Letter to MassDEP

On November 21, 2022, Save the Alewife Brook sent a letter to Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.  This letter is in response to the 36-month extension that MWRA, Cambridge, and Somerville have requested for completing the planning of the new Alewife Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) plan. In our 11/21/2022 letter to MassDEP, we wrote: “WeContinue reading “Letter to MassDEP”

How the Myth of the Boston Harbor Cleanup Hides a Subsidy to Pollute

by David Stoff I’m going to tell you a story. I have a point of view. I’m not hiding it. Depending on your point of view, this story is either history, or myth. It’s the story of the cleanup of Boston Harbor.  Think it’s over? You can see the crown jewel, the Deer Island TreatmentContinue reading How the Myth of the Boston Harbor Cleanup Hides a Subsidy to Pollute

Why is the MWRA hiding sewage pollution?

The Boston Harbor Clean-Up worked wonders in the Boston Harbor and in the Charles River, but Massachusetts Water Resources Authority’s claim that they have achieved an 85% reduction of combined sewer overflows to the Alewife Brook is not consistent with their own data about the vast quantities of sewage actually discharged into our little brookContinue reading “Why is the MWRA hiding sewage pollution?”

Public CSO Meeting Strategy

We need a strong show of support on Wednesday night. The MWRA must make major upgrades to their regional sewer system. Their sewer system reaches capacity during many storm events. This is when sewage pollution is dumped into our rivers and streams. The MWRA will not fix the problem if they think no one cares.Continue reading “Public CSO Meeting Strategy”

Now is Your Time to Make a Difference

Public Meeting on Combined Sewer Overflows Wednesday June 29th at 6 PM We need you now! On Wednesday, June 29th, at 6 PM, Cambridge, Somerville and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) are holding their first public meeting via Zoom to discuss Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). The legal limit for sewage discharge in the AlewifeContinue reading “Now is Your Time to Make a Difference”

The Alewife Brook Resolution

On June 8th, 2022, Arlington Town Meeting voted 197-1 to pass a Resolution for the Alewife Brook that states: “Town Meeting declares the Alewife Brook to be a valuable natural resource deserving of equal commitment to rehabilitate and restore to the highest water quality standards feasible for wildlife, resident abutters, and recreation; and  FURTHER, thatContinue reading “The Alewife Brook Resolution”

Exciting News from EPA

In response the new CSO (Combined Sewer Outfall) control plan “draft scopes”, the EPA has sent letters to MWRA, Somerville, and Cambridge, addressing every single one of our concerns, which are described in our “Alewife Brook Path to Zero Sewage Pollution“. What is a “draft scope”? A draft scope is framework for the planning ofContinue reading “Exciting News from EPA”

A Path to Zero Sewage Pollution

for a Safe, Beautiful, Fishable Alewife Brook for Residents and Wildlife Save the Alewife Brook (StAB) is working hard for dramatic improvements in and around the Alewife Brook. Planning will be starting soon for what may be a huge investment to clean up the brook and make environmental improvements! The great cities of Cambridge andContinue reading “A Path to Zero Sewage Pollution”

Earth Day Alewife Path Cleanup

& CSO Tour with Ghost Fish Art Installation On Saturday April 23rd, 2022, Save the Alewife Brook volunteers gathered along the Alewife Greenway for a trash pickup, CSO tour, and ended the event at the Ghost Fish Art Installation at Mass Ave and Route 16. Save the Alewife Brook thanks the two dozen people fromContinue reading “Earth Day Alewife Path Cleanup”

The Dirty Secret About the Alewife Sewer System:

It was Designed to Pollute In 2015, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority reconstructed and enlarged the Combined Sewer Outfall known as MWR003 in the Alewife wetland.1 This CSO was enlarged and functionality was added to it, to provide hydraulic pressure relief for the system downstream. Before the MWRA performed the work on this CSO inContinue reading “The Dirty Secret About the Alewife Sewer System:”

Meetings with EPA & DEP & MWRA

Last week, the Charles River Watershed Association, the Mystic River Watershed Association, and Save the Alewife Brook had meetings with the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to discuss our recent letter to the regulators. This comes at a time when new plans are coming due to eliminate combined sewerContinue reading “Meetings with EPA & DEP & MWRA”

We’re Speaking Truth to Power!

On March 11th, 2022, the Charles River Watershed Association, the Mystic River Watershed Association, and Save the Alewife Brook came together to speak with one voice to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. Together, we collaborated on the following letter about the decades-long Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) work; weContinue reading “We’re Speaking Truth to Power!”

March 13th Community Meeting

Join us on Sunday March 13th at 7 PM Please join us on Sunday March 13th at 7 pm for Save the Alewife Brook’s March Community Meeting! We’ll discuss the looming April 1st deadline, when Cambridge, Somerville, and the MWRA are required to submit the initial scope of their new Long Term CSO (Combined SewerContinue reading “March 13th Community Meeting”

MWRA Final CSO Meeting Bombshells

On February 17 2022 the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) hosted a public briefing to discuss their Final combined sewer overflow (CSO) Performance Assessment Report. This was based on their four-year CSO assessment, which looked at their system’s CSO performance from 2018 to 2021. This briefing was a requirement of the Federal Boston Harbor Clean-upContinue reading “MWRA Final CSO Meeting Bombshells”

FEMA’s 100-year Flood Model with CSO and Environmental Justice Populations Data

Click here to use an interactive map that displays CSO locations, FEMA’s 100 year flood model from 2020, and Environmental Justice Population blocks. This interactive map displays Combined Sewer Outfall locations as clickable red dots. Clicking on the red dots will reveal additional information about each individual CSO, including links to the NPDES pollution permitContinue reading “FEMA’s 100-year Flood Model with CSO and Environmental Justice Populations Data”

MWRA CSO Report Provides No Solution to Alewife’s Problems

On December 30, 2021, the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) published its anticipated Final CSO Performance Assessment, as part of a series of regulatory reports that have been submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. These reports are a requirement of the landmark Boston Harbor Cleanup Case.Continue reading “MWRA CSO Report Provides No Solution to Alewife’s Problems”

REGULATORY TIMELINE FOR ALEWIFE CSOs

with links to source documents 2021 DECEMBER 31, 2021Metropolitan Water Resource Authority (MWRA) Combined Sewer Outfall (CSO) “Final Performance Assessment and Water Quality Assessment” Report is out. 2022 JANUARY 2022Public comment meeting date will be announced for MWRA’s CSO Report, thirty days in advance of a February meeting. Source: DEP 2019 Alewife Variance Permit, SectionContinue reading “REGULATORY TIMELINE FOR ALEWIFE CSOs”

Alewife Brook Sewage Pollution Today Vs. 1997, Pre-Boston Harbor Cleanup

The 2021 CSO discharge numbers are significant because they show ZERO reduction in the volume of discharges, as compared to the original 1997 assessment. That predates any improvements that were made as part of the Boston Harbor Cleanup case to close the CSOs.