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NARRATIVE: The Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), Rhode Island’s largest wastewater authority, 
believes that wastewater treatment facilities are responsible for much more than just treating sewage 
to meet permit limits and protect public health. In today’s world of clean water agencies, it is the NBC 
philosophy that we have a responsibility to exceed permit limits, to improve and enhance our 
environment, to routinely evaluate the quality of our receiving waters and share that information, to 
base our management decisions on sound science, to conserve our valuable resources, reduce our 
energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, and ultimately generate all our energy needs with 
renewables. We routinely share our expertise in these fields with sister agencies, our neighboring 
communities and through our extensive education programs with our stakeholders.  The NBC can never 
stop planning, never stop advancing and never stop improving as we strive to achieve our lofty goals 
while ensuring that sustainability and the triple bottom line are incorporated into our management 
decisions. The Narragansett Bay Commission is truly a Utility of the Future.    

This organizational philosophy has created a strong culture that drives excellence from our employees to 
achieve a high level performance and to take the risks necessary to implement innovative out-of-the box 
ideas. This employee innovation has received consistent support from our Board of Commissioners, a 
board comprised of representatives from the Governor’s office and local communities, and with board 
support and employee innovation, the NBC has become a national environmental leader.  This was 
clearly demonstrated over the past several decades as the NBC turned one of the worst treatment 
plants in the nation into an EPA award winning facility recognized as the “Best in the Nation”!    

The NBC has progressed from being managers of wastewater plants, merely complying with permit 
limits and the Clean Water Act, to becoming the managers of valuable resources and trailblazers of 
innovation.  The NBC has embraced positive changes and has made great strides in not just surpassing 
permit limits, but improving infrastructure with the latest technology, employing innovative solutions to 
enhance water quality, reducing energy costs, producing renewable energy, and ultimately protecting 
and enhancing our local waterways.  The NBC has implemented a program for beneficial reuse of 100% 
of our biosolids to generate renewable energy and we reuse treated plant water at our facility and are 
evaluating and encouraging treated water reuse by other entities. We have measured our carbon 
footprint and greenhouse gas emissions from our treatment tanks, and are evaluating and implementing 
many programs to reduce them. We monitor and improve the quality of our receiving waters and work 
with regulatory agencies and stakeholders as stewards or our watershed. We are part of the solution, 
not just the polluting wastewater plant that is typically considered in many communities across the 
nation to be the source of the problem. By implementing these efforts the NBC has cemented its role 
asan agency that accomplishes great things and is part of the solution, earning a reputation as a local 
and national leader in wastewater treatment, energy efficiency, alternative energy and water quality 
assessment and enhancement. The NBC has done all of this while keeping costs low for ratepayers.  

The NBC’s mission and long-term vision is to “maintain a leadership role in the protection and 
enhancement of water quality in Narragansett Bay by providing safe and reliable wastewater collection 
and treatment services at a reasonable cost”.  In a radically changing and challenging environment, the 
NBC is dedicated to continuous improvement of treatment operations while empowering its workforce 
to “think outside the box” to implement innovative ideas in everyday activities as well as major projects 
to enhance environmental performance.  The organization’s leadership routinely demonstrates a 
commitment to adopt new ideas and technologies, to not only exceed compliance, but also provide 
sustainable solutions that pass the triple bottom line test and will last for many years.