At their Annual Meeting on December 5, Mass Rivers Alliance honored Kevin Cassidy, of Earthrise Law Center, for his pro bono work on behalf of watershed groups across the state. Kevin has been on the NSRWA board for since 2015, and has been a champion for water on the South Shore.
Founded in 1996, Earthrise Law Center is the environmental legal clinic at Lewis & Clark Law School. Earthrise provides low or no cost legal services for nonprofit conservation organizations in virtually the entire spectrum of environmental and natural resources law, from protecting endangered species and ecosystems to preventing and reducing air and water pollution. Their clients range from small grassroots nonprofits to large national organizations.
Kevin represented Mass Rivers Alliance and nine watershed groups from across the state asking Boston’s federal district court to vacate the EPA’s one-year delay in implementing the state’s MS4 stormwater permit. The EPA had placed a stay on the implementation of a permit that was negotiated over 9 years ago. The North and South Rivers Watershed Association saw the importance in backing this action to ensure that progress is made on reducing stormwater pollution, which is the number one source of pollution in Massachusetts. Stormwater, which runs off land, roads and buildings when it rains, carries fertilizer pollution, harmful bacteria, oil, gas, toxic metals, and salt into nearby waterways.
With the help of Cassidy and the Earthrise Law Center, the MS4 permit became effective July 1, 2018.
(Photo left to right: Kevin Cassidy, Earthrise Law Center; Julia Blatt, Mass Rivers Alliance; Access to Justice Fellow, Irene C. Freidel. Photo by Thomas Palmer, Neponset River Watershed Association.)