Water resources top 495/Metrowest Commission meeting

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Water resources top 495/Metrowest Commission meeting
Photo 2: (l to r) Paul Matthews, executive director of the 495/Metrowest Partnership; Matthew Romero, communications director for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Advisory Board; Jennifer Pederson, executive director of the Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA); Representative Kate Hogan, co-chair of the 495/Metrowest Suburban Edge Community Commission; Representative Carolyn Dykema; Jim Robbins, town planner for Westborough; Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega, co-chair of the 495/Metrowest Suburban Edge Community Commission; Beth Card, deputy commissioner for policy at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; and Representative David Muradian. (Photo/submitted)

Region – Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow), Senator Karen Spilka (D-2nd Middlesex and Norfolk districts), and Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega co-chaired a meeting of the 495/MetroWest Suburban Edge Community Commission at the 495/MetroWest Partnership office in Westborough Jan. 27 focused on water resources.

Representative Carolyn Dykema (D-Holliston), who sits on the commission and represents several towns in the 495/Metrowest region, hosted the meeting.

“Thank you to Representative Hogan, Senator Spilka, Assistant Secretary Vega, and the 495/MetroWest Partnership for joining us here in Westborough for this productive and informative meeting,” Dykema said. “It was great to have the opportunity to hear from experts in the field on the links between water infrastructure and economic development in the 495/Metrowest region. Investment in water is a critical part of creating opportunities for sustainable growth, but too often it does not get the attention or funding it deserves.”

At the meeting, the commission heard from state agencies and organizations involved in water policy in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Deputy Commissioner for Policy Beth Card discussed the status of storm water, wastewater, and improving drought conditions in the 495/Metrowest region. Massachusetts Water Works Association (MWWA) Executive Director Jennifer Pederson spoke about current state of water systems in the region and its impact on public health, safety, and ensuring a robust economy. In addition, Communications Director for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Advisory Board Matthew Romero presented the UMass Boston Collins Center Report, which identifies the economic benefits and impacts of water and sewer infrastructure investment.

“The ongoing work of the 495/Metrowest Suburban Edge Community Commission continued [at the meeting], with informative presentations by MassDEP, MWWA, and the MWRA Advisory Board,” Hogan said. “The presentations – ranging from stormwater and wastewater, to drought conditions, to the economic benefits of water infrastructure investment – offered the commission a comprehensive overview of the status of water resources in 495/Metrowest. Thank you to our presenters, as well as our host, Representative Carolyn Dykema, for sharing your leadership and expertise with the commission as we seek to develop policies to advance our region.”