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Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
PRESS RELEASE - For Immediate Release
March 16, 2006
CONTACT: Ria Convery, Communications Director
(617) 788-1105, <>



MWRA Reaches Agreement Over Long-term CSO Control Plan
Landmark settlement will continue clean-up of Boston Harbor

More Information
CSO Annual Report Cover
> CSO Annual Report for 2005
newspaper graphic
Boston Globe Article:
> "MWRA Agrees to Curb Sewage Flow into Charles"
U.S. EPA Press Release:
> "MWRA to Implement Sharp Reductions in Sewage Contamination of Charles River" (on
Conservation Law Foundation Press Release:
> "Massive Reduction in Charles River Sewage Discharge to Occur" (on
Court Filings:
> Motion
> Order
> MWRA Memo
> Stipulation

The approval by EPA and DEP of a Comprehensive CSO Agreement marks the culmination of the MWRA’s long-term plan to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) to Boston Harbor and its tributaries, including the Charles River.

Since 1987, MWRA has been at the forefront nationally in the planning, design and implementation of CSO control.

The CSO plan is the final phase of the clean-up of Boston Harbor under the federal court order. A joint motion (PDF) asking for approval of the plan was filed yesterday with Judge Richard G. Stearns.

The goal of the program is to protect swimming beaches, shell fishing beds and other sensitive waters from overflows due to heavy rains. For example, the Charles River has been one of the greatest beneficiaries of the program to date, with a reduction in CSO discharges of over 90% in a typical year. Improvements added in the new Agreement will increase that to 99%.

Another major component is the $250 million storage tunnel project along the popular South Boston beaches, which will make these among the most highly protected urban beaches in the country.

By 2015, MWRA is projected to spend over $850 million on CSO control projects, in addition to the $3.8 billion already spent on the Boston Harbor Clean-up that have dramatically improved the health of the harbor and brought people back to Boston’s waterfront.

MWRA also filed its Annual CSO Progress Report (5MB PDF) for 2005 with the Court.


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