Monthly Archives: February 2016

Our Position on Primacy: Is it Better for Communities to Answer to EPA or MassDEP?

Under terms of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA), end-of-pipe wastewater discharges into water bodies are regulated by the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program. The NPDES program can be administered either by states or federally by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA currently administers the program in Massachusetts, making us one of only three states to not have delegated authority. Lately, there has been a significant amount of study, discussion, and debate about the wisdom and feasibility of delegating authority to administer the program to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP).

We know it’s better to keep water local. Is it also better to keep regulatory matters local? Read MCWRS’s Position Paper to learn about what delegation would mean for MassDEP, and what we think this change to the permitting process would mean for communities. The Position Paper explains why MCWRS supports delegating the NPDES program to MassDEP, with several important caveats to ensure that it is successful and sustainable.

As always, MCWRS welcomes feedback from our members and perspectives from other interested parties. We encourage you to send us your thoughts and ideas by emailing