Energy & the environment

Senator Friedman has sponsored the following bills relative to energy and the environment in the 2019-2020 legislative session:

S149 An Act relative to the disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products

  • Summary: This bill would require manufacturers who make children’s consumer products and formulated products that are for sale in the Commonwealth to notify the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) in writing if said products contain toxic chemicals at a level above a “de minimis” level, defined as: (1) for a hazardous chemical that is an intentionally added chemical in a component of a consumer product, the practical quantification limit; (2) for a hazardous chemical that has a contaminant present in a component of a consumer product, a concentration of 100 parts per million; or (3) for an engineered nanoobject, there shall be no “de minimis” level.

S1848 An Act designating the “Giant Puffball” fungus as the official mushroom of the Commonwealth

  • Summary: This bill would designate the “Giant Puffball” fungus, calvatia gigantea, as the official mushroom of the Commonwealth.

Senator Friedman has co-sponsored the following bills relative to energy and the environment in the 2019-2020 legislative session:

S79 An Act promoting sustainable development across the Commonwealth

  • Summary: This legislation seeks to promote sustainable infrastructure, economic security, and fiscal responsibility by requiring consideration and disclosure of climate change risks in applications for a state permit, authorization, certification, approval, grant loan or other financing option, and requires the state to include climate risks as a consideration in requests for proposals for capital projects. In doing so, it requires the state to formerly adopt a climate projection dataset, based on the best available data and science, to be used for purposes of assessing climate risk. Further, the legislation addresses current gaps in risk assessment for critical infrastructure and new development by requiring utility companies to assess and document climate risks.

S456 An Act to regulate hydraulic fracturing

  • Summary: The bill would impose a statewide ban on any efforts towards extracting natural gas involving the use of toxic chemicals or through the process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”).

S459 An Act protecting the natural resources of the commonwealth

  • Summary: Article 97 protects the natural resources of the Commonwealth. This bill clarifies and regularizes the process used to evaluate proposals for the Commonwealth and/or municipalities to take parcels of land out of conservation protected status (so-called Article 97 lands) in order for them to be used for other purposes, either public or private.  It ensures mitigation or “no net loss” when protected land is released in the Commonwealth.

S462 An Act reducing plastic bag pollution

  • Summary: This bill would reduce the number of plastic bags used in Massachusetts each year by banning single-use plastic checkout bags and creating a uniform standard for plastic bag bans.

S490 An Act promoting awareness of sewage pollution in public waters

  • Summary: This legislation would create a notification system that would alert the public about combined sewage overflows into the rivers of the Commonwealth so that recreational users can know when sewage was dumped into the river and how much so that they can make informed decisions about whether or not to recreate in and around the identified river.

S1618 An Act to sustain community preservation revenue

  • Summary: This legislation would enable the continued success of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) by improving the ability of the 176 participating communities to create affordable housing, rehabilitate significant historic resources, develop parks and recreational facilities and preserve open space. It would increase the Registry of Deeds recording fees to guarantee up to a nearly 50% state match. The current $20 Registry of Deeds surcharge was instituted in 2003. This bill would increase the fee to $75.

S1924 An Act to combat climate change

  • Summary: This bill gives the Governor considerable flexibility — from revenue-neutral fees to revenue-positive taxes to “cap and trade” — in setting a price on carbon, but sets a firm deadline by which the state’s chief executive must make a choice.

S1940 An Act for utility transition to using renewable energy (FUTURE)

  • Summary: The FUTURE Act would implement new policies on natural gas safety, require faster repair of dangerous leaks, including those affecting trees and those near schools. The bill would also create a path for gas utilities to begin to participate in renewable energy, including geo-thermal and other district energy projects to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reach our goal of 100% renewables. In addition, the bill would give cities, towns, and the public more of a voice at the table in planning our energy future.

S1958 An Act transitioning Massachusetts to 100 per cent renewable energy

  • Summary: This bill would require the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to set binding targets for renewable energy growth in all major sectors of the economy, and issue regulations to ensure that Massachusetts stays on track towards achieving 100% renewable energy by 2045.

S1980 / H2864 An Act protecting ratepayers from gas pipeline expansion costs

  • Summary: This legislation would stop natural gas companies from passing along any costs associated with building new natural gas pipelines to consumers.

S1987 An Act to expand the green communities program to mitigate climate change

  • Summary: This bill would expand the existing Green Communities Program with a new designation, Green Plus. To achieve this designation and access additional grant funding from the state, communities would need to establish a greenhouse gas baseline and a plan to reduce their carbon emissions over five  years.

S2005 An Act to secure a clean energy future

  • Summary: This comprehensive energy bill largely mirrors language passed by the Senate last session.  It calls for the procurement of an additional 2,800 megawatts of offshore wind generation and up to 9,450,000 megawatt-hours of hydroelectricity. This legislation also calls for a number of other progressive energy solutions, including: Elevating the annual Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) increase from 2% to 3%; requiring the development of 2000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030 and a subsequent 2035 storage targets; setting 2030 and 2040 greenhouse gas emissions limits and changing the 2050 emission limit to net zero; prohibiting a pipeline tax; eliminating the cap on solar net metering; ensuring that 50% of the state’s fleet of vehicles are zero emission vehicles by 2025; allowing a community to enter into a community empowerment contract; requiring the development of a comprehensive energy plan for the Commonwealth; requires the administration to develop and implement a market-based compliance mechanism in the transportation sector by 2020, the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors by 2021, and the residential building sector by 2022; defines “environmental justice” and “environmental justice community.”

H2836 An Act re-powering Massachusetts with 100 percent renewable energy

  • Summary: This bill would transition the Commonwealth’s electric grid to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and the state’s entire energy grid to 100% renewable energy by 2045. The bill would include protections for laborers in the renewable energy space and would direct the state pension board to assess whether any of their investments are negatively contributing to climate change.