Massachusetts Senate Passes Environmental Bond Bill

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
MASSACHUSETTS SENATE
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133

Senator Joan B. Lovely
State Senator
2nd Essex District

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 12, 2018

Massachusetts Senate Passes Environmental Bond Bill

BOSTON – Today, the Massachusetts Senate passed H.4613, An Act promoting climate change adaptation, environmental and natural resource protection, and investment in recreational assets and opportunity, colloquially known as the ‘environmental bond bill.’ The legislation authorizes the issuance of more than $2 billion in bonds to implement climate change adaptation programs and to improve existing climate resilient infrastructure.

Massachusetts has continually demonstrated leadership in the fight against global climate change, and the investments authorized in this legislation ensure that cities and towns across the Commonwealth are protected and that public spaces and infrastructure are improved and maintained for the public good.

“I am pleased that several local environmental projects in the 2nd Essex District were included in the Senate bill,” said Senator Joan B. Lovely (D-Salem). “I would like to extend my gratitude to the local officials and State Representatives who assisted in identifying these priorities to continue improving the environmental infrastructure within the communities.”

“With every record setting blizzard, every flooded T station, and every endangered species, we experience the effects of climate change in real time,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “The legislation that we passed today represents the Massachusetts Senate’s commitment to climate preparedness and the preservation of the Commonwealth’s ecosystems and open spaces.”

The legislation ensures that climate change prevention programs are sufficiently funded and authorizes capitalization of the Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund, which is to be used to fund costs associated with implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan, and state and local strategies for climate change adaptation.

“This bill is an important next step in our continued efforts for a sustainable future,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. “We authorize investments in critical projects across the state to preserve and improve our environmental and energy assets and help plan for and mitigate the effects of climate change.”

Senator Lovely filed five amendments to the Environmental Bond Bill to include funding for projects throughout the 2nd Essex District, including:

  • $1 million for the construction of a new water treatment plant in Topsfield
  • $500,000 for repairs to the solar field at Dr. John W. Coleman Greenergy Park in Beverly
  • $1.5 million for new drainage systems and flood mitigation in downtown Peabody
  • $300,000 to fund Aquaculture Centers in Massachusetts, including the Northeastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Center at Salem State University
  • $2.7 million for the renovation of the Forest River Pool and restoration of the surrounding shoreline and tidal area

Additionally, the bill requires the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to: (i) coordinate to strengthen resilience and prepare for the impacts of climate change; (ii) publish, every five years, an integrated state climate adaptation and hazard mitigation plan; (iii) establish frameworks for state agency and municipal vulnerability assessments that will be incorporated into the state plan; and (iv) implement the state plan and incorporate information learned from implementing the state plan in plan updates.

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