Environmental Justice Takes Center Stage in Massachusetts Legislative Session
By Adina Goldin
September 10, 2021
The 2021–2022 legislative session in Massachusetts has seen an increased focus on environmental justice, with four exciting bills being introduced thanks to the hard work of organizers, advocates, and community leaders from across the state. These bills come on the heels of the Next Generation Roadmap, a bill signed into law earlier this year that updates the Commonwealth’s climate goals, provides new guidance and requirements around clean energy and utility regulation, updates the state’s building codes to allow for net zero requirements, and creates the state’s first legal definition of environmental justice.
A more detailed analysis of the Next Generation Roadmap law is available here, but the codified definition of environmental justice is more robust and specific, and the law expands what state agencies should consider as an “environmental burden” when assessing projects.