Sierra Club Supported Legislation, 2013-2014 Session
The information we've provided is based on the best information
available to us at time of publication. The status and/or language of
bills can change quickly and the Sierra Club may
change its position on a bill based on the most recent data, which may
not be posted on this or the State House web site. In some cases, the
Sierra Club has not yet completed a formal analysis and voted to take a
position on the proposed legislation.
Energy and Global Climate Change
From Carbon Emissions to Transportation Investment (Carbon Tax)
(H2532, Rep Conroy, Sen. Barrett) Encourages energy efficiency by taxing
those who pollute more, providing rebates to mitigate any effects of
Siting Reform for Land Based Wind Projects. (Wind Siting Reform)
(H2980, S1591, Rep. Smizik, Sen. Finegold) For siting purposes,
current law discriminates in favor of fossil-fueled facilities. This
bill facilitates the siting of land-based wind energy projects. H2980.
Vehicles Omnibus Bill - (H.2594, Rep. Hecht) provides sales tax incentives
for the purchase of EVs, adds incentives for charging stations, places
charging station requirements for parking lots. . -
[OPPOSE] Solar Farm Restrictions (H1838, Rep. Gifford) Would change the
existing state laws, resulting in more restrictioons placed on solar
Thermal Renewable Energy Credits (S.1593, Sen. Finegold) Would
add facilities generating useful thermal energy to the statutory
definition of alternative energy sources; defines useful thermal energy.
(The Sierra Club seeks changes to the bill.) -
bill text -
The Right to Dry (S.924, Sen. Barrett)
bill text -
Testimony Encourages municipalities to grant all residents the
right to dry their laundry on clotheslines.
Wind Turbine Study (H.2048) Creates a commission to study the
health effects of wind turbines (opposed). -
Coal and Fossil Fuels
to a Clean Energy Commonwealth (Rep. Ehrlich, H2935). Would phase
out coal in Massachusetts, help retrain workers, and help transition
communities that host a coal plant. A clean energy future will make
Massachusetts a leader in the World clean energy economy.
Regulate Gas Obtained by “Fracking” Bills H652, H707, H2940, H788
which reguilate the process of hydraulic fracturing . -
Summary1 Summary2 -
Natural Gas Leaks Protection Bills – (Rep. Ehrlich). Addresses
the growing issue of natural gas leaks from aging pipes. Natural gas
kills trees, it is 25X more potent a global warming gas than CO2, and
there are 20,000 known gas leaks in Mass. -
Waste and Recycling
Bottle Bill – (H2943, S1588 Rep. Hecht/Sen. Creem) ould add water,
sports drinks, juices, and iced teas to the existing successful nickel
deposit system. It would decrease litter and increase recycling. They
can take positive action now or it will appear on the November 2014
www.massbottlebill.org for more info. -
Click here to take action!
[OPPOSE] Repeal the Bottle Bill (S.379, Sen. Michael Moore) -
Would replace the state's successful bottle bill with something similar
to Delaware's beverage tax, a system that has already been reported as a
Producer Take-Back for Electronics ("E-Waste") -
(Rep. Smizik, Sen. Eldridge) Places responsibility of disposal of
electronics waste on manufacturers. H803, S357
Moratorium and Phaseout (Sen. DiDomenico/Rep. Garballey, H706,
S1004) Places a
legislated, permanent moratorium on increasing trash incineration.
Phases out incineration over next 11 years. H706, S1004 -
Attachment: GAIA Incinerator Myths and Facts
Testimony on Wheelabrator Saugus H.791
Access to Recycling - A group of bills that would require that
recycling bins and/or service for public and semi-public buildings,
businesses, hotels, and apatment buildings. Includes H.734, H.765,
S.353, S.367, and S.398.
Study of Single Stream Recycling - (S.374) Requires a
study of dual stream vs. Single stream, however, as written this doesn't
study the full costs or if the contaminated collected material is
actually used or significantly downcycled.
Sierra Club Testimony
Attachment 1 (summary
Attachment 2 (CRI study on single vs. dual stream)
Toxins and Pollution
Plastic Bag Ban – (Sen. Pacheco, Rep. Ehrlich, Sen. Eldridge, Rep. Provost) Bans
plastic shopping bags that kills countless millions of animals/year.
Allows exemptions for small stores. Requires that paper bags be 80%
recycled material. H.3438, (was H696, H787, S359) -
May 2013 Testimony -
June 2013 Testimony -
Bill Text of
Click here to take action!
Ban Polystyrene – (Rep. Smizik, Sen. Barrett). Bans
polystyrene (#6 plastic) in all forms when in contact with food. H2087 - Summary
May 2013 Testimony
June 2013 Testimony
Make Idling Law Enforceable – (S1636 Sen. Brownsberger) The current
5-minute limit is difficult to enforce and produces excessive greenhouse
gas. This reduces the limit to 2 minutes.
Safer Alternatives – (H235, H2086 Rep. Smizik) Creates a
program to support businesses and manufacturers to transition away from
using and selling products containing toxic chemicals.
Safer Cleaning Products
(H2086, Rep. Smizik) Would require the use of green cleaning practices
in public buildings, schools and daycare centers and provide health and
safety training for custodians. Would help to improve public health and
reduce the prevalence of asthma. )
Mercury Protection - (Rep. Smizik) Producer responsibility
bills that require manufacturers to offer a small bounty on old
thermostats in order to keep them out of the trash. H802, H814.
NOTE: The state senate passed a weak mercury bill in March. Contact
your state rep to ask them to make it stronger! -
Air Pollutants (HAPs) (Rep. Ehrlich H1944). Hazardous air pollutants
are toxic chemicals that are known or suspected to cause cancer, to
cause birth defects, to cause serious health effects, or to cause
adverse environmental effects. This provides a small pollution
mitigation fee from HAPs producers; the proceeds would fund research and
health studies on the health impacts from air pollutants.
(Rep. Provost, H2059) Requires a study of the health effects of
particulate air pollution from surface transportation, e.g. highways and
Restrictions on Bisphenol-A (BPA) -
our Public Lands - The Public Lands Protection Act (PLPA) (Rep.
Balser, Sen. Eldridge, H657/S361) Our public parks are often threatened
with development. The PLPA would provide important protection for these
public lands in our communities. This is already administrative policy;
this bill just affirms it and makes it permanent. 2013 Testimony
Old Growth Forest Initiative - (Rep. Kulik) Establishes
Reserves to protect the few remaining Old Growth Forests, which have
escaped the clear-cutting of the past and provide unique habitats.
Protect the Mass Endangered Species Act (MESA) - (Rep. Kulik)
Strengthen protections for rare species provided by the Massachusetts
legislature, almost 20 years of conservation of rare plants and animals.
Repeal of the Mass Endangered Species Act (MESA) (Sen. Candaras,
Sen. Tarr S345, S411) These would eliminate or weaken of the state's
protections for rare species, with a successful history of 20 years of
conservation of rare plants and animals. We urge the committee to report
S345/ S411 unfavorably. Testimony
Outdoor Lighting Standards ("Dark Skies") - (Rep.
Garballey, Sen. Creem) Not only do some outdoor lights waste energy,
they also jeopardize wildlife and interfere with bird migration. This
requires that streetlights, etc., don’t endanger wildlife by simply
directing the light downwards. H2941, S1573
National Popular Vote - The Sierra Club has testified in support of NPV,
and against bills which would have
weakened or repealed it. -
Prevent Farm Animal Cruelty - Would prohibit the industrial
agriculture practice of confinement of gestating sows and calves raised
for veal in cages that are so narrow they cannot even turn around.