Drinking Water and Wastewater

Working closely with water suppliers and wastewater facilities, we support cities, towns and developers pursuing strategic projects to address critical drinking water supply and wastewater management goals. We have represented communities on appeals to the federal Environmental Appeals Board on NPDES permits, adjudicatory hearings before MassDEP on massive wastewater infrastructure projects and smaller package treatment plans for commercial and residential project.  We also represent developers on complex water supply and wastewater permitting before local zoning authorities and MassDEP on new source approvals.

Representative Matters

  • Represented a municipal wastewater treatment facility in an appeal of its NPDES permit to the Environmental Appeals Board in Washington, D.C., and ultimately negotiated a revised compliance schedule in its permit enabling the town to complete assessment and feasibility studies to identify a comprehensive and cost-effective plan to treat and reduce effluent concentrations.
  • Negotiated a settlement for our municipal client resolving an environmental organization’s administrative appeal of a groundwater discharge permit for upgrades and increased sewage flow to its wastewater treatment facility. The settlement agreement included the development of a nitrogen offset plan for increased concentrations in a watershed flowing to an impaired embayment and evaluation of additional nitrogen pollution reduction measures, including an ocean outfall.  In a second adjudicatory appeal by the same organization of the permits for treated sewage effluent infiltration beds and an expanded sewer pipe collection system, we negotiated a settlement for monitoring nitrogen levels, development of a nitrogen offset plan if action levels are exceeded, and incorporation of methods from the Cape Cod Water Quality Management 208 Plan.
  • Secured an Advisory Opinion under MEPA that proposed land alterations (including a 5-year look back) did not require environmental review, and a Determination from MassDEP that a wastewater treatment plant is not required for a 50-acre commercial subdivision in Lancaster.   We also assisted in securing MassDEP approvals of two public water supply wells to service the subdivision.
  • Developed and implemented a legal, political and technical strategy for a municipal water district to address an advancing groundwater plume contaminated with 1,4-dioxane from a federal Superfund site, including state funding of a monitoring well system to delineate the plume, EPA approval of a groundwater treatment system with a lower cleanup standard, a higher and updated MassDEP threshold for a concentration in drinking water based on new risk assessment, and exploration of pilot studies for a point-of-entry treatment system.
  • Working with a wastewater engineers, negotiated with MassDEP on a groundwater discharge permit for a high-end subdivision during due diligence, enabling the developer to obtain financing to purchase the project.
  • Assisted in securing approvals for water supply and sewer extensions to service residential developments.
  • Developed a modified intermunicipal agreement to transport sewerage from an affordable housing complex in a town to the adjoining city’s treatment plant.
  • Obtained a groundwater discharge permit for a package treatment plant to service a ski area.
  • Negotiated an Administrative Consent Order to allow repairs to multiple failing individual septic systems at a large apartment complex and to develop a long-term plan to extend a sewer connection to the municipal wastewater treatment plant.
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