Providers of public water and sewer services are working around the clock to ensure that Massachusetts residents continue to receive these essential services, without compromising the health and safety of workers or customers.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Martin Suuberg and his staff have been leading regular calls with public water and sewer suppliers to discuss operational concerns and answer questions. Issues related to staffing configuration, licensing requirements, potential equipment or chemical shortages, and state and federal regulations have all been raised.

As with other essential services, the state and key stakeholders are working to establish procedures for expedited licensing of drinking and wastewater professionals who could fill personnel gaps due to illness, including looking at those who may have recently retired or have a recently lapsed license.

Suppliers are taking every possible precaution to protect workers and customers from transmitting or contracting COVID-19, including using designated trucks and gear for each worker or pair of workers, and finding safe alternatives to entering homes for required water sampling.

The MassDEP has informally committed to postponing promulgation of final environmental regulations on matters such as PFAS in drinking water during the state of emergency. The MMA continues to monitor the full range of public works and environmental issues and to advocate on behalf of local government interests.

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