Program and Federal Clean Water Act
Congress passed the Clean Water Act in part to set water quality standards
for water bodies that receive effluent from sewage treatment systems.
The Boston Harbor cleanup came about from a lawsuit by the cities of Boston
and Quincy against the Metropolitan District Commission (MWRA's predecessor)
for failing to comply with the Clean Water Act. MWRA was formed to bring
Boston's metropolitan sewer system and Boston Harbor into compliance with
a court order, a result of this lawsuit. The Clean Water Act also requires
that businesses and industries that discharge into the sewer system be
regulated through an industrial pretreatment program. TRAC administers
the Industrial Pretreatment Program for the MWRA service area.