All residents of Massachusetts have a right to a clean and healthy environment. Yet, too often polluting power plants, electrical substations, and gas compressor stations are concentrated in communities where people of color, low-income people, and limited English proficient speakers live and work.
These Environmental Justice (EJ) Populations experience higher rates of pollution, disease, and other public health emergencies. COVID-19 has further shown that high concentrations of pollution can lead to increased mortality from respiratory disease.
Decisions on where to locate energy facilities play a critical role in managing pollution and safeguarding communities. But right now, the Energy Facilities Siting Board (Siting Board) isn't even required to consider Environmental Justice, public health, or even climate change as part of its deliberations. This needs to change- and it needs to change fast. The Massachusetts Siting Reform Bill will protect vulnerable communities, provide clear guidance, and ensure that everyone’s voice is heard. The bill will:
✔Add EJ, public health, and climate to the Siting Board’s responsibilities.
✔ Require community engagement prior to filing for environmental or Siting Board review of a petition to construct a generating facility or an oil, gas, or substation facility.
✔ Require a cumulative impact assessment and an EJ impact statement before approval of any electricity generating facility or oil, gas, or substation facility.
✔ Prohibit the approval of electricity generating facilities or substations if the EJ impact statement shows that they will result in public health or other harms to EJ populations.
Racial justice is environmental justice- and we need our representatives to stand up and fight for it. Join us and take action!
In collaboration with the Massachusetts EJ Legislation Table
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