On Monday, April 25th the Advisory Board submitted comments on the Draft NPDES Medium WWTF General Permit for Massachusetts, which EPA has determined will apply to the Clinton Wastewater Treatment Plan.
The comments centered on EPA’s inclusion of language naming communities – in this case the towns of Clinton and Lancaster – as co-permittees on the MWRA’s forthcoming NPDES permit. This issue has been a longstanding one for the Advisory Board, and continues to be a concern not only for the Clinton WWTP, but more importantly for the anticipated new NPDES permit for the Deer Island Treatment Plant. MWRA also submitted comments, providing very strong language and compelling legal arguments against EPA’s authority to name communities as co-permittees. Both the MWRA and the Advisory Board used their comments to prepare for language we anticipate in the Deer Island permit.
In addition to submitting comments on the Clinton permit, the Advisory Board has begun reaching out to environmental law firms to discuss the matter and solicit proposals should the need arise to appeal the Clinton NPDES permit and/or the Deer Island NPDES permit.
As always, Advisory Board staff will continue monitoring and engaging on this issue, with the goal to ensure that the final language of the NPDES permits will not negatively impact communities, or more importantly the relationship between the MWRA and its member communities.