City of Gloucester Announces End of 30-Year EPA Consent Decree for Combined Sewer Overflows

Gloucester City Seal
GLOUCESTER – Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and the City of Gloucester are pleased to announce that the City has been released from a Consent Decree it has operated under for the last three decades, achieving an important milestone for the City, community, and local environment.
Under the leadership of Mayor Romeo Theken and Director of Public Works Michael Hale, and foundational efforts from previous administrations and leaders, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has terminated the Consent Decree initially put into place in the 1980s to improve coastal environmental quality and rehabilitate aging infrastructure.
Moving forward will require working closely with the EPA and State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to ensure that Gloucester continues to protect and preserve its beaches and ecosystems through sustained investment in the City’s public infrastructure.
“Our City has to remain focused on what makes us Gloucester; we rely on our coasts, and we can never take that for granted,” said Mayor Romeo Theken. “Ending this 30-year-long Consent Decree, and continuing to work closely with the EPA and DEP, are vital steps in ensuring our community and economy is strong and resilient. This is a major, if not, historic win for our community.”
Government officials are working to tackle key issues, and 2021 marks an important year for the City’s environmental history. As the State of Massachusetts continues to guide municipalities and implement important regulations, Gloucester is being trusted to move forward in adhering to all guidelines, regulations, and mandates set forth by the EPA and DEP.
“We can now put the Consent Decree behind us and we are excited to move to next steps with government agencies, and encouraged that we are on the right path,” said Director Hale. “We thank Mayor Romeo Theken for her leadership and support with everything we do, including our environmental initiatives, and we will remain focused on compliance and do all we can to make sure that Gloucester steers clear of anything like this in the future.”
Under its current leadership, the City will continue to focus on implementing climate-focused initiatives to protect and improve the City’s invaluable environmental resources. Supporting these efforts will require exploring available local, state, and federal funding sources to assist the City in taking on these critical infrastructure projects.

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