USA v. M.D.C., et al
Judge Richard G. Stearns: Schedule Seven Compliance ORDER Number 241 entered. (Zierk, Marsha)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
CIVIL ACTION NO. 85-0489-RGS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COMMISSION, et al.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 83-1614-RGS
CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION
OF NEW ENGLAND, INC.
METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COMMISSION
SCHEDULE SEVEN COMPLIANCE ORDER NUMBER 241
July 5, 2017
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.
There were no scheduled activities during the past six months on
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
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
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 1996, the MWRA
will have invested over $100 million in CSO-related projects in the City of
Cambridge by the time the final agreement expires in June of 2018.
e. City of Boston/Dorchester Bay CSO Control Work
While much of the CSO control work affecting South Dorchester Bay
was completed in 2006, the Boston Water and Sewer Commission (BWSC)
and the MWRA have long recognized that wet weather burdens continue to
pose a challenge to the main-line Dorchester Interceptor, requiring
additional hydraulic relief to avoid flooding in tributary neighborhoods. On
May 17, 2017, the MWRA Board of Directors endorsed a new Dorchester
Interceptor Inflow Removal Agreement between the MWRA and the BWSC.
The Agreement replaces the original two-decades-old Memorandum of
Understanding. Under the new Agreement, the MWRA will continue to
make funds available to the BWSC for necessary improvements to the
Between now and June 30, 2021, the MWRA
expects to invest an additional $3.8 million in the BWSC’s refurbishing of
Deer Island Cross-Harbor Cable
As reported to the court, a satisfactory agreement has been reached
among the parties over the immediate steps to be taken to reposition the
cross-harbor cable serving Deer Island.
This will make it possible to
accommodate the time table of the Army Corps of Engineers’ forthcoming
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Report Card
The MWRA (and the Court) are pleased to note that the environmental
activist group, Save the Harbor/Save the Bay, has given high marks to the
continuing impact of the Boston Harbor cleanup on the littoral beaches. As
the 2016 report card notes, 98% of water samples met the bacterial
swimming standard at Pleasure Bay and South Boston Beach, while 100%
compliance was achieved at the other South Boston beaches and Savin Hill
Beach. Beaches also earning high marks are Malibu Beach (96%), Tenean
Beach (92%), and Constitution Beach (96%).
Consistent with the court’s revised Scheduling Order, the MWRA will
submit Compliance Report No. 242 on or before December 15, 2017.
/s/ Richard G. Stearns
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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