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WESTFIELD — Last week, U.S. Rep. Richard Neal joined Westfield Mayor Michael McCabe and city officials at the Westfield Wastewater Treatment Plant to announce a $1 million earmark for the construction of a new operations center building.

The allocation was made possible through Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) from the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. Neal included funding for this project in the FY 2022 spending bill that was signed into law on March 15, 2022.

“The Westfield Wastewater Treatment Plant serves as a reminder that our nation’s infrastructure is aging,” Neal said. “Thanks to the president’s bipartisan infrastructure law and CDS funds under the annual appropriations bill, projects such as this one are finally coming to fruition. Construction of a new operations center building will provide assurances to Westfield residents that their water and local environment are being properly treated and ensure a safe work environment for city employees.”

The new building will implement recommendations by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Bureau of Environmental Health and will help reduce, if not eliminate, airborne sewerage pollutants negatively impacting the indoor air quality of the operations center. Upgrades to the 50-year-old facility will ensure the city’s wastewater-systems infrastructure remains operable and protects workers from contracting highly pathogenic diseases present in wastewater.

“Without the continued support of Congressman Neal and his office, worthy projects such as this one simply don’t get done,” McCabe said. “All communities have a right to clean water and modern facilities. This earmark will go to replace a building completed in 1972 and whose systems of operation are behind the times. Again, we thank Congressman Neal for his continued efforts on behalf of the city of Westfield.”

Under guidelines issued by the Senate and House Appropriations committees, members of Congress requested CDS funding for projects in their state for FY 2022. CDS requests were restricted to a limited number of federal funding streams, and only state and local governments and eligible nonprofit entities were permitted to receive CDS funding. This project is one of 10 CDS projects submitted by Neal, totaling more than $9 million in investments throughout the First Congressional District of Massachusetts.