The Environmental Protection Agency is apparently ready to lower the boom on the City of New Bedford for not completing eight federally-mandated infrastructure projects under the Clean Water Act, but the Mitchell Administration doesn't appear to be too concerned about it.

City Council Finance Committee Chair Linda Morad said city residents can expect higher sewer and water rates to pay for the projects. Morad said the city faces a potential EPA fine of $58,000 per day per project if work does not resume PDQ. She said after making progress on completing the mandates, work has stalled due to a lack of funds and the COVID-19 crisis.

In response to a question by Councilor Ian Abreu, New Bedford's Chief Operating Officer Christina Connolly told the committee last week that Mayor Jon Mitchell had yet to discuss the need for funding with the congressional delegation.

Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman Bill Keating were in town last week prancing before the cameras at an as-yet-to-open COVID vaccination center. Today, Senator Ed Markey will visit the COVID vaccination center at the Andrea McCoy Recreation Center. Here's your chance, Mayor Mitchell! Would you like me to talk to him for you?

Senators Warren and Markey visit New Bedford only once in a photo-op so it would be a shame to miss a golden opportunity to grovel for cash. Markey is Mr. Green New Deal, so perhaps he can ask your buddy Joe Biden to slip some coin this way or to ease off the threats to penalize the working people of New Bedford.

It would be a shame if you missed another opportunity to call on our federal delegation to do something – anything – for the City of New Bedford.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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