Joseph J. Superneau Leadership Award

Joseph Superneau

The Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship established the Joseph J. Superneau Leadership Award to honor individuals and businesses/organizations whose work and actions embody the principles of the Coalition, including advocating for the application of sound science and a holistic approach that incorporates fiscal considerations and cost/benefit in the regulation and management of water resources that benefit Massachusetts.

Mr. Superneau, of Springfield, worked in the water, wastewater and public works professions for more than 40 years. He spent his last 11 years as Executive Director of the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission. Mr. Superneau was a Board member and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Coalition for Water Resources Stewardship and the past president of the New England Chapter of the American Public Works Association. He was an outstanding advocate for the drinking water, wastewater and stormwater professions.

Any individual or business/organization with a demonstrated record of advocacy and action consistent with the goals of the Coalition, and whose efforts are directed at water resources management in New England is eligible. Members of the Coalition’s Board of Directors and employees are not eligible for the award. Please see the award criteria for more information.

Joseph J. Superneau Award Winners

John Gall, Vice President, Camp, Dresser & McKee
Before retiring, John Gall was Vice President of Camp, Dresser & McKee (CDM). John was the consummate pragmatist. He understood the intent and goals of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and applied sound, thoughtful, and achievable solutions to communities that were burdened by the regulations imposed by EPA. John once worked for EPA before the agency began its regulatory overreach by imposing unrealistic permit conditions on communities. John’s previous background with EPA and his understanding of the CWA intentions and requirements allowed him to effectively represent communities negotiating EPA permit conditions like no one else. Furthermore, John was a founding member and early supporter of the Coalition.







Ronald Labelle, Commissioner, Department of Public Infrastructure, City of New Bedford
Ron Labelle & Phil GuerinAs Commissioner, Mr. Labelle has been proactive in implementing over $250 million in wastewater and stormwater projects over the past 20 years, including construction of a $100 million secondary wastewater treatment plant, construction of 23 new pumping stations, and 23 miles of pipe resulting in a 90% reduction of CSOs since 1990. The new wastewater treatment plant was an integrated vision that transcended a single-purpose use and resulted in a compact, technologically advanced, secondary wastewater treatment plant, a valuable historical and recreational park, one mile of new shoreline access, and much-needed revitalization for New Bedford. His commitment to improving the quality of local receiving waters has directly contributed to the enhancement of water quality in Buzzards Bay, enabling swimming and shell fishing in waters that had been closed for nearly 100 years. With an eye to fiscal responsibility, Mr. Labelle was responsible for restructuring several City departments into the Department of Public Infrastructure, which has resulted in the streamlining of operations across multiple departments and $1.6 million in savings. More recently, Mr. Labelle has developed an Energy Department, leading the way in solar energy production (#2 in the nation).




Mark Young, Executive Director, Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility
Mark Young and his team at the Lowell Regional Wastewater Utility (LRWWU) continue to take a leadership role in applying a holistic approach to its operations, maintenance, and engineering functions.  Under Mr. Young’s direction, LRWWU has undertaken more than $110 million over the last ten years in reinvestment in the wastewater treatment and combined sewer collection system facilities.  Each proposed system improvement has undergone a significant level of scrutiny to ensure that the modification, repair, or new facility is based on sound science and returns value to the rate payer. LRWWU was one of the first municipal facilities to become certified as an ISO 14001 facility in the nation, which reflects LRWWU’s efforts to be a leader as an environmental steward by minimizing its operational impact on the environment (i.e., causing adverse changes to air, water, or land) while complying with applicable laws, regulations, and other environmentally oriented requirements.  As demonstrated by their past actions, Mr. Young and his team actively seek long-term solutions to system operations that balance environmental benefits, scientific evidence, and cost-effective approaches to benefit its rate payers and the community at large.

Thomas K. Walsh, Director Emeritus, Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District
Thomas Walsh and Phil Guerin As Engineer-Director/Treasurer of the Upper Blackstone Water Pollution Abatement District, a position he held until his retirement in 2011, Tom Walsh helped found the MCWRS and was an active member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Walsh’s interest in helping to form MCWRS stemmed from his unending commitment to improving the practice of wastewater treatment through the application of sound science, common sense and fiscal responsibility. He could also be described as an environmentalist in the best sense as he strove to protect the nation’s waters using cost effective approaches that produced real benefits. Tom Walsh was a tireless spokesman for the wastewater treatment profession and MCWRS and would always be among the first to challenge regulators and detractors using science, facts and a wealth of knowledge few could match.  Through spearheading the Upper Blackstone’s discharge permit appeal, Mr. Walsh was instrumental in bringing national attention to the unfair burden placed on public wastewater utilities by EPA’s approach to NPDES permitting. The MCWRS is here today largely as a result of Tom Walsh's dedication and commitment to the cause of environmental stewardship through sound science, fiscal consideration and cost-beneficial measures.

Great Bay Municipal Coalition

2013 Award presentationThe Great Bay Municipal Coalition – comprised of the New Hampshire communities of Dover, Exeter, Newmarket, Portsmouth and Rochester – has been at the forefront of advocating for sound science, fiscal responsibility and cost/benefit as it challenges the EPA and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services over nitrogen limits and impacts to Great Bay. The Great Bay Coalition has made this a very public and political issue. By doing so it has helped highlight the need for regulatory reform and the local impacts of heavy handed regulation. Great Bay’s fight is not about financial interests versus the environment but about balancing financial concerns and environmental improvements. 

Jennifer Pederson, Massachusetts Water Works Association

2012 award presentationAs executive director of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, Jennifer Pederson is a staunch and tireless advocate for public water suppliers and municipalities as they wrestle with regulatory demands and limited budgets. Ms. Pederson has worked to ensure that good science, cost benefit and common sense are used to develop public policies that protect and enhance the environment, while at the same time preserving the interests of ratepayers and users of water systems.