its customer communities, and funds its operations primarily through user assessments and charges. MWRA was created by the legislature in 1984 and inherited operations and facilities beginning in 1985 from the Metropolitan District Commission, a century-old department of state government.

MWRA's 5-Year Progress Report (PDF)

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BUSINESS PLAN

MWRA's long-term business plan emphasizes improvements in service and systems and includes aggressive performance targets for operating the water and wastewater systems and maintaining new and existing facilities.

Parallel to MWRA's goal of carrying out its capital projects and operating programs is its goal of limiting rate increases to its customer communities. The need to achieve and maintain a balance between these two goals is a critical issue facing MWRA and is reflected each year in its proposed budget.

MWRA's Business Plan 2016-2020

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RATEPAYER ACCOUNTABILITY

Board of Directors
Eight of the 11 members of MWRA Board of Directors are directly or indirectly apppointed by the 61 customer communities. Three members are appointed by the Governor.

Advisory Board
The MWRA Advisory Board, which elects three members of the Board of Directors, is made up of a representative from each customer community. By statute, the Advisory Board reviews and comments on all MWRA’s operating and capital budgets.

Customer Communities
MWRA customer communities participate in the Advisory Board process and evaluate MWRA’s performance every day as MWRA and local officials work together to assure smooth operation of water and sewer services. The City of Boston has three representatives on the Board of Directors while the City of Quincy and the Town of Winthrop each have one.

Legislature and Governor
MWRA ratepayers help to elect 79 state representatives and 27 state senators who, especially through the MWRA Caucus, continually track MWRA and its project performance. The Governor oversees MWRA’s activities through three appointments to the Board of Directors.

State and Federal Agencies
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection approve project plans and issue permits for MWRA’s facilities. EPA and DEP also directly audit hundreds of millions of dollars of MWRA project spending.

Project Neighbors
The neighbors literally watch MWRA's work from their windows and enforce the terms of project mitigation agreements, which often incorporate legal requirements under MEPA or other laws.

Federal Court
MWRA reports to the federal court overseeing MWRA’s efforts to end years of sewer system non-compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.

Investment Community
Wall Street rating agencies and institutional bondholders track MWRA’s finances and project performance for schedule and cost.

The Public
Citizen Advisory Committees, environmental groups and many members of the public at large watch and scrutinize MWRA’s activities and construction projects at every step. For example, the Outfall Monitoring Science Advisory Panel is an independent group of 13 scientists appointed by EPA and DEP to review all scientific and technical matters related to the MWRA’s wastewater outfall in Massachusetts Bay. Neighbors to MWRA construction projects help enforce the terms of project mitigation agreements. MWRA provides project information via newsletters and a website.

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Updated July 9, 2015

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