Susan Curtis, Managing Principal of Cooperstown Environmental, attended the Merrimack River Watershed Council’s (MRWC) 4th annual State of the Waters 2020 Conference on January 31st. The conference helps to publicize an increased awareness of the economic, recreational and cultural importance of the Merrimack River to our region. This year’s theme was Next Generation Pollution: The Challenges and Solutions.
Among the lecture topics were contamination from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), microplastics, and pharmaceuticals as well as Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs). PFAS are man-made polyfluoroalkyl substances, sometimes referred to as “forever chemicals”, due to their tendency to bio-accumulate and because their stable chemical structure makes them difficult to destroy. More research into the potential human risks and environmental degradation associated with PFAS, microplastics and pharmaceuticals is required and is ongoing in the industry.
In order to address these problems, MRWC, local legislators, and other groups are lobbying the federal government for money for infrastructure upgrades. As described in a news article about the conference, potential funding through an infrastructure bill in Congress would provide $50.5 billion for wastewater infrastructure and $25.4 billion for clean drinking water.
Cooperstown Environmental LLC, an Andover-based environmental consulting firm, is a proud Corporate Sponsor of MRWC, supporting their mission of improving the health of the Merrimack River and preserving the watershed.