Mayor Dan Rizzo took to the nation’s capital last week to plead the case for Revere’s water and sewer ratepayers – who continue to struggle to pay ever-increasing bills under an aggressive consent decree from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This past week, Mayor Rizzo traveled to Washington, D.C., in order to speak with officials in the federal government about water and sewer infrastructure funding as part of a coordinated plan to respond to the EPA Consent Decree facing the City of Revere.
The City and the EPA have entered into a Consent Decree to detect and eliminate illegal sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) in the city over a 10-year period. The improvement projects will target sources of inflow and infiltration (I/I) as well as illicit discharges within the City’s aging sewer and drainage system(s). These improvements are expected to total more than $150 million.
Mayor Rizzo, along with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, Congressman James McGovern of Massachusetts and Jeffrey Wennburg, from the City of Rutland, VT spoke at the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) 2014 Congressional Clean Water Breakfast last week.
NEWEA is an organization of over 2,100 water quality professionals from across the region that work to protect and manage the water environment in New England. Mayor Rizzo addressed the group about the serious issues facing the City of Revere and the need to work together to obtain more Federal (and state) support for projects through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs.
Mayor Rizzo said as part of his prepared remarks to the NEWEA group, “Hopefully the message we deliver during World Water Week 2014 is that federal support is needed now, more than ever, as we deal with complicated water infrastructure issues in our communities.”
Later in the day, Mayor Rizzo had one-on-one meetings with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Edward Markey, Congresswoman Katherine Clark, and Congressman Stephen Lynch. Rizzo was able to meet with each legislator personally in order to discuss rate relief and increased funding from the Federal Government in order to assist with the rehabilitation of the City of Revere’s Water Infrastructure. Rizzo is helping to lead the fight for increased water and sewer infrastructure funding for Revere and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Mayor Rizzo also discussed his concerns regarding the issues facing the City of Revere with EPA Region 1 Administrator Curt Spaulding during the daylong meetings in Washington.
The Mayor will hold follow-up meetings with EPA, the Department of Justice, and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection over the coming weeks in response to the conversations in Washington.
“I went down to Washington D.C. to speak with our Senate Delegation and Congresswoman Clark in order to find ways to respond to the Consent Decree we are facing from the EPA. I will do everything in my power in order to ensure our rate payers see some sort of relief,” said Rizzo.