During the 2011-2012 session, Jamie has filed the following pieces of legislation to protect our environment:
This bill would create an office of Clean Technology within the Executive Office of Economic Development, which will be charged with increasing the competitiveness of Massachusetts’ clean technologies industry by identifying and encouraging efforts to expand the Commonwealth’s clean technological resources and by promoting new and emerging clean technologies for all sectors of the Massachusetts economy.
This bill would improve the Massachusetts neighborhood solar and net metering programs to support increasing deployment of solar photo-voltaic (PV) installations in the Commonwealth. Specifically this bill would increase the net-metering cap and lower the threshold for participating in Massachusetts’ neighborhood solar program from 10 customers to 2.
This bill ensures adequate water in our rivers and streams for people and wildlife by amending the Water Management Act to develop science-based stream-flow standards that will ensure adequate water flow and water levels vital for public health, safety and the protection of aquatic wildlife, authorizing water suppliers to charge a small fee to residents and businesses for any new water withdrawals or increased sewer use, and augmenting the options offered to dam owners by the Office of Dam Safety to promote removal in environmentally sensitive areas as an alternative to the repair of failing dams.
In Massachusetts, our buildings use 54% of the energy we consume. This bill would improve buildings codes in Massachusetts to reduce energy consumption from new buildings and significant retrofits incrementally. This bill is based on recommendations from the Governor’s Zero Net-Energy Buildings Taskforce from 2009.
This bill 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. The bill offers a flexible system in which manufacturers would have the option to set up their own collection and recycling programs or pay other entities to collect the e-waste at a rate set by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
An Act protecting the natural resources of the Commonwealth (“No Net Loss”)
This bill provides protection for our public lands by requiring other sites be evaluated before Article 97 land is developed and requiring that if Article 97 land is taken for development, open land is acquired to replace it. This bill codifies the existing “ad hoc” system legislators and the Administration currently rely on to conduct their “due diligence.”
This bill creates a Clean Environment Fund into which all unredeemed bottle bill deposits would go. These revenues would be used for two main purposes: to create and support waste reduction, recycling and composting programs, and to create a revenue stream to help pay for DEP’s administration of the federal safe drinking water act in the state.
This bill will encourage recycling in multi-family units by requiring the owner of any apartment building with three or more units OR any condominium association consisting of three or more units to provide the means and materials necessary to allow tenants or owners in those units to recycle paper, glass containers, compost and certain common plastics as determined by the municipal recycling program.
An Act relative to plastic bag reduction
This bill will reduce the number of plastic bags used in Massachusetts each year by directing certain retailers (large stores) to cease providing non-compostable plastic checkout bags to their customers. If a retailer still chooses to provide plastic check out bags to their customers, they must conform to the ASTM standard for compostable plastic.
An Act to encourage municipal recycling and composting
This bill would require that all cities and towns establish recycling programs for the purpose of recycling any type of solid waste and require that residents separate from their solid waste those recyclables and compostable waste.
An Act relative to the right to dry
Simple clotheslines make efficient use of two abundant resources, the sun and the wind, to dry clothing. For aesthetic reasons, however, many homeowners’ associations prohibit the use of clotheslines or render them ineffective through unreasonably restrictive regulation. This bill would prevent any restrictions the use of clotheslines . Allowing people to use clotheslines if they wish and reducing the use of electric clothes dryers statewide could substantially decrease the amount of energy that households use and thereby reduce the amount of fossil fuels used.
An Act creating a grant program for municipal energy efficiency officers
This bill would authorize the green communities grant programs to finance all or a portion of the salaries of municipal or regional green community officers, who could be hired to develop, coordinate, and monitor comprehensive energy use reduction plans and provide assistance to municipal staff, elected officials, the public, businesses, schools, and community groups.
An Act requiring notification of tenants about oil and hazardous waste material release
This bill requires landlords to notify their tenants prior to signing a lease if the premises have experienced a release of toxic materials or oil contamination. This bill is important to the safety of tenants and lessees, and critical to ensure that contamination of rented and leased properties is properly reported to the DEP.
An Act preventing harmful chemicals from contaminating the water supply
When a patient receives chemotherapy at a hospital, their bodily waste is collected and disposed of with great care because it contains high volumes of toxic chemicals. However, if that patient is sent home immediately after treatment, their bodily wastes are not property collected and those toxic chemicals ultimately reenter the environment and may pose a threat to wildlife and public health. A number of studies by the CDC, Harvard Medical School and other states substantiate those risks. This bill would require that health care providers supply patients taking cytotoxic pharmaceuticals with the means to properly collect and dispose of their bodily waste for a period of days after they receive the medication.
An Act making corrective changes in certain laws regarding the taxation of forest, farm, and recreation land
This bill makes several technical or conforming amendments to the classified land statutes, Chapter 61 (forest), Chapter 61A (agricultural and horticultural) and Chapter 61B (recreational). In 2008, these three statutes were amended in order to clarify and standardize basic features of the programs, such as penalty taxes, right of first refusal, and application and appeal procedures. However, there were some inadvertent omissions or non-conformities that will be remedied with this bill, including alignment of billing and appeal provisions, consistency across the three chapters, and correction of drafting errors on rollback taxes and abatement applications.