Environment

Protecting our Environment

With years of service on organizations like the Acton Conservation Trust, Nashua River Watershed Association, Organization for the Assabet River and the SuAsCo Watershed Community Council, Jamie understands the value of protecting the environment and recognizes that the ethic of passing a healthier environment on to future generations is a true legacy of this district.

Jamie is a leader in the Senate on environmental issues, currently serving as Vice Chair of the Environment Committee. Environmental accomplishments this year include:

  • Passing legislation creating the Water Infrastructure Finance Commission, to make sure our communities will have clean, safe drinking water for generations to come.
  • Passing “PACE”  legislation that will make it easier and more affordable  for homeowners to install solar panels.
  • Leading the effort to preserve funding for the Toxics Use Reduction Institute, which is vital in the efforts of helping remove toxic chemicals from the environment and helping companies reduce toxic waste.

Jamie is also the lead sponsor or co-sponsor of a number of important environmental bills, including:

  • The E-Waste Bill, which requires producers of electronic waste (e-waste), — i.e. computers, televisions and printers, — to be financially responsible for the proper disposal of their end-of-life products, and will vastly reduce the amount of hazardous chemicals leaching into landfills from e-waste disposal.
  • The Expanded Bottle Bill, which would expand the 5 cent deposit to bottled waters and sports drinks — dramatically increasing recycling rates for these items while raising approximately $15 million for the Commonwealth.
  • The Safer Alternatives Bill, which would ensure that if an economically feasible safer alternative to a toxic chemical is found, for a particular use, and the chemical presents a high hazard to Massachusetts residents and workers, programs exist to assist businesses in making a transition to the safer alternative
  • The Sustainable Water Resources Act, which requires the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt regulations establishing standards for restoring and maintaining stream flow in the rivers and streams of the Commonwealth.

You can learn more about these bills here.

In previous sessions, Eldridge has also been a co-sponsor of numerous bills to protect our environment, promote the use of clean energy, slow climate change and create more “green” jobs, including the Energy Efficiency Act, Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Communities Act, and the Green Jobs bill.

He also supported the Mercury Products Bill, an effort to keep toxic mercury out of our landfills and incinerators and make manufacturers more responsible for the collection and recycling of their discarded products. This bill helped protect children from learning disabilities and other neurological problems caused by mercury in the atmosphere and water.

To protect open space, Jamie co-sponsored legislation to increase conservation tax incentives, which was included in the 2008 environmental bond bill.