U.S. Reps. Lori Trahan and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster of New Hampshire applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to provide $67 million in federal grants to pay for mitigating stormwater and wastewater overflows that pollute the Merrimack River and other waterways
As WHAV reported first in February, Trahan asked that additional money be allocated for the Agency’s Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant Program. Trahan called the amount a “down payment” and “a signal that help is on the way.”
“Every community along the Merrimack River like Lowell, Dracut, Methuen, Lawrence and Haverhill knows just how devastating combined sewer overflows can be. For too long, Washington has shifted the financial and environmental burdens of addressing this issue to local governments, who are already being asked to do more with less,” said Trahan.
Pappas said the grants will help communities “upgrade failing and antiquated infrastructure that poses a threat to our environment,” while Kuster said the money is “a step in the right direction.” Moulton added, “We can stop CSO by investing in a new generation of infrastructure and technology. That means 21st century wastewater systems and alert systems until we fix the problem. This grant will help get us there.”
States are eligible to apply for the grants, which once awarded, can be given to local governments for projects that address combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows and stormwater management.
The lawmakers also included key provisions of the Stop Sewage Overflow Act, reported by WHAV last month. That bill authorizes hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years for CSO projects.