Feb 16, 2016

Visit to MWRA Treatment Plant

(Quincy, MA) - NAGE National President David J. Holway spent the morning of Sunday, February 7th, 2016 visiting Nut Island Treatment Plant in Quincy, Massachusetts where an explosion occurred two weeks earlier.

President Holway and National Representative Tom Flynn were led five stories underground to the odor control area of the plant by NAGE Local 168 President Bill Lane. They reviewed the damaged equipment where the fire occurred and the area where five employees sustained serious injuries during the event. These employees were later hospitalized but have since been released and are in recovery. 

President Holway notes, “In light of the recent fire, and the fact that five employees were lucky to escape with their lives, this visit was especially relevant. If it wasn’t for the heroic actions of these employees there would have been fatalities.”

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) treatment plant processes an average of 400 million gallons of sewage per day, but thanks to the hard work of the MWRA this event did not cause any serious environmental issues. Lane noted, “It’s hard to know the amount of damage done, but the clean-up and equipment repair will likely cost tens of millions of dollars.”

While the injured employees recover and the damaged equipment is repaired, NAGE leaders and others are wondering what action can be taken to prevent similar events in the future.

President Holway states, “Most people don’t understand the hazardous environments in which some of our members work. Hopefully some good will come out of a tragic set of circumstances.”

“The legislature has before it House Bill 2249, which would recognize the dangers of many of the jobs at the MWRA by moving employees from Group 1 to Group 2 in the state retirement system,” President Holway added. “It is time to give these employees the retirement benefits they deserve.” 

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National President David Holway and Local 168 President Bill Lane review equipment damaged by fire at MWRA Treatment Plant in Quincy, MA.
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