OARS is hiring a Development Director

OARS is seeking a committed, creative and organized Development Director to lead fundraising efforts in a growing, mission-based organization. The Development Director is responsible for ongoing fundraising to meet OARS' financial needs, achieve our mission, and maximize our impact in the community.

Successful Appeal of Wastewater Discharge Permit

On November 24, 2021, OARS appealed the NPDES Permit (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit) for the Marlborough Westerly Wastewater Treatment Plant issued under the Clean Water Act. This municipal treatment plant discharges directly into the Assabet River.

On December 15, the Environmental Appeals Board granted our Motion to Dismiss based on the desirable outcome of negotiations.

This legal action has:

  • resulted in clearer and stronger continuing protection for the Assabet River (and the Concord River downstream) from increases in phosphorus (nutrient) pollution,
  • prevented a dangerous precedent being set in how permit limits are calculated, and
  • supported continuing progress by maintaining stricter limits for winter discharge of phosphorus.

As precipitation patterns change, with expected deepening of summer droughts, this protection could not be more important.

Bacteria and Health Safety

Is the river safe for boating or swimming? OARS is attempting to answer this with our E. coli bacteria monitoring program. Bacteria and other pathogens can enter the rivers from leaking sewers or septic systems, storm-water runoff, or wildlife or dog waste. The EPA has linked high levels of E. coli (an indicator bacteria) in swimming water to high rates of gastro-intestinal illness.

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