About the WIFC

Commission Background

The Water Infrastructure Finance Commission was established by Act of the Legislature pursuant to Section 145 of Chapter 27 of the Acts of 2009. The Commission is charged with developing a comprehensive, long range water infrastructure finance plan for the commonwealth and its municipalities.

Massachusetts has over 20,000 miles of sewage and 21,000 miles of water piping, most of which was installed over 50 years ago. As time goes by and these pipes degrade, they can pose a public health risk and limit our ability to expand the economy and create jobs.

The condition of water infrastructure is a significant factor in the Commonwealth’s ability to attract companies and create new jobs. Many companies rely on clean, accessible water to run their businesses, and are looking to locate in places that have the water infrastructure to support their work.

The miles of water and sewer pipes under the streets of Massachusetts cities and towns are aging, and can eventually become corroded, clogged, or leak.  These degradations can result in the loss of fresh drinking water, and even the leakage of untreated sewage.

The costs to repair these aging pipes is growing each year. In 2007 $1.543 billion dollars was requested for the maintenance of piping, and the state could only allocate $364 million.

Treatment plants for both water supplies and sewage are required by state and federal regulations to be periodically updated, often at a great cost to ratepayers in a community.  These upgrades are essential to ensure that we are providing clean drinking water, and also that we are safeguarding our groundwater, our rivers, lakes, and streams.

The EPA estimates that $6.79 billion dollars will have to be spent over the 2007-2027 period to pay for the maintenance of the Massachusetts Water Infrastructure.  The Water Infrastructure Commission is studying ways to assist towns in reducing their debt, developing new sources of revenue, enhancing existing sources of revenue and establishing new incentives for public-private partnerships.

Commission Members

Name Appointed By: Organization
Senator James Eldridge Chairman – Senate President  appointee MA State Senate
Kenneth Kimmell Commissioner Department of Environmental Protection Department of Environmental Protection
Steve Grossman State Treasurer State Treasurer
Paul Niedzwiecki Senate President appointee Executive Director Cape Cod Commission
Carolyn Dykema Speaker  appointee MA House of Representatives
Martin Pillsbury Speaker appointee Environmental Division Manager, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Dave Hanlon House minority leader appointment General Manager, Veterans Development Corporation
Tom Tilas Senate minority leader appointment Vice President AECOM
William Callahan Governor appointee American Council of Engineering Companies of MA Retired Senior Vice President Camp Dresser McKee Inc
Phil Jasset Governor appointee – Utility Contractors Association of New England Utility Contractors Association of New England (UCANE) Director of Rgulatory Affairs and Honorary Board Member
Michael Martin Governor appointee – MA Waterworks Association Wareham Fire District Water Department
Bruce Tobey Governor appointee – Mass Municipal Association Of counsel, Pannone, Lopes, Devereaux and West; former mayor and current City Councilor City of Gloucester
Robert Zimmerman Governor appointee – Environmental League of Massachusetts Executive Director Charles River Watershed Association
Peter Shelley Governor appointee – Conservation Law Foundation Vice President, Conservation Law Foundation
Thomas Walsh Governor appointee- Mass Water Pollution Control Association Engineer, Director, and Treasurer Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District
Norman Bartlett (Ned) Governor appointee – Associated Industries of Massachusetts Senior Partner, Bowditch & Dewey LLP
Becky Smith Governor appointee – Clean Water Action Massachusetts Water Coordinator for Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund in Boston
Vincent Mannering Boston Water and Sewer Commission Executive Director Boston Water and Sewer Commission

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