BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate has passed legislation that will make it more affordable for municipalities across the Commonwealth to make significant repairs and upgrades to their local water, sewer, and stormwater systems. The bill renames the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust the Massachusetts Clean Water Trust, and provides the Trust the flexibility to offer lower interest loans to municipalities to fund water and sewer infrastructure projects.
“Our municipalities are facing a $39 billion funding gap over the next two decades for the maintenance of our sewer, water, and stormwater resources,” said state Senator Brian A. Joyce. “The maintenance of these systems is critically important to support the day to day operations of our public safety officials, schools and businesses.”
The legislation will make it easier for Commonwealth towns and cities to undertake large water infrastructure projects by removing potential financial barriers. Currently, the Trust can offer loans to local governments with interest rates as low as 2 percent. Under the legislation, the Trust could go as low as 0 percent and authorize principal forgiveness for qualifying municipalities looking to make significant changes to their water and sewer infrastructure. This measure will help reduce pressure on local water and infrastructure bills.