Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Citizens' Guide to State Services

Published by
William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth
Citizen Information Service

Environment/Energy: Air, Land and Water Pollution, Protection and Quality

G3 Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

G4 Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

G5 Division of Water Supply Protection

G3 Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
One Winter Street
Boston, MA 02108
Main Number: 617-292-5500
To Report a Hazardous Spill: 617-556-1133, or 1-888-304-1133
To Report an Environmental Crime: 1-888-VIOLATE (846-5283)
TTY: 617-574-6868, or 1-800-298-2207 (within Mass. only)
Drinking Water: 617-292-5770
Watershed Management: 617-292-5918
Fax: 617-556-1049

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection administers the Commonwealth's environmental regulatory programs for air, water, solid waste, and land use controls. Through its four bureaus, the department has the authority and responsibility for the management and control of air quality, regulation of the activities affecting wetlands, oversight and regulation of the quality of drinking water, management of water quality, control of pollution of all waters of the Commonwealth including ground water, control of aquatic vegetation, regulation of the disposal of all solid wastes, the storage and transportation of hazardous wastes, protection of offshore resources, regulation of billboards, and assurance of the sanitary quality of shellfish harvesting areas. DEP regulates more than 13,000 facilities across Massachusetts, including factories, commercial establishments, gas stations, power plants, landfills, incinerators, and wastewater treatment facilities. The four bureaus are, Waste Prevention, Resource Protection, Waste Site Cleanup, and the Bureau of Strategic Technology.

The Community Right-to-Know Law

Under the "Community Right-to-Know Law" (MGL Ch. 111F), Massachusetts citizens have the right to find out what toxic or hazardous substances are being used or stored by employers in their communities, if they believe that the substances may endanger public health or safety. Forms called "material safety data sheets", which list chemicals and their effects, are filed by local companies with the regional DEP offices and are available for public inspection. Please see G8 for a listing of the offices. For further information, contact a local municipal Right-to-Know coordinator; the name of a coordinator may be obtained from the regional DEP offices. There are five regional offices throughout the state, contact information can be found on their webste.

Regional Offices:

20 Riverside Drive
, MA 02347
Tel:(508) 946-2700

436 Dwight Street
, MA 01103
Tel:(413) 784-1100

205 B Lowell Street
, MA 01887
Tel:(978) 694-3200

627 Main Street
, MA 01608
Tel:(508) 792-7650

G4 Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA)
Charlestown Navy Yard
100 First Avenue
Charlestown, MA 02129
Tel: 617-242-6000
TTY: 617-788-4971
To Report an MWRA Water Leak 24/7: 617-305-5950
To Report an MWRA Sewer Leak 24/7: 617-305-5940
Emergency TTY 24/7: 617- 371-1903
Fax: 617-788-4894

On July 1, 1985, an independent Massachusetts Water Resources Authority assumed the responsibility for the sewer and waterworks system of the Energy andformer  MDC. (The Water Division and the Sewer Division of the MDC were abolished and a new Watershed Management Division of the MDC was created to manage the watershed lands, including the Quabbin and other state reservoirs.) It is also the agency primarily responsible for the Boston Harbor cleanup. The MWRA has two main divisions, the Sewerage Division and the Waterworks Division, which operate the sewer and water delivery systems for the metropolitan area. The MWRA also has the authority to rebuild sewage treatment plants and water supply pipelines. Other divisions include administration and finance, construction, engineering, law, and support. The MWRA is within but not subject to the control of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.

G5 Division of Water Supply Protection
Department of Conservation and Recreation
251 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
Tel: 617-626-1379
Well Drillers Registration Program: 617-292-5681
E-mail: Laurene.Poland@State.MA.US 

The Division of Water Supply Protection was established under Ch. 372 of the Acts of 1984 at the time the independent Massachusetts Water Resources Authority was created. It is responsible for the quantity and quality of the drinking water supplied to over two million people in the Boston metropolitan area. The division, through its offices of Watershed Management and Water Resources, manages the Quabbin, Wachusett, and Sudbury reservoirs and more than 100,000 acres of watershed land which surrounds these water supplies. The division is responsible for forestry and wildlife management throughout the watershed areas. It administers a visitors' center and programs to preserve the history and pristine quality of these areas.

Quabbin Visitors Center/Ware River Section
485 Ware Road
Belchertown, MA 01007
Tel: 413-323-7221
Emergency/Violations: 413-323-0191

Wachusett/Sudbury Reservoirs
180 Beaman Street
West Boylston, MA 01583
Tel: (508)  792-7806
Emergency/Violations: 978-365-3800

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