CLF’s top dog calls for action on toxic pollution that can kill dogs and sicken people
The Charles, Neponset, and Mystic Rivers are one step closer to getting cleaned up, thanks to action by CLF.
Numerous beach closures in the summer of 2023 were a result of climate change and stormwater pollution.
“These iconic rivers are inundated with stormwater pollution that makes boating, fishing, and swimming unsafe,” said Heather Govern, CLF’s Vice President of Clean Air and Water. “The court’s decision today sets a timeline to clean up this problem that has plagued the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset Rivers for far too long. EPA is now on the hook to issue draft permits by September 2024, which is a clear victory for clean water in Greater Boston.”
With heavier rainfall events expected as a result of climate change, the groups said there’s little time to waste to protect Boston’s waterways. “These iconic rivers are suffering because of the EPA’s consistent foot-dragging,” said Heather Govern, CLF’s vice president of clean air and water.
“These iconic rivers are suffering because of the EPA’s consistent foot-dragging,” said Heather Govern, CLF’s Vice President of Clean Air and Water. “Despite all the evidence linking stormwater pollution to dirty and unsafe water, the agency has failed to take legally required steps to address this growing problem. We have waited over three years for them to regulate the pollution, and these rivers cannot wait any longer.”
CLF has pushed the EPA to hold large property owners along the Charles, Mystic, and Neponset rivers accountable for their water pollution.
After Threat of Lawsuit, EPA Commits to Reducing Toxic Stormwater Pollution in Charles, Mystic, and Neponset Rivers
“During every heavy rainfall, a toxic soup of pollutants flows into our most iconic rivers, threatening water quality, wildlife, and people,” said Heather Govern, CLF’s Vice President of Clean Air and Water. “The EPA has announced a first step to protect these rivers, but the agency must now commit to a firm date when they will issue a draft permit. The longer the permits take, the longer the damage continues.”
In one part of Boston, there’s the Charles River. In another, the Mystic. Both were once heavily polluted. But where the Charles has become the poster child of environmental success, the Mystic tells a different tale – one that exposes a region divided along racial and economic lines.
“Every time it rains, a toxic stew is running into three of the area’s most iconic rivers,” said Caitlin Peale Sloan, Vice President of CLF Massachusetts. “We’ve repeatedly asked the EPA to clean up this pollution, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears. It’s time for the agency to hold these large properties accountable for the constant damage they’re doing to our cherished rivers.”