On October 8th, Massachusetts’ rivers, streams and waters experienced significant environmental rollbacks. The Patrick administration announced its "Integrated Water Initiative” to establish stream flow criteria from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA). At the same time, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announced a new method of determining “safe yields” that dramatically undermines environmental protection of our rivers and streams while allowing the state to authorize withdrawals down to the levels of a stream during a drought. "Safe yield" in the context of Massachusetts Water Management Act (WMA), is intended as the maximum amount of water that can be pumped from a watershed to meet human demand. Our rivers are not protected –significantly draining our rivers may result in fish kills and environmental degradation.
Take Action Today!
Sign Conservation Law Foundation’s (CLF) letter, which will be sent to Governor Patrick, EOEEA Secretary Ian Bowles and MassDEP Commissioner Laurie Burt to let your concerns be known about this issue. Click here to let your voice be heard!
Public Outcry a Success!
Thanks to a loud public outcry the MassDEP has met with members of the environmental community to find a way to work together to restore protection to our waterways. We will keep our members posted as to the progress of these discussions.
Victory! Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has suspended its new "safe yield" interpretation and will replace it with a new approach which will include "environmental protection factors including the ecological health of rivers."