SENATOR ELDRIDGE CELEBRATES EARTH DAY WITH A WEEK-LONG SERIES OF ENVIRONMENTAL EVENTS

Committee hearings, community clean-ups, updated Bottle Bill Q&A focus of week
BOSTON—Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) participated in a series of committee hearings and community-based service projects this week to celebrate Earth Day, joining millions of citizens across the country answering the call to safeguard the environment for future generations.
“Preserving the environment is an issue I care strongly about, not just on Earth Day, but every day,” said Senator Eldridge. “In order to strive for continuous progress, awareness and, most importantly, action, I am recognizing Earth Day with a week of environmentally-friendly events to encourage citizens to answer the call to help lead a change in preserving our environment.”
The Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Committee on Earth Day ruled favorably on S.359 An Act Relative to Plastic Bag Reduction, legislation filed by Senator Eldridge that would prohibit the use of plastic carryout bags in large retail stores. Communities such as Brookline and Manchester by the Sea both approved a plastic bag ban underscoring the danger of plastic bags that litter coastlines, consume billions of gallons of petroleum to produce, contaminate the soil with toxic chemicals and kill millions of animals each year that swallow or choke on discarded plastic bags.
The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, on which Senator Eldridge serves as Vice-chair, held an oversight hearing in honor of Earth Day on the progress that Massachusetts has made in tackling climate change, including a review of the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, the Green Communities Act and the issue of carbon pricing. Working with Senator Michael Barrett (D-Lexington), Senator Eldridge was successful in passing an amendment to the transportation finance bill that requires the Department of Revenue (DOR) to study how to implement a carbon tax in Massachusetts.
On Wednesday, April 24th, Senator Eldridge addressed the 5th Annual Green Difference Awards reception at the State House and was proud to recognize Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School for receiving a Green Schools award for their environmental stewardship.
Senator Eldridge will carry forward the spirit of Earth Day today by leading a Q&A session on the updated Bottle Bill with Acton-Boxborough Regional High School students. Senator Eldridge on Saturday will participate in Acton Cleanup Day, an event he started in 1995, to pick up litter from the streets, streams and neighborhoods of Acton.
To learn more about Senator Eldridge’s environmental legislation for the 2013-2014 session, please visit www.senatoreldridge.com or contact his legislative aide and environmental liaison Kelsey Smithwood at kelsey.smithwood@masenate.gov or (617) 722-1120.

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