Massachusetts Legislative Priorities for 2021-2022

Massachusetts State House - William Zhang

When it comes to protecting children from toxic chemicals, getting lead out of drinking water, putting a stop to climate change or protecting our most vulnerable – the time is now. Clean Water Action is prioritizing the following bills in the 2021-2022 Massachusetts legislative session.

TOXICS-PFAS

An Act to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging/An Act relative to chemicals in food packaging (H2348, S1494)

Sponsored by Representative Jack Lewis and Senator Michael Moore

Per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a class of chemicals that are used to make materials non-stick, stain proof and waterproof.  Dubbed “forever chemicals.” because they do not break down in the environment, tiny amounts of PFAS can increase risks of multiple illnesses and suppress the immune system. Food packaging can be safely and economically made without the use of toxic PFAS. This bill bans the use of PFAS in food packaging sold or manufactured in Massachusetts.  

An Act restricting toxic PFAS chemicals in consumer products to protect our health   (H2350, S1387)

Sponsored by Representative Jack Lewis and Senator Jo Comerford

This bill bans toxic PFAS from carpets, rugs, and furniture textiles, and from aftermarket sprays applied to these products. It also bans PFAS in personal care products, car seats, and cookware. 

An Act relative to the reduction of certain toxic chemicals in firefighter personal protective equipment   (H2475, S1576)

Sponsored by Representative James Hawkins and Senator Diana DiZoglio

As of January 1, 2023, this bill requires manufacturers to notify purchasers if PFAS firefighting personal protective equipment to disclose to purchasers if PFAS is in equipment. As of Jan 1, 2025, this bill bans the manufacture or sale of firefighting personal protective equipment with intentionally added PFAS.

An Act to Protect the Commonwealth from Toxic Chemicals  (S593)

Sponsored by Senator Susan Moran

This bill requires Massachusetts to add the class of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances to the state’s Toxic and Hazardous Substances List.

TOXICS-Children’s Products

Toxic Free Kids Act (H939)

Sponsored by Representative James Hawkins

This bill requires disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products and removal of priority chemicals after a 3-year phase out period.

An act relative to toxic free kids (S207)

Sponsored by Senator Cindy Friedman

This bill requires disclosure of toxic chemicals in children’s products and directs the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to complete a report identifying other public policy options, including designation of priority chemicals for removal from children’s products.

WATER

An Act Ensuring Safe Drinking Water in Schools (H906, S580)

Sponsored by Representative Lori Ehrlich  and Senator Joan Lovely

This bill requires every school and childcare facility in Massachusetts to test their drinking water outlets for lead and requires schools and childcare facilities with elevated lead results to remediate. The bill requires improved communication with parents by requiring that results of lead testing to be shared publicly along with the health effects of lead, and schools’ plans to address the issue. The bill establishes a separate fund known as the Get the Lead Out of School Drinking Water Trust Fund to assist schools with the task of removing lead from drinking water.

CLIMATE/ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE

An Act related to energy facilities siting reform to address environmental justice, climate and public health (H3336, S2135)

Sponsored by Representative Adrian Madaro and Senator Joseph Boncore

This bill requires the Energy Facilities Siting Board to consider environmental justice, public health, and climate when making siting decisions. It requires community engagement, cumulative impact assessment an environmental justice impact statement before approval of any electricity generating facility or oil, gas, or substation facility. Lastly, it lowers the Siting Board review threshold from 100 megawatts to 35 megawatts.

An Act to Create Offshore Clean Energy and New Renewable Jobs

(H3302, S2158)

Sponsored by Representative Dylan Fernandes and Senator Julian Cyr

This bill requires distribution companies to procure at least 2800 megawatts of nameplate offshore wind capacity and establishes diversity and inclusion standards for the wind workforce.  It requires assessment and mitigation of adverse impacts to wildlife and marine habitat due to offshore wind infrastructure.

An Act to improve outdoor and indoor air quality for communities burdened by transportation pollution (H2230, S1447)

Sponsored by Representative Christine Barber, Representative Mike Connolly, and Senator Pat Jehlen

These bills require installation of air monitors in at least eight sites shown to have elevated levels of air contaminants due to transportation activity.  The bills require the state to gather baseline data and to develop annual targets to reduce air pollution levels from 2023 to 2035--with at least 50% reduction in air pollutants by 2030.  The bills also require air filtration in certain schools, residential buildings, commercial buildings and correctional facilities located near transportation infrastructure.

An Act achieving a green energy future, with infrastructure and workforce investments Sponsored by Representative William  Driscoll (H3292)

This bill requires Massachusetts to create a market-based mechanism (emissions cap or carbon price) to reduce the use of fossil fuel in buildings, electricity, transportation, and industry.  The bill requires Massachusetts to use revenue from the market-based mechanism to provide payments to lowest income Massachusetts households to protect them from cost increases.  It uses the remaining funds, less administrative costs, for investments in clean energy, clean transportation, workforce development, and building retrofits, with significant investments in projects that directly benefit environmental justice populations and communities.  The bill authorizes bonding, allowing Massachusetts to quickly access needed resources for economic stimulus and investment, with funds paid back by future proceeds of market-based mechanism.

An Act Relative to Just Transitions to Clean Energy

Sponsored by Representatives Marjorie Decker and Mindy Domb  (H1954)

This bill sets up and strengthens a critical support process for displaced fossil fuel workers in the transition to a carbon free economy.

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