BOSTON – The head of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, which provides sewer service to 45 eastern Massachusetts towns, told a House committee Tuesday that he expects something to happen by June with legislation that would require public notification of sewage overflows.

"Conceptually, we're all for it," MWRA Executive Director Fred Laskey told Rep. Michael Connolly, a Cambridge Democrat who sits on the House Bonding Committee.

Connolly had asked Laskey where he stood on legislation filed by Rep. Denise Provost of Somerville and Rep. Linda Dean Campbell of Methuen that would require public notification by email or text message within two hours of a discharge. The Campbell-Provost bill was redrafted and recommended by the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture in July. It is currently before the House Ways and Means Committee.

Laskey said the MWRA is working with bill sponsors to make sure it could comply with any new requirements, including negotiations on the details of how an overflow would be detected and for how long the notifications would be required.

"We're close," Laskey said. "I think by June something will happen."

 

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