We advocate for strong environmental laws and regulations on a broad range of issues.
- Encouraging adequate funding for state environmental programs
- Combating climate change
- Supporting compact, walkable communities
- Building a 21st century transportation system
- Creating sustainable management of our water resources
- Ensuring stewardship of our urban and state parks
2019-2020 Legislative Session
Our Agenda for a Sustainable Future
DEP Admin, DCR Parks, DCR Watershed, and DER
Our environmental agencies remain underfunded and understaffed. Adequate budgets for DEP, DCR, and DER are critical to maintaining Massachusetts’ clean air and water and the public health of our residents.
An Act Relative to Multi-State Offshore Wind Procurement
H2920 – Representative Dave Rogers
Compels Massachusetts to reach out to the other New England states to explore issuing a joint procurement for 6 GW of new offshore wind. It would also authorize Massachusetts to enter into such an agreement and direct utilities to purchase this new power. Between 4 and 9 GW of older fossil and nuclear power plants will close in coming years. It should be replaced by clean, inexpensive, and plentiful offshore wind.
An Act to Promote Green Infrastructure and Reduce Carbon Emissions
H2810 – Representative Jen Benson
Puts a price on carbon emissions and creates new revenue while ensuring low and moderate income families are protected. In order to meet our GWSA mandates, we need to accelerate our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This market based approach would result in significant emissions reductions.
An Act Relative to Home Energy Efficiency
H2887/S1983 – Senator Eric Lesser and Representative Adrian Madaro
Requires energy audits and scores on all home sales, solidifying Massachusetts’ position as a national leader in energy efficiency while increasing consumer protection.
An Act to Create a 2050 Roadmap to a Clean and Thriving Commonwealth
H832 – Representative Joan Meschino
Amends the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) to require carbon neutrality by 2050. It would authorize carbon pricing, identify pathways to eliminate carbon from all sectors, and require 2030 and 2040 interim emission limits.
An Act providing for climate change adaptation infrastructure investments in the Commonwealth
S10 – Governor Charlie Baker
Increases the real estate transfer tax to fund the Global Warming Solutions trust fund; which would fund the Municipal Vulnerability Program (MVP)and other resiliency initiatives.
Speaker Robert DeLeo
Legislation under development; would generate $1 billion over 10 years, through bonding, to fund municipal level projects needed for resiliency and mitigation.
Second Tier Priorities
An Act relative to energy savings efficiency (Energy SAVE)
H2832 – Representative Josh Cutler
Updates the energy efficiency standards for appliances.
An Act re-powering Massachusetts with 100% renewable energy
H2836/S1958 – Representative Marjorie Decker and Senator Jamie Eldridge
Sets a goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2035, and 100% renewable energy economy-wide (including heating and transportation) by 2045; accelerates the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2035; requires the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to set interim renewable energy targets for 2030 and 2040, and issue regulations to meet those targets; and establishes a Clean Energy Workforce Development Fund to support training and job placement assistance for Massachusetts residents to work in the clean energy industry.
An Act relative to the continued enhancement of the offshore wind industry in the Commonwealth
H2867 – Representative Patricia Haddad
Reforms the offshore wind procurement process by removing utilities from the selection committee and removing the decreasing price requirement. Also codifies the additional 1600 MW approved last session.
An Act sparking the modernization of state heat systems
H2930/S1803 – Representative Tommy Vitolo and Senator Harriette Chandler
Creates statewide heat pump training program at Massachusetts Clean Energy Center; begins to change the gas utility business model to lower incentive to oppose clean heating conversions, lowers the risk of stranded costs after 2040, and requires that any gas conversions must be efficient; and updates state building “lead by example” statute and requires non-fossil heating for new state buildings.
An Act to secure a clean energy future
H2802/S2005 – Senator Marc Pacheco and Representative Ruth Balser
This is the Senate energy omnibus that passed the Senate last session; it includes a requirement to establish a carbon pricing mechanism, an increase in the Renewal Portfolio Standard (RPS), and solar and EV initiatives.
An Act to combat climate change
S1924 – Senator Michael Barrett
Directs the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary to establish a market based mechanism to reduce GHG emissions. Proceeds from a price on carbon would be used for appropriate rebates, and to support transit (60%), school aid (30%) and environmental health and justice (5%).
An Act promoting clean energy storage
S1977 – Senator Adam Hinds
Establishes a new exemption for the cost of energy storage systems, at the sole discretion of a municipality. The exemption will be allowed for a period of twenty years from the date of the installation of such system or device. In addition, the Department of Energy Resources is required to establish a rebate for Massachusetts-based companies installing and manufacturing energy storage systems, and provides a sales tax exemption for the sale of energy storage systems.
An Act relative to environmental justice and toxics reduction in the Commonwealth
H761/S464 – Representative Michelle DuBois and Senator Jamie Eldridge
Codifies environmental justice language relative to human exposure to environmental toxins.
An Act to sustain natural and working lands carbon in communities
H842/S2014 – Representative Sarah Peake and Senator Bruce Tarr
Enables the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to accurately measure carbon stored by, and released from, natural and working lands. It sets a goal for increasing the size of our natural carbon sink, and develop a plan to reach it with public and private lands. Also establishes the Communities for a Sustainable Climate Program for municipalities (like the Green Communities Program), which provides technical assistance and funding to communities that opt in and adopt carbon-friendly local policies and practices.
An Act relative to the conservation land tax credit
H2522/S1767 – Representative Bradley Jones and Senator Bruce Tarr
Increases the Credit Against Taxes Imposed for Qualified Donation of Certain Land to Public or Private Conservation Agency and Income Tax Credits to from $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 over three consecutive tax years. The enhanced credit is to expire December 31, 2029.
An Act relative to pipeline siting
S2000 – Senator Marc Pacheco
Prohibits the department of public utilities from approving pipeline capacity contracts or gas storage contracts that involve the installation of gas infrastructure on environmental conservation lands protected under Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution; voids future approvals of contracts located on Article 97 protected lands.
An Act promoting open space residential development
S82 – Senator Diana DiZoglio
Establishes that no zoning ordinance or by-law may prohibit or unreasonably regulate the use of land for open space residential development in any district zoned for residential use.
An Act to sustain community preservation revenue
H2463/S1618 – Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante and Senator Cynthia Creem
Increases the fee on the registry of deeds to increase the match for CPA.
An Act to expand the green communities program to mitigate climate change
H2841/S1987 – Representative Carolyn Dukema and Senator Jason Lewis
Builds on the successful Green Communities program that more than half of MA municipalities have adopted by creating a new “Green Plus” designation that focuses local efforts on greenhouse gas emissions reduction. To qualify, municipalities first establish a community-wide GHG emissions baseline and then put in place a comprehensive program to reduce GHG emissions by at least 20% within 5 years. Participating municipalities then have access to funds to implement their plans. It also includes a provision to allow DOER to develop alternate regulations to allow those communities served by municipal light plants to participate in both Green Communities and the new Green Plus Communities programs.
An Act establishing the Office of Outdoor Recreation
S484 – Senator Adam Hinds
Creates the Office of Outdoor Recreation to be housed within EEA with the purpose of promoting and marketing outdoor recreational activities of the commonwealth to the public, to support economic development in the commonwealth and to improve the quality of life, health and well-being of residents in the commonwealth. The secretary of energy and environmental affairs shall designate a competent and qualified person to be the director of the office of outdoor recreation.
An Act establishing the commission for a climate-ready Commonwealth
H825/S433 – Representative Adrian Madaro and Senator William Brownsberger
Establishes a thirteen member Commission for a climate-ready commonwealth to advise the legislature on how to fund, implement and prioritize climate resilience and climate adaptation infrastructure projects that will protect against and avoid risks posed and expenses incurred by climate change; articulates the qualifications of Commission members; identifies several specific areas of investigation for the Commission; provides that the Commission be supported by staff from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Department of Environmental Protection; requires the Commission to submit its recommendations to the legislature within eighteen months of the appointment of the thirteenth member of the Commission.
An Act promoting sustainable investment, economic security and fiscal responsibility with respect to climate risks
H841/S79 – Representative Sarah Peake and Senator Nick Collins
Requires all applications for a permit, authorization, certification, approval, grant, loan, or other financing under any executive office secretary or the supreme judicial court, to include disclosures related to relevant climate risks; includes environmental impact reports issued for all public works; requires the disclosure to include information about the model or projections used in making the risk assessment.
An Act to protect children, families, and firefighters from harmful flame retardants
H3500/S1230 – Representative Marjorie Decker and Senator Cynthia Creem
Prohibits manufacturers or retailers from selling, manufacturing or distributing bedding, carpeting, children’s products, residential upholstered furniture or window treatments that contain the listed chemical flame retardants in amounts over 1,000 parts per million; exempts inventory manufactured prior to January 1, 2019.
An Act to advance modern and sustainable solutions for transportation
H3008/S2106 – Representative Lori Ehrlich and Senator Eric Lesser
Sets guidance for how proceeds raised from the regional Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) are used with an emphasis on expanding transit, particularly for low income and environmental justice communities, electrifying transportation, and resiliency. Establishes a 15 member board to evaluate proposals and report on how funds are spent.
An Act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management
H762 – Representative Carolyn Dykema
Establishes a drought management task force; gives the EOEEA Secretary the authority to order water conservation measures; requires cities and towns to enforce water conservation restrictions issued by the Secretary to the fullest extent permitted by law.
An Act to save recycling costs in the Commonwealth
H750 – Representative Michael Day
Extends producer responsibility to increase the amount of recycling done in MA.
An Act reducing plastic bag pollution
H771/S462 – Representative Lori Ehrlich and Senator Jamie Eldridge
Prohibits stores from providing single-use carryout bags to customers after August 1, 2019; and establishes a price of 10 cents for single use plastic bags sold between enactment and the effective date and for recycled paper and reusable plastic bags sold thereafter.
An Act relative to recycling
S520 – Senator Marc Pacheco
Directs the Department of Environmental Protection to establish performance standards for municipal solid waste reduction on the basis of pounds per capita of solid waste disposed; sets goals of not more than 600 lbs per capita by July 1, 2020 and not more than 450 lbs by 2024; directs the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary, in consultation with DEP and DER, to develop an action plan to assist municipalities in achieving these goals.