Federal Court Honors Milestone in CLF Fight to Clean Boston Harbor

Media Contact:
Josh Block
(617) 850-1709

Announcement marks culmination of a 33-year endeavor

March 21, 2016 (BOSTON, MA) The Massachusetts Federal District Court declared the Boston Harbor cleanup “substantially complete” on Friday, signaling the conclusion of a 33-year, 20 billion dollar endeavor spurred by Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) litigation. Friday marked the completion of construction of the last two major sewer upgrade projects envisioned by the cleanup plan.

“In the 1980s, Boston Harbor was a dumping ground for an unfathomable volume of sewage and industrial waste, and many thought it was a lost cause when CLF took up the mantle,” said CLF senior counsel Peter Shelley. “It was a pivotal moment for our city and a defining moment for our organization. Now, thanks to decades of meaningful investment from thousands in the community, we have a harbor we can be proud to call our own.”

Shelley added, “Still, this isn’t the end of the road. We have toxic runoff continuing to pollute our rivers, severe storms and sea level rise brought on by climate change, and a Boston Harbor that needs constant attention to ensure it never relapses. While we’re proud to celebrate this important milestone for our city, we do so with the knowledge that our work is far from over.”

A copy of CLF’s final response letter can be found here.

For more information, see this blog post on the impact of the cleanup process and this video on CLF’s legacy in fighting for a healthy Boston Harbor.

CLF experts are available for further comment.


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