Maria Pinaud, director of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Municipal Services, meets with the Local Government Advisory Commission on Nov. 12 at the State House.

At its annual strategic planning session, the MMA Board of Directors identified water and environmental infrastructure needs among the association’s top four advocacy priorities for the coming year.

The MMA seeks long-term state and federal funding and regulatory support that allows cities and towns to build, repair and maintain legacy water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

The MMA has increased its engagement on water, environmental and climate-related infrastructure issues in line with the board’s priorities and in recognition of the urgent need to advance climate mitigation and adaptation strategies and investments to prepare and protect the state’s communities.

At a recent hearing of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, the MMA testified in support of a bill (H. 769) relative to assistance for municipal water and economic development infrastructure. This bill would authorize the bonding of $1 billion for the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, which helps municipalities fund water infrastructure projects.

Sen. Jo Comerford, Rep. Natalie Blais and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments sponsored a water and sewer forum in Whatley on Nov. 1, where municipal officials presented case studies on water and sewer-related needs and heard responses from state and federal agency staff and non-governmental partners. Issues raised during the forum included wastewater sludge disposal, expansion of public water supply infrastructure to meet growing needs, aging sewer plant infrastructure, increased threats to infrastructure from climate change, and a lack of certified operators for rural systems.

At the Nov. 12 meeting of the Local Government Advisory Commission, Maria Pinaud, the new director of the Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Municipal Services, affirmed the Baker-Polito administration’s commitment to addressing PFAS contamination and detailed the financing opportunities available through the State Revolving Fund to improve water supply infrastructure and drinking water safety.

The MMA Policy Committee on Energy and the Environment will present a workshop at the MMA Annual Meeting, “Preparing Your Community for a Changing Climate.” Panelists will discuss implementation of Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness planning and action grants in cities and towns; climate-resilient zoning; and issues related to water resources and infrastructure.

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