Gov. Charlie Baker hosts an event Tuesday to bring attention to a new law requiring public advisories to be issued when sewage is discharged into waterways.
The House passed the bill (H 4921) in late July and the Senate got on board with it just before the last session ended. Baker signed on Jan. 12. The law will bring new attention to discharges that commonly occur from public systems during periods of heavy rain that overwhelm infrastructure systems.
When the bill was signed, Environment Massachusetts state director Ben Hellerstein noted that despite progress, beaches in the state continue to experience days with potentially unsafe levels of fecal bacteria attributable to antiquated sewer systems and runoff from roads and parking lots.
"We can and must do a better job of keeping waste out of our water," Hellerstein said last month. "This bill will ensure the public's right to know about sewage pollution in our waterways. We believe that more awareness of the problem will lead to more action on solutions. Hellerstein credited the Mass Rivers Alliance for its work on the bill, as well as Rep. Linda Dean Campbell, former Rep. Denise Provost and Sen. Patricia Jehlen.
Baker and others plan to discuss the new law during a 10:30 a.m. livestream.