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COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
ONE WINTER STREET, BOSTON, MA 02108 617-292-5500
LAUREN A. LISS
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FINAL DETREMINATION FOR EXTENSION TO VARIANCE
FOR MWRA CSO CONTROL PLAN
ALEWIFE BROOK/UPPER MYSTIC RIVER BASIN
On May 8, 2002 the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) extended the Variance for CSO Discharges to the Alewife Brook/Upper Mystic River Basin from March 5, 2002 to September 5, 2003. This Variance extension, issued pursuant to the Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards at 314 CMR 4.00, allows CSO discharges from the outfalls along Alewife Brook/Upper Mystic River permitted to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and the Cities of Cambridge and Somerville, subject to specific conditions, while providing time for DEP to obtain the information necessary to determine the appropriate water quality standard and level of CSO control for the watershed.
The Department grants this Variance extension based on its findings, as supported by the technical and cost information in the 1997 MWRA CSO Facilities Plan and the subsequent April 2001 MWRA Notice of Project Change (NPC), demonstrating that implementation of more stringent CSO controls at this time would result in substantial and widespread social and economic impact as specified in 314 CMR 4.03(4).
Variance Extension Process
(1) The February 9, 2002 MEPA Environmental Monitor included a Public Notice which indicated DEP's Tentative Determination to issue an 18-month extension to the Variance. The notice stated that comments on the Tentative Determination would be accepted by DEP through February 22, 2002. Written comments were received from; Arlington Office of the Board of Selectmen, Arlington Conservation Commission, Mystic River Watershed Association, Somerville Conservation Commission, Coalition for Alewife, Roger Frymire, Aram Hollman, and Stephen Kaiser.
Attached to the Final Determination is a Response to Comments document prepared by DEP to respond to the above eight (8) comment letters.
Future DEP Administrative/Regulatory Actions Regarding Variance
(1) DEP will hold a Public Forum during the MEPA comment period related to Condition C.(1) (estimated to be mid-July 2003) for MWRA to present to interested parties the results of reports and assessments.
(2) DEP will hold a Public Hearing once the Department issues a Tentative Decision on the Water Quality Determination for the entire Alewife Brook/Upper Mystic River Basin. This will allow another opportunity for all interested parties to provide input to EPA and DEP on the Proposed Level of CSO Control for the Basin. This Hearing will likely be held in early September 2003.
Copies of the Final Determination and Response to Comments document can be obtained by contacting Steven G. Lipman, Department of Environmental Protection, 6th floor, One Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108, by email at Steven.Lipman@state.ma.us or by telephone at (617) 292-5698.
Contact the Alewife Study Group, North Cambridge Massachusetts, by email at email@example.com