House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo joined Sen. Joseph A. Boncore and Rep. RoseLee Vincent and their colleagues in the Legislature who voted Tuesday to pass a $2.4 Billion Environmental Bond Bill focused on improving climate change resiliency and adaptation; enhancing environmental and natural resource protection; and investing in parks and recreational assets.
ÊThe legislation passed today ensures that Massachusetts can continue to plan for global warming and a changing climate, including along our vulnerable coastlines.
Ê“These investments protect critical natural resources, preserve our parks and recreational areas and aim to make our Commonwealth more resilient to the threats of climate change for years to come,” said Speaker DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I’m proud to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to fund these important initiatives.”
Ê“Climate change is a real and present threat to Massachusetts, and we must treat it as a priority,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “These investments in our communities, coastlines, and in overall climate resiliency highlight our joint focus with the House on preparing Massachusetts’ infrastructure for the future, and safeguarding our residents from potential environmental disasters. I thank the conferees for their dedication to preparing this vital legislation.”
ÊAmong other spending, the bill appropriates:
- $225,000,000 for community investment grants;
- $100,000,000 for energy and environment coastal infrastructure;
- $100,000,000 for state hazard mitigation, climate adaptation, and resilient land conservation;
- $75,000,000 for municipal vulnerability preparedness;
- Ê$55,000,000 for river and wetland restoration programs; and
- $54,000,000 for rural investments.
“This bill affirms the legislature’s commitment to ensuring that the Commonwealth is ready for the adverse effects of climate,” said Sen. Boncore (D-Winthrop). “Further, this bill makes important investments in coastal resiliency efforts in the communities of Revere and Winthrop.”
Ê“I am proud of the work of the Legislature in enacting an Environmental Bond Bill that includes $2.4 billion in proposed spending for improvements for coastal infrastructure that has been compromised over time, provisions for clean air, better water quality, as well as improvements for state parkways and trails,” said Rep. Vincent (D-Revere), vice chair of the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture (ENRA).Ê“In passing this legislation, we are recognizing its commitment to making proper, targeted investments to mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Commonwealth. I want to thank Speaker DeLeo and my Chairman, Rep. SmittyPignatelli of the ENRA Committee, for their work in ensuring passage of this critical bill. ÊI am very pleased to report that some of the provisions in the bill will directly help aid neighborhoods in Revere to combat climate change and rising sea levels.”
The funding includes the following local projects:
- $4,000,000 to repair and replace the failing seawall along Winthrop Parkway in the City of Revere;
- $800,000 for planning and infrastructure improvements to mitigate flooding issues in the Riverside, Point of Pines and Beachmont neighborhoods in the city of Revere;
- $10,000,000 for repairs and improvements to the Revere Beach reservation including, but not limited to, re-nourishment of Revere Beach, repairs to any failing seawalls, transportation improvements and restorations to pavilions and period lighting structures;
- $5,000,000 shall be expended for improvements to Fredericks Park in the city of Revere;
- $2,500,000 for repairs to the Sales Creek culvert and related improvements in the city of Revere; and
- $300,000 shall be expended for a study to determine solutions to flooding issues in the Riverside, Point of Pines and Beachmont sections of the city of Revere with not less than $200,000 to implement the findings of the study.
The bill also requires the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to coordinate and strengthen the Commonwealth’s climate resilience and prepare for climate change impacts; publish an integrated state climate adaptation and hazard mitigation plan every five years; and establish frameworks for state agency and municipal vulnerability assessments to be included in the state plan.
Additionally, the legislation creates and funds a Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund to fund the implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act, the state’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan, and state and local strategies for climate adaptation.
The Environmental Bond Bill also emphasizes the importance of public and parkland throughout the Commonwealth, appropriating $150,000,000 to tree planting, urban and suburban parks, EEA land acquisition, and trails.
Other highlights of the bill include the creation of the Agricultural Innovation Fund to finance grants for the Commonwealth’s agricultural and cranberry producers; and the Fishing Innovation Fund for the design, construction and modification of commercial fishing vessel; and for research, development, acquisition and deployment of advanced or innovative technologies such as sonar, satellite, radar and radio communications.