Trahan, Pappas To take Merrimack River Dual-City Tour with EPA Regional Administrator

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U.S. Representatives Lori Trahan (MA-03) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) will undertake a dual-city tour of the Merrimack River Region on Wednesday, Aug. 21 with acting Administrator for Environmental Protection Agency Region 1 Deborah Szaro and other state and local officials. The tour will take place across Manchester, New Hampshire and Lowell, and will allow Szaro to see first-hand the importance of federal support for cleaning up and preserving the Merrimack River. The tour is open to the press and follows previous actions taken by Trahan and Pappas to preserve and protect the Merrimack River.

“The Merrimack River is a vital resource for residents of Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District, supplying drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people across the region. That is why the current state of contamination is so concerning,” said Trahan. “The federal government has an obligation to help municipalities like Lowell, Lawrence, and Manchester make urgently needed upgrades to their sewer infrastructure to help prevent this sort of pollution from jeopardizing the health and economic wellbeing of residents who depend on the river. I am proud to partner with my friend and colleague Congressman Pappas and other local leaders to continue our efforts to raise awareness of this issue by touring the Merrimack River region with Administrator Szaro. I look forward to a constructive day.”

Schedule:

(please note: start/end times are approximate within a range of 10 or so minutes
due to travel times and other considerations)

Stop #1:

12-1 p.m. – Manchester Wastewater Treatment Facility, 300 Winston St, Manchester, NH 03103.

  • Immediately following, there will be a brief press availability at Manhole No.1, a permitted CSO outfall.

Stop #2:

2-2:45 p.m. – Merrimack River / Lowell boat tour.

  • Participants will meet at the UMass Lowell Bellegarde Boathouse located at 500 Pawtucket Boulevard and board the boat following brief introductions on land.
  • There will be a press availability immediately following the conclusion of the boat tour.

This Merrimack River dual-city regional tour follows sustained actions by Trahan, Pappas, and the regional delegation to call attention to the need for the federal government to assist with cleaning up the Merrimack River. Trahan recently introduced legislation to support the cleanup of Contaminated Sewer Overflows in rivers across the United States, including the Merrimack River. The bipartisan Stop Sewage Overflow Act dramatically expands and improves the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grant program (Section 221), which is used to award federal grants to states and municipalities for the planning, design, and construction for combined sewer overflows, sanitary sewer overflows, or stormwater management.

Congresswoman Trahan first unveiled this legislation at the end of April during a Merrimack River stakeholders’ meeting she convened at the Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility. The attendees of this event also joined together to send an invitation to the Acting Regional EPA Administrator, Deborah Szaro. The invitation encouraged her to tour the watershed region and hear from local stakeholders about the importance of federal support for Merrimack River clean-up efforts, which helped result in today’s tour.

A copy of that signed letter can be found HERE.