U.S. Reps. Trahan, Moulton, Kuster and Pappas Seek Fed Help to Stop Combined Sewer Overflows

U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan and Seth Moulton in Andover in 2020. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Congresswoman Lori Trahan has assembled a coalition of Massachusetts and New Hampshire U.S. representatives fighting for an additional $500 million to help resolve the problem of combined sewer overflows into the Merrimack River.

Trahan is joined by Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas of New Hampshire. They sent a letter to the chairwoman and ranking member of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Subcommittee of Appropriations requesting additional money be allocated for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program for the year beginning next October.

“Every American has a right to clean, safe drinking water. For those who depend on the Merrimack River, that right is threatened by the 800 million gallons of sewage and untreated stormwater that ran into the river last year alone because of outdated sewer infrastructure,” said Trahan. “The federal government has an obligation to help cities like Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill make necessary sewer upgrades to prevent this sort of pollution.”

If approved and signed by President Donald Trump, the extra money would be used to award grants to states and municipalities for the planning, design and construction for combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows or stormwater management.

“There’s a saying in the Marines, that I’ll paraphrase here: sewage flows downhill. In this case, it is flowing downstream into the Merrimack from Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” Moulton said. “Everyone deserves clean water. We need to stop the flow of sewage into the Merrimack, and until we do that, we should at least be able to warn people when it happens.”

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