URGENT ACTION ALERT! Help us protect rivers and the public from sewage!

Please join us in calling your state representative today (7/27) or tomorrow morning (7/28) before 10 am to help pass the sewage notification bill and protect our rivers!

State Representative Linda Dean Campbell has filed the sewage notification bill as an amendment to a major public health legislation package that the House will be taking up tomorrow. We need to secure as many cosponsors for her amendment as possible so that we can make a strong case to House leadership that there is solid support for this bill. This may be one of our last chances to pass the bill this session.

Please call and email your state representative before 10 am tomorrow (7/28) and ask them to cosponsor Rep. Campbell’s Amendment #34 of H.4888, An Act putting patients first. You can find your state representative, their phone number and their email address by clicking this link

Below is a suggested script that you can use for leaving a voicemail or sending an email:
“Hello, my name is __________________ and I am a resident of _______________, Massachusetts. I am calling to ask that Representative __________________ cosponsor Amendment #34 “Public Notification of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs)” for House Bill 4888, An Act putting patients first. In Massachusetts, the public has no way to know when bacteria-laden sewage discharges render our rivers unsafe for recreation. This amendment would institute a statewide sewage discharge notification system to alert residents when sewage discharges make rivers unsafe. This amendment was filed by Rep. Campbell and you can email her office if you have any questions. Thanks for your time and consideration.”

Please feel free to include any of the below additional talking points as you see fit: 

  • In Massachusetts, we are still discharging roughly 3 billion gallons of sewage into our waters every year. There is currently no general public notification requirement to alert residents about these sewage spills. 
  • Particularly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that the public has equitable access to safe local spots to spend time outside. Combined sewer overflows have been known to cause respiratory issues, hepatitis, eye and ear infections, and gastrointestinal issues. If the public does not even know that these sewage spills are currently happening, how can they be expected to take precautions to protect their health? 
  • If you live in an environmental justice community, you are three times more likelyto have combined sewer overflows in your neighborhood. We need to make sure that all residents have access to this critical public health information. 
  • Identical language to this amendment was filed by Rep. Campbell, Rep. Provost and Sen. Jehlen in bill H.3976. Their bill collectively had over 80+ legislators cosponsoring in support. This legislation has strong bipartisan support and should be passed immediately. 
  • Over 14 states have passed nearly identical public notification requirements that would enable their residents to know when there is a sewage spill in their community. It’s time that Massachusetts stepped up to do the same. 

Thank you for your advocacy! Please feel free to call or email if you have any questions (gabbyqueenan@massriversalliance.org or 781-864-4566).