Waste from test fracking wells safe to be on highways, research concludes

Researchers at West Virginia University studied drilling wastes produced at two research wells near Morgantown and found they are well below federal guidelines for radioactive or hazardous waste.

Paul Ziemkiewicz, director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute at WVU, will present these and other findings from the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory, or MSEEL, at the Appalachian Basin Technology Workshop in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ziemkiewicz and his research team are studying the solid and liquid drilling wastes that are generated during shale gas development. These include drill cuttings, muds and produced water.

Drilling a horizontal well in the Marcellus Shale produces about 500 tons of rock fragments, known as cuttings. WVU researchers have been studying the radioactivity and toxicity of the drill cuttings, which are trucked on public roads to county landfills.

MSEEL scientists found that using the “green” drilling mud BioBase 365 at the well site resulted in all 12 cuttings samples passing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s test for leaching toxicity, allowing them to be classified as non-hazardous for non-radiological parameters like benzene and arsenic.

They determined that the drilling mud exerted a strong influence over the environmental risks associated with handling and disposing of drill cuttings.

Ziemkiewicz discussed the findings in the context of the West Virginia, Pennsylvania and federal standards for transportation and landfilling. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation classifies solid wastes exceeding 2,000 pico curies per gram (pCi/g) as low level radioactive waste requiring special permitting and handling.

“Radium is the dominant radioactive element in drilling wastes. In our study, the highest radium readings were below 10.8 pCi/g in the horizontal legs of the two production wells at the MSEEL site. Most were below 5 pCi/g,” says Ziemkiewicz. “The highest radium level in produced water found so far was 17 pCi/g. All of these are well below the U.S. Department of Transportation standard.”

Placing these materials in landfills, however, requires compliance with state landfilling regulations, which are based on exposure levels.

Ziemkiewicz’s team has also sampled the waste streams at the two production wells to identify changes in organic, inorganic and radiochemical composition over time. Among these findings, Ziemkiewicz noted that almost all contaminants increase through the production phase of an unconventional gas well while the volume of water drops rapidly. Toxic concentrations far exceed permissible levels for drinking water or discharge to streams. Most of this water is used for subsequent hydraulic fracturing operations. The remainder is disposed of under the states’ underground injection well programs.

When the production wells were completed in early December 2015, about 50 gallons of produced water came out of the wells each minute. Within a week that dropped to four gallons per minute, and it is currently one third of a gallon per minute or 460 gallons per day.

The MSEEL project is led by West Virginia University and the Ohio State University in partnership with Northeast Natural Energy, Schlumberger and the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the United States Department of Energy. It is the first-ever long-term, comprehensive field study of shale gas resources in which scientists will study the process from beginning-to-end.

The project site consists of an intensively instrumented science well and two shale gas production wells where researchers from WVU, Ohio State, the U.S. Geological Survey, USDOE and several other universities are studying what happens during and after hydraulic fracturing. The five-year MSEEL project includes engineers, ecologists, public health professionals, social scientists and more. The comprehensive studies include monitoring of baseline air, noise, light and water, as well as collecting of geological, environmental and other data.

“This has not been done in a publicly funded study before,” said Ziemkiewicz.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by West Virginia University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

New criminal charges in Flint


Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.

FLINT, MI — Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has issued charges against six additional state employees for their connection to the Flint water crisis.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting those charges are: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services workers Nancy Peeler, Corinne Miller and Robert Scott, and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees Leanne Smith; Adam Rosenthal and Patrick Cook.

Schuette issued the charges this morning in district court, bringing the total charged in the crisis to nine. In April, Schette issued charges against two Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials and one City of Flint official.

Drinking water in the city became contaminated with lead in April 2014 after the city switched its water supply from Detroit to the Flint River.

Read the full story here.

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Water Research Foundation funds projects to help utilities reduce lead exposure from drinking water

DENVER, JULY 28, 2016 — The Water Research Foundation (WRF), a leading sponsor of research supporting the water community, announced two projects that will help utilities reduce customer exposure to lead levels in drinking water. “Service Line Material Identification Techniques” will investigate techniques, technologies, and strategies to differentiate service line pipe materials, with a focus on technologies that can be implemented remotely without directly contacting the pipe. Additionally, funding has been added to the project, “Evaluation of Flushing to Reduce Lead Levels” (project #4584), to evaluate the impacts of home tap flushing after full lead service line (LSL) replacement and to provide better guidance to water systems on frequency and duration of flushing.

“These projects build upon important prior research conducted by the Water Research Foundation in lead service line identification and flushing,” said Rob Renner, CEO of the Water Research Foundation. “The ultimate goal of both projects is to identify innovative ways to reduce customer lead exposure from drinking water.”

The project, “Service Line Material Identification Techniques” (#4693) will develop a literature review and multiple case studies to identify innovative lead service line identification technologies and if feasible, recommend those technologies for future field testing verification.An RFP has been issued for this project with proposals due by 5 PM ET on August 24.

The project, “Evaluation of Flushing to Reduce Lead Levels” (#4584) will result in guidance to utilities on how to perform in-home tap flushing following a service line disturbance (partial or full replacement). Guidance will include flushing duration, frequency, and different options depending on the type of lead being released (dissolved or particulate).

The research for project #4584 is being conducted by David A. Cornwell Ph.D., P.E., and Richard Brown, P.E., with Cornwell Engineering Group.

The Water Research Foundation has been studying lead in drinking water for over 25 years. This information is summarized in anoverview paper that provides a basic understanding of the issues surrounding lead and copper corrosion and the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR).

About the Water Research Foundation
The Water Research Foundation is the leading not-for-profit research cooperative that advances the science of water to protect public health and the environment. Governed by utilities, WRF plans, manages, and delivers scientifically sound research solutions on the most critical challenges facing the water community in the areas of drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, and reuse. Over the last 50 years, WRF has sponsored nearly 1,500 research projects valued at $500 million, and serves more than 1,000 subscribing organizations. For more information, go to www.WaterRF.org.

Ex Sebring, Ohio, water official pleads innocent

SEBRING, OHIO, JULY 28, 2016 — The Youngstown Vindicator is reporting that James V. Bates, the former water-system operator in a town in the midst of a drinking water crisis, has entered a written innocent plea to three criminal counts.

Charges were brought against Bates by the state earlier this year over reports of lead in the drinking water. He faces three misdemeanor counts; two for “recklessly failing to provide timely notice of individual lead tap-water test results to affected consumers” and one for “recklessly failing to provide timely system-wide public education.”

Each count is a misdemeanor, and could result in up to four years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine for each day of violation, according to the local paper.

Read the full story here.

RELATED STORIES

Former Sebring Water Chief facing criminal charges

Texas water supply projects get boost from EPA, USACE


Lake Whitney is a flood control reservoir on the main stem of the Brazos River in Texas. Courtesy: WikimediaCommons.

DALLAS, JULY 28, 2016 — Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division (USACE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) met today for a Partnering Agreement signing that will improve interagency coordination related to large water supply projects in the state of Texas. 

The agreement will assist applicants for these types of projects by providing guidelines and methods for producing some of the data required as part of the permit evaluation process under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, according to Brig. Gen. David C. Hill, SWD commander.

“The State Water Plan identifies the need for many additional water supplies in the future, and many of the proposed projects will require prior authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. We agreed to form an interagency workgroup in 2015 with the goal of identifying ways to improve the permit review process for these projects.  This agreement will help us assist the State of Texas in its efforts to plan for the future water needs of Texans,” he said.

The three agencies entered into a dialogue in 2015 focused on improving interagency coordination related to large water supply projects in Texas. Generally, large or major water supply projects are those projects where predictable impacts are significant enough to warrant the development of an Environmental Impact Statement, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

“Water plays a big role in our local communities and managing water is a growing concern across the United States, especially in drought prone areas like Texas,” said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “When reservoir water levels get lower and ground water tables drop, water supplies, public health, and the environment are put at serious risk.”

“EPA is pleased to be part of a partnership to help Texans prepare for future challenges regarding water supply and the efficient use of this precious resource,” he added.

Although TWDB is not a regulatory agency, it will participate with USACE and the EPA by sharing its expertise in Texas water planning. TWDB will add its institutional knowledge of the Texas water planning process which will assist in identifying efficiencies in the permit review process.

Jeff Walker, Texas Water Development Board Executive Administrator, added, “We appreciate the opportunity to share our knowledge about the state water planning process and, in particular, the information from the 2017 State Water Plan. As a resource to this cooperative effort, we are participating in a core mission of our agency–planning for the state’s water supplies.”

Following signing of this Agreement, the agencies will work with existing staffing and budget to complete specific action items established by the partnering agreement.

How invasive plants influence an ecosystem

Acacia longifolia, a species of acacia from the Fabacean family that is native to Australia, was initially cultivated in Portugal as a means of securing sand dunes and is now spreading uncontrollably — with varying impact on native species. Since the plant can use nitrogen from the air on account of its symbiotic relationship with bacteria on its roots, and since it also grows rapidly and produces a lot of biomass, it enriches the naturally nutrient-poor dune ecosystem with nitrogen, leading to an undesirable fertilization effect. In addition, it consumes more water than native species. The ecologists Prof. Dr. Christiane Werner, Christine Hellmann, and Dr. Jens Oldeland have developed a new approach published in the journal PLOS ONE for identifying the areas in which the acacia interacts with native species. The team determined that the invasive species has a negative effect on the development of some native species, while it has no effect on others and even causes several species to grow better.

The interactions between plants and their living and non-living environment has a decisive impact on the structure and function of ecosystems. To determine the strength and the spatial zone of influence of such interactions, the research team uses stable isotopes — heavy, non-radioactive forms of elements. The frequency with which these isotopes occur in materials in comparison to the much more common light isotopes can vary over space. The ratio of stable isotopes can therefore provide information on where and how a material originated.

So-called “isoscapes,” a portmanteau of “isotope” and “landscape,” represent in map form how isotopes are distributed in a landscape. The team used isoscapes based on the leaf material of native species to show where the proportion of nitrogen fixed by the acacia is high and where the invasive species influences the growth of other species — whether positively due to additional nitrogen or negatively due to competition for water. A dwarf shrub from the Ericaceae family, for example, exhibits greatly increased nitrogen concentrations and more efficient photosynthesis in a large radius surrounding acacia, while a stone pine uses only very small amounts of the additional nitrogen. A dwarf shrub from the Fabacean family, on the other hand, which can also use fixed atmospheric nitrogen, is not influenced by the acacia at all.

The results indicate that the interaction between the acacia and native plants is species-specific. In addition, the influence varies depending on the amount of nitrogen or water available to the species. In order to use this information to make a map integrating these various aspects, the scientists conducted a cluster analysis. This statistical method finds subgroups in the sampled area that exhibit a similar combination of the measured values, allowing them to be interpreted as zones of influence. The goal of these analyses is to better describe, elucidate, and understand the complex relationships and dynamics governing natural ecosystems.

Christiane Werner is a professor of ecosystem physiology at the University of Freiburg’s Faculty of Environment and Natural Resources. Her doctoral student Christine Hellmann conducts her research at the University of Bielefeld, and Jens Oldeland is a research assistant at the University of Hamburg.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

EPA, NV DEP require Nevada Department of Transportation to protect local waters

News Releases from Region 09

07/28/2016

Contact Information: 

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection (NDEP) have reached an agreement with the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) to resolve alleged violations of NDOT’s stormwater permit. The agreement requires NDOT to establish a stormwater management program to control pollutants entering waters, spend $200,000 on an environmental project that will provide real-time water quality data to the public and pay $60,000 each to EPA and NDEP.

“Nevada’s Governor Sandoval has shown great leadership by investing in the newly-established stormwater program,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Water is a vital resource in the arid West, and this agreement will help preserve and protect Nevada’s rivers and streams.”

Under the federal Clean Water Act, NDOT is required to minimize pollutants in runoff from its operations to lakes and rivers throughout the state. Stormwater runoff from unpaved areas, paved streets and maintenance yards contains contaminants such as sediments, trash, chemicals, and oils that can flow into waterways, resulting in environmental damage.

EPA discovered the alleged violations of NDOT’s stormwater permit during a 2011 audit. Nevada subsequently passed a state law directed at minimizing stormwater impacts and invested $13 million to establish an NDOT stormwater division staffed with 59 full time employees dedicated to reducing the impacts of stormwater pollution. In addition, the state has spent $7.6 million to purchase needed equipment, such as street sweepers, and has another $15 million earmarked for projects this year.

NDOT will spend $200,000 on a supplemental environmental project to upgrade water quality monitoring devices that will post online continuous monitoring data available to the public. This will provide NDOT, local governments, and the public access to real-time water quality information to help protect Nevada’s waterways.

The settlement also requires NDOT to develop a public outreach program, digitized statewide maps indicating where NDOT discharges stormwater and a plan detailing steps NDOT is taking to reduce the discharge of pollutants from its operations.

The consent decree for this settlement was lodged in the federal district court by the U.S. Department of Justice and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. A copy of the decree will be available on the Department of Justice website at: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees

For more information on EPA’s stormwater program, please visit:
https://www.epa.gov/npdes/npdes-stormwater-program

Watering solar cells makes them grow in power

Researchers have clarified the relationship between air exposure and enhanced electric proprieties in perovskite solar cells.

Perovskite solar cells are the rising star in the photovoltaic landscape. Since their invention, less than ten years ago, their efficiency has doubled twice and it is now over 22% — an astonishing result in the renewable energy sector. Taking the name ‘perovskite’ from the light-harvesting layer that characterizes them, these solar cells are lighter, cheaper, and more flexible than the traditional crystalline silicon-based cells.

Perovskite solar cells are usually exposed to ambient air for several hours after fabrication. This procedure increases their efficiency, even if the reason behind the phenomenon was unclear. The scientific explanation of this practice has now been discovered by researchers from the Energy Materials and Surface Sciences Unit (EMSS) at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) led by Prof Yabing Qi. Their results are published in Advanced Materials Interfaces.

“It’s intriguing: why do we need ambient air to enhance the effectiveness of perovskite solar cells?” Zafer Hawash, first author of the study and an OIST PhD student, commented. “Which component of the ambient air is linked to this phenomenon?” Starting from these questions, the researchers focused their attention on the top layer of the solar cells.

The choice was logical, because even if perovskite solar cell contains several layers — all of which may play a role in the cell efficiency — the top-most layer is the one in direct contact with ambient air. Thus, that is the layer most likely affected by the external environment. The layer is called ‘hole transport layer’, and it has a dopant, which is a substance that enhances the electrical conductivity of the material. “It is known that the dopant of the hole transport layer plays a key role in perovskite solar cells’ performance,” Hawash said. “But it was not clear how.”

The scientists performed controlled exposure of the hole transport layer to environmental gasses, focusing on oxygen, nitrogen, and moisture — water that is in a gas state. Then, they checked the electrical properties of the hole transport layer, using a variety of methods, to see if and how the inside of the transport layer changed. “What we found is that oxygen and nitrogen do not have any role in the redistribution of the dopants,” Hawash explained. “But in the case of moisture, the solar cells’ efficiency increases. This is the discovery: moisture is the air component that causes the redistribution of the dopant across the material, and thus the enhancement of the electric properties of the solar cells.”

The scientists explain this phenomenon with the structure of the transport layer, which has many pinholes that allow the passage of gasses between the ambient and the underneath material. The dopant in the transport layer is a salt — Lithium TFSI. Being a salt, the dopant has a hygroscopic nature: it absorbs water. When the solar cells are exposed to moisture, the water absorbed by the transport layer causes the dopant to redistribute. However, long time exposure to moisture has a detrimental effect on the solar cells.

During their experiments, the researchers were also able to document the role of oxygen in the solar cells’ performance. “Oxygen enhances the electrical conductivity of the transport layer as well, but this effect does not last long,” Hawash commented. “But with the right amount of exposure to moisture, the electric proprieties are irreversibly enhanced.”

Exposing the device to moisture after fabrication is then the most effective way to enhance the solar cells’ performance. Counterintuitively, then, water is what you need to have a perovskite solar cell that works properly. This finding is of high importance for the perovskite solar cells’ future, as it finally explains a common practice whose effectiveness was mostly anecdotic, and thus could now lead the way to further improvement in the perovskite solar cells’ performance.

Partnering Agreement Improves Coordination for Large Texas Water Supply Projects

News Releases from Region 06

07/27/2016

Contact Information: 

Joe Hubbard or Jennah Durant at 214-665-2200 or r6press@epa.gov

DALLAS – (July, 27, 2016) Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Southwestern Division (USACE), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) met today for a Partnering Agreement signing that will improve interagency coordination related to large water supply projects in the state of Texas. 

The agreement will assist applicants for these types of projects by providing guidelines and methods for producing some of the data required as part of the permit evaluation process under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, according to Brig. Gen. David C. Hill, SWD commander.

“The State Water Plan identifies the need for many additional water supplies in the future, and many of the proposed projects will require prior authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. We agreed to form an interagency workgroup in 2015 with the goal of identifying ways to improve the permit review process for these projects.  This agreement will help us assist the State of Texas in its efforts to plan for the future water needs of Texans,” he said.

The three agencies entered into a dialogue in 2015 focused on improving interagency coordination related to large water supply projects in Texas. Generally, large or major water supply projects are those projects where predictable impacts are significant enough to warrant the development of an Environmental Impact Statement, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act.

“Water plays a big role in our local communities and managing water is a growing concern across the United States, especially in drought prone areas like Texas, said EPA Regional Administrator Ron Curry. “When reservoir water levels get lower and ground water tables drop, water supplies, public health, and the environment are put at serious risk.”

“EPA is pleased to be part of a partnership to help Texans prepare for future challenges regarding water supply and the efficient use of this precious resource,” he added.

Although TWDB is not a regulatory agency, it will participate with USACE and the EPA by sharing its expertise in Texas water planning. TWDB will add its institutional knowledge of the Texas water planning process which will assist in identifying efficiencies in the permit review process.

Jeff Walker, Texas Water Development Board Executive Administrator, added, “We appreciate the opportunity to share our knowledge about the state water planning process and, in particular, the information from the 2017 State Water Plan. As a resource to this cooperative effort, we are participating in a core mission of our agency–planning for the state’s water supplies.”

Following signing of this Agreement, the agencies will work with existing staffing and budget to complete specific action items established by the partnering agreement.

Connect with EPA Region 6:

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/eparegion6  

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/EPAregion6 

Activities in EPA Region 6: http://www2.epa.gov/aboutepa/epa-region-6-south-central

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EPA Gives Charles River another B+, and Boston Museum of Science Opens Charles River Gallery featuring EPA Water Quality Data

News Releases from Region 01

07/27/2016

Contact Information: 

BOSTON – EPA has given a grade of “B+” for water quality in the Charles River during 2015. Water quality improved slightly from the 2014 calendar year, but fell just short of an “A-.”

This is the 21st year EPA has issued a Charles River Report Card. EPA’s grade of “B+” for the lower Charles River is based on bacterial sampling conducted by the Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) over the 2015 calendar year. CRWA collects monthly water quality samples at ten monitoring sites from the Watertown Dam to Boston Harbor. In 2015, the Charles was meeting the state’s bacterial water quality standards for boating 95 percent of the time and for swimming 69 percent of the time. The Charles River grade is determined by comparing the amount of time the river meets water quality standards to the following criteria:

A – almost always met standards for boating and swimming;
B – met standards for almost all boating and some swimming;
C – met standards for some boating and some swimming;
D – met standards for some boating but no swimming;
F – did not meet standards for boating or swimming.

The grading is also based on a comparison to previous years’ grades and whether the water quality has improved.

The lower Charles River has improved dramatically from the launch of EPA’s Charles River Initiative in 1995, when the river received a D for meeting boating standards only 39 percent of the time and swimming standards just 19 percent of the time. These improvements were due to a significant reduction in the amount of Combined Sewer Overflow (“CSO”) discharges to the river over the past 20 years, as well as enforcement of water quality standards and removal of illicit discharges. Illicit discharges often consist of cracked and leaking sewer pipes or improper sewer connections to the storm drain system. In addition, earlier this year EPA issued an updated Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (“MS4”) permit for Massachusetts. The new MS4 permit will build upon this past work, and update stormwater management efforts across Massachusetts, better protecting rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and wetlands across the Commonwealth.

As collaborative efforts between EPA, state and local government, private organizations and environmental advocates continue, the goal of a consistently healthy river becomes closer to an everyday reality. For the second year, EPA launched a water quality monitoring buoy in front of the Museum of Science in the Charles River Lower Basin. This buoy measures water quality in near real time. The data is being streamed-live on EPA’s Charles River Website. (www.epa.gov/charlesriver)

The Charles River report card announcement comes at a time when the Museum of Science Boston has opened its new permanent exhibition, the Yawkey Gallery on the Charles. The Yawkey Gallery explores the intersection of natural and engineered worlds through the lens of the Charles River. Located in the heart of the Museum – directly between Boston and Cambridge – the exhibit offers spectacular views of the river, hands-on activities, and live animals where visitors can learn about the interplay between an urban environment and the River. The Yawkey Gallery also features live water quality data from the EPA buoy, where visitors will be able to access the data both in the museum and at home. Since its inception, EPA’s Charles River initiative has been based on solid scientific understanding of the River based on data collected over the years. The river has also served as a laboratory for new methods of monitoring its health, reflected in innovations such as remote monitoring of water quality by methods such as the buoy.

Aside from illicit discharges, stormwater containing phosphorus, and the algae it produces are some of the major pollution problems remaining. These are problems that every citizen can help tackle. A major load of phosphorus comes from fertilizer and runoff from impervious surfaces like roads and rooftops. Citizens have been the driving force behind the Charles River Initiative and they can continue to help improve water quality in the River while monitoring progress themselves.

More information: EPA’s Charles River Website: (www.epa.gov/charlesriver)

What people are saying about the 21st Anniversary of the Charles River Initiative:
“The Charles River is one of the jewels of Boston that came out of the Boston Harbor Cleanup,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “In 1995, work began to stop raw sewage from being dumped into the river. Since then, we’ve learned more work needs to be done to control stormwater and nutrients in the River, which is what we are focusing on now with the new MS4 permit.”

“EPA’s grade tells all involved we’ve come a long way, but we’ve been plateaued at B+ for a while. With the end of the heated cooling water discharge from Veolia’s Kendall Square electric generation this summer, and with our continued work with EPA on stormwater discharges to the Charles, I’m hopeful in the coming few years we’ll see the grade tick up meaningfully,” said Bob Zimmerman, Executive Director of the Charles River Watershed Association.

“The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority recognizes the importance of clean, healthy water bodies, and we are pleased with the consistently positive water quality ratings of the Charles River,” said MWRA executive director Fred Laskey. “I commend our ratepayers for their continued investment in environmental and recreational preservation of the Charles River.”

“At the Museum of Science, we strive to empower our visitors to be informed science learners. We are excited about our partnership with the EPA, through the annual EPA Charles River grade announcement and the buoy in front of the Museum that provides the public with real-time data about the state of the Charles. Along with our new exhibition, the Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River, we hope these resources will inspire people to learn more about the world around them and better understand their relationship with the Charles River,” said Christine Reich, Vice President of Exhibit Development and Conservation at the Museum of Science.

“The Commonwealth is pleased to join all of the partners in celebrating these critical water quality improvements to the Lower Charles River,” said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. “We continue to support the important work that municipalities, watershed groups and stakeholders do as environmental stewards in this historic and vital watershed.”

“I’d like to applaud the EPA, Massachusetts Water Resource Authority, and Boston Water and Sewer Commission for improving the water quality in the Charles over the past year and for their ongoing efforts to do even more,” said City of Boston Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space Austin Blackmon. “I’m happy to see progress and look forward to our continued success.”