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MASSACHUSETTS WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES $675 MILLION BOND ISSUE

 MASSACHUSETTS WATER RESOURCES AUTHORITY
 ANNOUNCES $675 MILLION BOND ISSUE
 NEW YORK, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and Merrill Lynch and Co., Inc., announced today a plan to issue $675,000,000 of 30-year tax-exempt fixed rate bonds. The proceeds will be used to finance the MWRA's on-going program of major capital improvements of wastewater collection and treatment facilities in the Greater Boston area. Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. is acting as senior manager for the transaction.
 Philip N. Shapiro, chief financial officer for the MWRA, said that with the latest bond issue, the MWRA will be making another significant contribution to the state's economy.
 "I've always felt that this project should be seen as essential to our economy because it will provide better water and sewer services to a substantial portion of Eastern Massachusetts businesses that absolutely need these improvements to boost productivity and competitiveness," Shapiro said.
 Shapiro noted, "Construction of the Deer Island plant and other parts of the project will give a much needed boost to the local construction industry and lead to the purchase of related goods and services which means an additional stimulus to the local economy."
 In 1988, during the last presidential campaign, Boston Harbor was characterized as "the dirtiest harbor in the nation." Four years later, Boston Harbor is more symbolic of an environmental victory than a disgrace.
 Nearly $1.5 billion in contracts have been awarded for the clean-up and the MWRA has made significant progress towards its goal of reversing environmental damage done to Boston Harbor and preventing future pollution.
 MWRA takes another significant step in the Boston Harbor clean-up with this sale of $675 million in revenue bonds that will be used to finance the project and to make major improvements in the water and sewer systems that serve the Authority's 61 member communities.
 The latest bond issue is the third offered by the MWRA since 1985 when it was created by the Massachusetts Legislature to implement the court-ordered Boston Harbor clean up and the water and sewer system improvements. With this latest issue, the amount of debt issued by the Authority will reach $1.8 billion. The total cost of MWRA's capital program is estimated at over $6 billion.
 The cost of the 11-year project will be paid for by the MWRA's charges for water and sewer services it provides as a wholesaler to its member communities in Greater Boston.
 The project has met all of the significant court imposed deadlines for meeting various goals. The Deer Island Waste Water Treatment Plant, which is the largest part of the project, continues to progress on schedule and is under budget.
 The clean-up has begun to produce the environmental improvements that are the core of the effort. The Authority's Environmental Quality Department reported that water quality of Boston Harbor improved to the level where beaches were rated as swimmable for most of the summers of 1990 and 1991.
 The MWRA anticipates selling the bonds on Wednesday, March 18. Merrill Lynch is book running manager.
 The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) was created in 1985 to facilitate the repair and rehabilitation of the Boston region's water supply and sewage treatment systems and to bring those systems into compliance with various environmental laws. The Authority provides water supply and sewage treatment services on a wholesale basis to 61 towns, cities and special purpose districts in the region, representing a population of 2.5 million people or 44 percent of the Commonwealth.
 Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. through its municipal markets unit provides trading, underwriting and investment banking services for states, municipalities, their political subdivisions and individual and institutional investors.
 -0- 3/17/92
 /CONTACT: Philip N. Shapiro CFO, 617-241-6004, or Kenneth Wissman treasurer, 617-241-6012, both of Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; or Jeffrey C. Carey, 212-449-0683, or Monica Prihoda, 212-449-7293, both of Merrill Lynch & Co./ CO: Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; Merrill Lynch & Co. ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:


SH-KW -- NY071 -- 8837 03/17/92 14:30 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1992
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