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

2024 Climate Omnibus Legislation

Massachusetts has set bold climate goals and made significant investments in planning our net-zero transition, but we are not on pace to meet our 2030 goals. Before the end of the session on July 31st, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and our partners are calling for legislation that includes: 

  • Reforming the permitting and siting process 
  • Facilitating efficient and responsibly-developed renewable energy  
  • Decarbonizing our transportation sector 
  • Planning for a net-zero built environment 

H.3187/S.2113, 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.