Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/File 2013
Ten environmental advocacy groups in Massachusetts filed a federal lawsuit Friday against the US Environmental Protection Agency, seeking a court order to force the agency to implement a landmark plan to curb pollution in the state’s lakes, rivers, and streams.
After nearly a decade of negotiations among local, state, and federal authorities, the EPA announced this summer that it was shelving the plan, known as the MS4 stormwater permit, for at least another year.
The advocacy groups fear that the Trump administration will use the time to weaken or eliminate the plan, which would require municipalities to remove illegal sewer connections to storm drains, improve street sweeping, increase public education, and take other steps to cut the volume of stormwater entering sewer systems.
“Stormwater is the state’s No. 1 pollution problem,” said Julia Blatt, executive director of the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, one of the groups that filed the lawsuit. “The EPA pulled the rug out from under the state’s pollution control efforts by announcing this delay two days before the effective date.”
EPA officials in Boston and Washington did not respond to requests for comment.
State officials had the option of pressing ahead, but they declined to do so.
The plan would require 260 Massachusetts municipalities to reduce stormwater runoff, a mandate that some cities and towns said could cost them millions of dollars a year and thousands of hours of their employees’ time.
In 2014, the EPA estimated that urban municipalities would be required to spend between $1.1 million and $2.5 million to comply with such regulations. Suburban and rural towns would pay less.
At the end of June, EPA officials announced they were delaying the rules, saying they were acceding to requests from municipalities, such as Lowell and Franklin, that oppose the plan.
In addition to the Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, the plaintiffs include other groups that advocate for rivers and watersheds across the state.
“The stay of the MS4 permit was a gross overreach by an administration that has set out to systematically undermine protections to the environment,” said Patrick Herron, executive director of the Mystic River Watershed Association. “This permit was eight years in the making and long overdue. Further delay of the permit does not make any sense.”
The fashion industry is built on glamour and allure, but many models, especially the very young, know it for something else: sexual exploitation and abuse.Continue reading »
Elementary school principal Tom Daniels announced earlier this month that she would henceforth be known as Shannon.Continue reading »
A 20-year-old woman who was cut off by another motorist in Lowell on Thursday allegedly took revenge by fatally shooting him.Continue reading »
The fast-moving five-alarm blaze demolished the landmark Sozio store on Route 60 in Revere on Saturday.Continue reading »
Mr. Polchinski’s work helped lay the mathematical foundation for the proposition that our universe is only one in an almost endless assemblage.Continue reading »
The controversies that have ensnarled Superintendent Tommy Chang have run the gamut, from budget cuts and school closures to turbulent leadership and late school buses.Continue reading »
Andover High School students participated in a sit-in Friday afternoon to discuss gun violence in America and how the government has been handling it.Continue reading »
Parkland. Las Vegas. Sutherland Springs. Newtown. On and on: In America, mass shootings have become so familiar that they seem to follow the same sad script.Continue reading »
No one was injured after a four-story residential brick building that was under construction partially collapsed Sunday afternoon.Continue reading »