Lawmakers Tour Communities Along the Merrimack River to Highlight Critical Need for Federal Investments

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U.S. Representatives Lori Trahan (MA-03) and Chris Pappas (NH-01), on Aug. 21, led a dual city tour along the Merrimack River to highlight the need for federal support in updating the river’s wastewater infrastructure. Along with Acting Administrator for EPA Region 1 Deborah Szaro, and other state and local officials, the Representatives toured the Manchester Wastewater Treatment Facility and went on to Lowell to hear from community leaders and stakeholders about and to see the concerns firsthand.

At the Belvedere Boathouse are Lowell Mayor William Samaras, EPA Region 1 Administrator Deb Szaro, U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan, U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, state Rep. Rady Mom, state Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, and state Rep. Christina Minicucci.

Despite providing water for more than 200 communities and 2.6 million residents of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the region’s outdated water infrastructure has allowed hundreds of thousands of gallons of untreated water to get dumped into the Merrimack River.

 “The health and well-being of the Merrimack River is inextricably linked to the quality of life of the communities it runs through. Not only does the river supply drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people across the region, it is a critical source of recreation and commerce,” said Trahan.  “Yesterday’s visit to Manchester and Lowell helped underscore the federal government’s obligation to help municipalities make urgently needed upgrades to their sewer infrastructure to help prevent harmful CSO pollution. I am proud to partner with my friend and colleague Congressman Pappas and other state and local leaders to continue our efforts to raise awareness of this issue, and am grateful to Administrator Szaro for her continued partnership.”

U.S. Reps Lori Trahan and Chris Pappas and EPA Region One Administrator Deb Szaro in Manchester.

 Earlier this year, Representatives Trahan and Pappas fought for increased federal funding to support states and localities seeking to update their water infrastructure. Additionally Trahan introduced, and  Pappas co-sponsored, the Stop CSO [Combined Sewer Overflow] Act, which would make certain municipalities eligible for grants under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to support communities addressing sewage overflow on a local level.