Pursuing Equity and Environmental Justice

Low-income communities and communities of color are overburdened by polluting infrastructure in their neighborhoods and excluded from the decision-making and economic opportunities that the growing clean energy economy offers. To foster a flourishing green economy, Massachusetts must be intentional about infrastructure siting and cultivating an inclusive workforce. We must design policy that repairs past harms and reduces burdens in environmental justice communities which have been most impacted by pollution and climate change. 

We at ELM advocate for: 

  • Equitable growth of our clean energy industry through economic inclusion and workforce development programs.  
  • Reforming the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to ensure environmental justice communities are represented in the decision-making process and cumulative impacts are considered when siting new energy infrastructure.   
  • Expanding Mass Save to provide energy efficiency rebates and incentives to historically underserved populations. 
  • Affordable and electrified public transit in environmental justice communities.
  • Directing significant state and federal funding to projects in environmental justice communities in amounts that meet or exceed the federal Justice40 standard.
  • Expanding voting rights to give marginalized groups a greater voice in electing policymakers committed to climate justice. 
Top Priority for the 2023-2024 Legislative Session

HD4024/SD505, An Act Relative to Energy Facilities Siting Improvement to Address Environmental Justice, Climate, and Public Health

Sponsors: Rep. Madaro, Sen. DiDomenico 

This legislation would work to reform the energy facilities siting process to give impacted communities a stronger voice in siting decisions and to incorporate environmental justice principles into stakeholder engagement. 

2021-2022 Accomplishments

The 2022 Climate and Clean Energy Bill (H.5060)’s Impacts on Environmental Justice 

  • Ensures protections for ratepayers adopting clean energy.  
  • Empowers MassCEC to fund new clean energy research, build relevant infrastructure, support equitable growth, and expand its workforce development programs, including the equity programs established in the 2021 Roadmap law.
  • Creates a new state-funded offshore wind training program for high schoolers. 
  • Directs MassSave to increase clean energy participation by low-income households and renters, and mandates more data collection on the effort.