Earth Day 2014 is Tuesday, April 22. It is an important day in the environmental community, and rightly so. Here at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) we like to say that it’s “Earth Day” each of the 365 days of the year because protecting the environment, public health, and our natural resources and building a clean energy economy is our every day mission and our passion.

Here at MassDEP, we also like to take special recognition of Earth Day, and we use the whole month of April to celebrate – an “Earth Month,” if you will. To mark Earth Month 2014, we will be soliciting information about community Earth Day events from across the Commonwealth and publishing that information in our Earth Month 2014 Calendar listed on our web site pdf format of    Calendar of Earth Day Events Across Massachusetts  .

We will also post regular tweets on our @MassDEP Twitter site that focus on MassDEP’s environmental success stories. It will also include tips on ways individuals and businesses can increase recycling, decrease carbon footprints, and protect our air and water resources. So, please follow us on Twitter and check out our informative and entertaining Earth Month tweets!

David Cash, MassDEP Commissioner


The Boston Globe
April 14, 2014

Redevelop brownfields safely — new state rules will help

Given its long industrial history and the intense demand for suitable locations for new homes and businesses, Massachusetts needs well-tuned policies that promote the safe redevelopment of polluted properties — and those policies should evolve as science advances.

Accomplishment Highlights 2013
April 9, 2014

MassDEP Accomplishment Highlights 2013 pdf format of    MassDEP Accomplishment Highlights 2013  file size 6MB

In 2013, MassDEP had another strong year of accomplishments protecting the Commonwealth’s environment and the health of those who live and work here, while at the same time supporting robust economic development in the state.

Attorney General
April 1, 2014

President of Lee Water Testing Company Pleads Guilty, Sentenced in Connection with Falsifying Drinking Water Reports

The director of a private water testing laboratory in Lee has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in connection with backdating drinking water sample analyses and for hiding evidence of bacterial contamination, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

The Boston Globe
March 27, 2014

Companies cited for recyclables in the trash

A five-fold increase in state inspections has revealed that more than 80 companies and institutions in Massachusetts improperly disposed of a substantial amount of recyclable material on at least one occasion during the past year.

March 26, 2014

Commissioner Cash Outlines MassDEP Priorities

Hello, I’m David Cash, the new Commissioner at MassDEP. I am committed to building on the excellent work of Ken Kimmell to advance the agenda at the agency in order to support a healthier and more sustainable place to live in our communities, to raise families, to grow our businesses and to protect the ecosystems upon which we and future generations depend.

Past Articles from Former Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell
March 4, 2014

The Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Revolution Has Begun

The goals set out by the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) are very aggressive: reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Easy to say, but more complicated to do.

The Guardian
March 4, 2014

What the Massachusetts Food Waste Ban Means for Businesses

A new state regulation aims to reduce the mountain of leftovers that end up in landfills. But could it encourage more waste?

The Boston Globe
February 27, 2014

Article on Pollutant Levels Falsely Raises Concerns

To the Editor, Your article “Mass. is easing rules for some pollutants” (2/23/14) suggests that changes in environmental standards for lead and arsenic will lessen protection of the environment and public health. This is not true.

21e site
December 2, 2013

The Commonwealth's Waste Site Cleanup Program: Building on 20 Years of Success

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a leader when it comes to the remediation of contaminated properties thanks to our first-in-the-nation waste site cleanup rules that require responsible parties and their licensed consultants to assess and address problem sites.

living on earth
November 1, 2013

Power Shift - Massachusetts Teams Up With 7 States to Boost Electric Cars

Massachusetts and seven other states, including California and New York, have agreed to work together to increase the number of electric vehicles on roads. Massachusetts Environmental Protection Commissioner Ken Kimmell says the Bay State will use several strategies, from better charging stations to free parking, to reach these ambitious targets.

October 21, 2013

Commissioner Kimmell named RGGI Board Chairman for 2014

NEW YORK — Collin O'Mara, Chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Inc. (RGGI, Inc.) Board of Directors and Secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, announced today the election of new members to the Executive Committee of the RGGI, Inc. Board of Directors. 

Electric Vehicle
October 24, 2013

Commissioner Kimmell Discusses Zero-Emission Vehicle Pact

In this video, Commissioner Kenneth Kimmell addresses the California Air Resources Board and the other ZEV states, talking about the ZEV agreement and how it will help to make zero-emission vehicles more acceptable to consumers and address their "range anxiety" by building a network of charging stations up and down the northeast corridor of the United States.

BioCycle Magazine
September 2013

Tapping Hidden Energy In Organic Waste

Kenneth Kimmell, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, shares insights on anaerobic digestion potential in an interview with the American Biogas Council.

Food Scraps
July 30, 2013

Massachusetts Leads the Way on Food Waste

Food scraps beware! That cozy retirement in landfills that most of your predecessors have had is quickly fading as your fate. A movement is afoot to make you work tirelessly to produce energy and give back your nutrients.

The Boston Globe
July 22, 2013

New industry emerges as state prepares to ban commercial food waste

In recent months, state agencies, municipalities, and several private companies have spent millions of dollars and plan to spend much more to build an array of industrial plants from Bourne to Greenfield that will convert hundreds of thousands of tons of food waste into energy. 

May 21, 2013

Water lesson: Milford case shows DEP is on guard

An unusual but instructive case played out in Worcester Superior Court last week, when a former Milford Water Company manager was found guilty of tampering with water samples in an effort to end a boil-water order in 2009.

May 6, 2013

Cutting Red Tape: How Regulatory Reform Is Working in Mass. pdf format of    How Regulatory Reform Is Working in Mass.

People love to complain about government. But sometimes streamlining happens. Regulations are simplified, compliance is made easier. Occasionally the rules even change – for the better.

April 22, 2013

State plugs in electric car program 

GREENFIELD - What better day than Earth Day for the state to announce its new grant program to help towns and cities buy electric vehicles and what better place than Greenfield, in front of two recently installed electric car-charging stations near the Greenfield Energy Park?

March 18, 2013

MassDEP's 2012 Accomplishment Highlights pdf format of    MassDEP's 2012 Accomplishment Highlights  file size 5MB

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) achieved numerous important accomplishments in 2012, while continuing the agency’s vital work to protect the environment of the Commonwealth and the health of its residents.

The Boston Globe
February 13, 2013

Bipartisanship is elusive in greenhouse gas initiative

IF BIPARTISANSHIP ever emerges in the national fight against climate change, the guiding light will likely come from the Northeast. But even here, it is only a glimmer. The prime vehicle is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

February 8, 2013

Historic Nine-State Agreement to Significantly Lower Greenhouse Gases from Power Plants

Massachusetts and eight other Northeast states are slashing by nearly half the amount of carbon dioxide power plants are allowed to emit — a dramatic reduction that is expected to bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the state for energy efficiency programs while combating global warming.

January 7, 2013

Gov. Patrick Outlines Regulatory Changes

Gov. Deval Patrick on Monday described a significant overhaul of regulations that impact small businesses across the state, including legislation he plans to file to streamline or eliminate several licensing boards to make doing business simpler for owners and professionals.
August 8, 2012

A FAST Response from MassDEP to Environmental Disasters in Woburn and Boston

A potentially explosive situation loomed in the hours after a gasoline tanker truck overturned on Route 128 South in Woburn last month. About 7,500 gallons of gasoline spilled from the tanker...

November 28, 2012

A Move to Save Water Sources

Boston Globe - Massachusetts officials are scheduled to unveil a new framework Thursday to allocate water from streams and rivers, a long-awaited plan that aims to prevent waterways from running dry but could translate into higher water rates and more bans on lawn watering.
May 11, 2012

Northeast States Launch Voluntary Turf Fertilizer Initiative

U.S. EPA estimates that roughly half of the nation's water bodies suffer from some level of water pollution caused by excessive amounts of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus entering waterways.

The Boston Globe
May 3, 2012

Proposed rules aim to reduce commercial food waste in Mass.

State environmental officials are preparing to ban hospitals, universities, hotels, large restaurants, and other big businesses and institutions in Massachusetts from discarding food waste in the trash beginning in 2014...

April 26, 2012

MassDEP's 2011 Accomplishment Highlights

The year 2011 has been a challenging, but very exciting and productive year as the agency has continued to protect the people and the environment of the Commonwealth. Through the hard work of MassDEP's dedicated staff....

April 16, 2012

Celebrating Our Progress - Earth Day 2012

For Earth Day 2012 - during the week of April 16 - MassDEP has posted a daily highlight celebrating environmental progress in Massachusetts.

The Boston Globe
January 5, 2012

Burning Questions

A MODEST proposal by the state Department of Environmental Protection to relax the moratorium on new trash incinerators is sending the Sierra Club, Conservation Law Foundation, and other environmental groups around the bend.
December 17, 2011

Cleaning the Air: New air quality rules would build on the state's pollution limits

For years, the Northeast has been called the "tailpipe of the United States" - a place where air pollutants from across the country foul our skies and lungs. That negative moniker is due to no fault of our own, but is a casualty of our location downwind of pollution sources..

December 13, 2011

EPA To Unveil Stricter Rules For Power Plants

More than 20 years ago, Congress ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate toxic air pollution. It's done that for most industries, but not the biggest polluters - coal and oil-burning power plants.

September 23, 2011

Fox News 25 Interview: Home Heating Oil Safety Law

It's almost unheard of in the Midwest and and other parts of the country. But here in New England, the charm of historic homes often also comes with not-so-charming oil burners. And if your home uses oil heat, you may need to make an update.

August 9, 2011

It's Time to Update the Bottle Bill

Every year across Massachusetts, more than 30,000 tons of non-carbonated beverage bottles are buried in landfills, burned in waste-to-energy plants, or tossed onto our streets, parks and beaches. That's enough plastic bottles to fill Fenway Park - from the press box to the Green Monster - five times.

July 20, 2011

Testifying on Behalf of the Bottle Bill

Thank you to Senator Downing and Chairman Keenan, and through you to the Committee. On behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration and the Department of Environmental Protection, I appreciate the opportunity to testify before you today in strong support of an Expanded Bottle Bill in Massachusetts.

May 26, 2011

Environmental cuts are bad for local business and economy

Over the last decade, funding for environmental programs has been slashed, and disproportionately so, according to the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. Without funding, the process for obtaining approvals necessary for business activity and job creation grinds to a slow crawl and produces unpredictable...

May 25, 2011

Nutrient Loading a Challenge for Cape Cod Waterways

I am pleased to be here this morning to talk about the number one environmental challenge Cape Cod faces - nutrient loading to our waterways. The Cape's water bodies, particularly the estuaries on south facing beaches but also in our ponds and other waterways, are degrading due to the dramatic increase in population...

May 25, 2011

Protecting the Environment in the Central Region of the State

It was April 8, 2011, when an accident at the Suttles/Dana Transport site in Grafton caused a nitric acid vapor cloud to emerge from the rear of the property on Westborough Road. The initial concern was that the acid vapor was heading towards the nearby North Grafton Elementary School.

May 25, 2011

MassDEP on-guard in Northeast Region of the Commonwealth

A quiet Sunday night in March was suddenly disturbed by a massive explosion at the Bostik manufacturing plant in Middleton. The explosion blew apart one of the buildings, and officials and residents feared the subsequent fire might release chemical contaminants into the air and into the Ipswich River...

May 19, 2011

Our View: DEP cuts bad for business

It's not every day the real estate community and the environmental community share common ground. Increasingly, however, we understand a healthy economy and a healthy environment are mutually beneficial.

May 18, 2011

Op-Ed on MassDEP Efforts in Western MA

It was July 27, 2010, when a tractor-trailer carrying approximately 40,000 pounds of waste acid pulled into the Blandford service plaza along the westbound lane of the Massachusetts Turnpike. The truck driver noticed liquid leaking from the back of the trailer, and he contacted state police.

May 13, 2011

Op-Ed on MassDEP Efforts in Southeastern MA

It was just before 8 a.m. last Wednesday when two reactive chemicals were mistakenly mixed by workers at the G&W Foundry in Rehoboth. It resulted in an out-of-control exothermic reaction that ignited a fire in the rear of the 60,000-square-foot building at 128 Bay State Road. The four-alarm fire spread quickly...

May 10, 2011

EPA Awards Former MassDEP Employees Merit Awards

Glenn Haas and Barbara Kwetz, recently retired from MassDEP are recipients of the U.S. EPA's Prestigious Regional Environmental Awards. Following are excerpts from the EPA news release as well as photos from the event.

May 9, 2011

Environmental Business Council Urgent Budget Request

The Environmental Business Council of New England and their Executive Director Dan Moon sent out the following e-mail to EBC members supporting a MassDEP budget level of $48 million. I appreciate the support from Dan and the EBC.

April 11, 2011

Regulatory Reform Initiative

In recent years, MassDEP's budget has been significantly reduced, from a high of $62 million in 2002 to $46 million in fiscal year 2011. Staffing has been cut commensurately, from 1200 full time equivalents in 2002 to 840 today. Yet MassDEP's responsibilities have increased rather than contracted during...

February 7, 2011

A Plan for the Housatonic

Holding General Electric accountable for 40 years of pollution by requiring the company to clean up the Housatonic River is a critical matter of generational responsibility. Governor Patrick and his environmental agencies are committed to doing everything in their power to see this natural resource...