Originally published in Boston Magazine
On October 22, 1995, as rowers from around the world came to Boston to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta, John DeVillars brooded. The river was in terrible shape and DeVillars, head of the EPA’s New England division, wanted everyone to know it. In hopes of grabbing some headlines, he issued a provocative press release stating that the Charles was “notable not for its recreational potential but for the stench of sewage.” He then boldly predicted that under his direction the EPA would resurrect the Charles River and have it fit for swimming within a decade…
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