State Approves $2 Million to Combat Combined Sewage Overflow Along Merrimack River

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced it will release $2 million to the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District (GLSD) for the purchase of an emergency generator for the Riverside Pump Station.

Located in North Andover, the Riverside Pump Station treats more than 10 billion gallons of wastewater annually and serves about 250,000 residents in the cities of Lawrence and Methuen, as well as the towns of Andover, Dracut, North Andover and Salem, New Hampshire.

With the release of the $2 million for the emergency generator, residents of these communities — and other communities downriver — will be protected from a potential spill of raw sewage into the Merrimack River in the event of a power outage.

These funds were previously secured in the Senate’s 2018 Environmental Bond Bill but may not be released without the approval of the Governor’s Office through the Department of Environmental Protection. State Senator Diana DiZoglio, (D-Methuen), has in recent months strongly advocated for the release of these funds and met recently with DEP Commissioner Martin Suuberg to make the case for the generator.

“I am grateful the Commissioner and his team were willing to meet with me so early in this session regarding this issue, that they heard our concerns loud and clear, and have agreed that we need to take immediate action on the issue of combined sewer overflows,” said DiZoglio. “This generator will contribute to the overall health of the Merrimack River, from Lawrence and North Andover, all the way up to Newburyport.

“This funding benefits so many communities who, without this generator, could expect millions of gallons of sewage to potentially be dumped into the river during a power outage,” said DiZoglio. “There is, of course, much more work to be done but this is a huge, tangible win for the Merrimack Valley.”

“The Greater Lawrence Sanitary District wishes to thank Governor Baker, the Massachusetts DEP, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, all current and former senators, representatives, mayors and town managers who worked to make this possible,” said Cheri Cousens, executive director of the GLSD. “This was a huge collaborative effort and it shows what we can do when everyone works together for one common goal. Hopefully this can continue in resolving long-term concerns related to combined sewer overflow”

CREST Collaborative Students Visit State House

Students from the Methuen-based CREST Collaborative recently visited the State House for a tour and a firsthand glimpse of the legislative process.

Serving students from 25 communities in northeastern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire, the Collaborative for Regional Education Services and Training (CREST) serves students and adults with social, emotional and physical disabilities on three campuses in Methuen.

The organization’s mission is to empower all learners by “maximizing strengths, removing barriers, forming relationships, seeking innovative solutions to create a lasting positive impact into their adult lives.”

CREST also looks to equip adults with tools to succeed in a “safe and supportive learning environment and within the greater community.”

The visit was sponsored by the office of State Senator Diana DiZoglio, D-Methuen.

Students from grades 6, 7 and 8 took part in the State House tour before eating lunch and meeting with Senator DiZoglio.

This is our next generation of leaders, so it is important that we encourage them to be actively involved in the democratic process early on

“I am proud to have such an innovative school in Methuen educating students and helping people from all over our region,” said DiZoglio. “ It was an honor to host these students – our next generation of leaders – for a visit to the State House and encourage them to become actively involved in the democratic process early on in their lives.”

“For each of these students, it was their first time visiting the State House and they were just in awe of the building,” said Peter Silverman, a special education teacher at CREST who chaperoned the trip. “We’ve been studying the three branches of government and how bills become laws. To share the pageantry of this building with them is special.”

North Andover High Kicks Off Women’s History Month with Empowerment Day

NAHS Women 4State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) recently kicked off Women’s History Month by hosting Young Women Empowerment Day for female juniors and seniors at North Andover High School.

The two-hour program, held on March 1, featured a roster of more than 20 women from North Andover and neighboring cities and towns who work in a variety of career fields, including a police officer, fire fighter, small business owner, journalist, attorney, realtor, nurse and more. Participants discussed their personal journeys, difficult challenges and successes, and what it took to get to where they are now. Students then had the opportunity to personally engage with each panelist.

The event marked the fifth consecutive year DiZoglio has hosted Young Women Empowerment Day, having previously organized them at Haverhill High, Lawrence High and Methuen High.

“Typically, these girls learn so much about successful women who have made history in the past,” said DiZoglio. “Rarely, however, do they have the opportunity to connect with the incredible women who are making history right now and glean insight and wisdom from them. I’m incredibly thankful that so many amazing women joined me in empowering our next generation of leaders at North Andover High.”

“Thank you especially to Kaitlyn Parks, a North Andover High senior, for leading the charge and organizing this event alongside my office,” DiZoglio added. “She’s been interning with me for a few years and is one of the most determined, dedicated and intelligent young women I know. I am so proud of the way she is already making a difference in the lives of her peers.”

“I am so excited and proud that North Andover High held this successful Empowerment Day,” said Parks.

“We were excited to connect with Senator DiZoglio and our community partners to kick off Women’s History Month,” said North Andover High Principal Chet Jackson. “It was very special to have our senior student Kaitlyn Parks plan and coordinate the event for our school. More than 110 young women from our junior and senior classes were able to connect with female leaders and professionals from across the Merrimack Valley. It was great to see our young women have an opportunity to have small group, extended conversations with professionals of their choice. It was a chance for our students to learn about some career paths and to just talk about life with worthy mentors. Our students had a great time and left empowered to continue their journey beyond high school. We look forward to a continued partnership and to bringing the event back to North Andover High. All of our guests were extremely kind and motivating to our students.”

“What a fantastic morning,” said educator and former North Andover School Committee member Zora Warren. “It was inspiring to be in the company of and engage with so many successful women and motivated students.”

“I want to go into business management, which I know is a very male-dominated field,” said Riva Chatsman, North Andover High junior. “It was so great to hear from women who have made a strong presence in this workforce.”

“It was awesome to see women in careers I’m interested in, like business and law,” said Eisha Haroon, North Andover High junior.

“It is so exciting to see the community come together,” said Izabel Ferrao, North Andover High senior. “This was a great chance to hear and see how women got to where they are.”