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Advocacy for the Merrimack River is more important now than ever. Signup for our newsletter and visit our Facebook page to receive Action Alerts about campaigns, legislation, statehouse visits, and round table events with elected officials. In collaboration with our partner network, we tease out the most effective means to address the immediate needs of our watershed within a long-term policy movement towards structural change.

ARPA and Infrastructure funds

In recent months the federal government has given billions of dollars to Massachusetts and New Hampshire for a wide variety of spending packages, including upgrades to water and sewer systems. These funds are important to the Merrimack River, as a portion of them can be used to help our older industrial cities (Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell, Nashua and Manchester) make upgrades that will reduce their Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). Annually, these cities release an average of 500 million gallons of untreated waste into the Merrimack. CSOs are a relic of the how these cities were designed in the 19th through the mid 20th centuries — a time when there were no sewer treatment plants and wastewater was piped directly into the Merrimack. Although all of these cities have sewer plants today, they are not capable of handling the enormous amount of flow that enters sewers during rainstorms. 

At MRWC, we are focused on helping these communities receive as much funding as possible to fix their CSO problems. The pricetag is steep — over $400 million in projects have been identified by these communities. Without help from the federal government, the cost of these projects will have to be borne almost entirely by the people who live in these cities. That’s an unfair burden to the people who live in these cities today.

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