2021-2022 Legislative Session Goal: Reform the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to ensure environmental justice communities are represented and able to participate in the decision-making process.
Many environmental justice communities are overburdened by polluting energy infrastructure located in their neighborhoods. Historically, the process for siting these facilities has been flawed, with residents not being heard and the cumulative impacts of these decisions harming the health and wellbeing of families. The Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) is currently comprised largely of appointed gubernatorial Administration officials. We will work to reform the EFSB so that cumulative impacts are considered, and members of environmental justice communities are included in the decision-making processes.
2021-2022 Priority Bill
- Requires advance notice to relevant parties before formally proposing a new energy facility be sited in a community
- Requires that the project developer include information on cumulative impacts of other facilities already located in the community and any cost-effective alternatives to the proposed project, including energy efficiency and conservation
- Adds environmental justice, public health, and climate to the EFSB’s responsibilities and requires community engagement for projects
- Adds five new members to the EFSB including someone who has environmental expertise, energy expertise and someone who resides in an environmental justice community
- States that the policy of the Commonwealth is to minimize the negative impacts of climate change and the energy transition on environmental justice populations and prioritize renewable energy and climate adaptation investment in these areas