Connecticut River Watershed Council Applauds Clean-water Bill
BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker recently introduced legislation that — if signed into law along with his budget proposal to begin increasing staffing at the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — will start a several-year process of rebuilding and significantly changing the state’s clean-water program.
The immediate focus of the announced legislation is to begin the process of delegating Clean Water Act permitting, enforcement, and compliance authority to the state. Massachusetts is currently one of three states in the country that does not have this authority.
“The Connecticut River Watershed Council supports creating a top-notch water-quality program that administers the federal Clean Water Act at the Mass. DEP. The governor’s budget proposal combined with this legislation is a first step to begin creating such a program,” said CRWC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “We stand ready to work with the administration and the Legislature to enact additional legislation that will create a program based on strong and achievable standards, timely and fair permitting, robust enforcement, and widely available technical assistance.”