SENATE, No. 534

By Mr. Pacheco, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 534) of Marc R. Pacheco for legislation global warming solutions act of 2007 executive summary. Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.
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The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

In the Year Two Thousand and Seven.


AN ACT global warming solutions act of 2007 executive summary

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 21L, Section 1. Short Title Chapter 21L is added to the Massachusetts General Laws, and may be cited, as the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act of 2007.

Chapter 21L, Section 2. Findings and Declarations Section 2. The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) Global warming poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of Massachusetts. The potential adverse impacts of global warming include the exacerbation of air quality problems, a loss of many of the  state’s indigenous species of plants and animals, a rise in sea levels  resulting in the displacement of thousands of coastal businesses and residences, damage to marine ecosystems and the natural environment, and an increase in the incidences of infectious diseases, asthma, and other human health-related problems.

(b) Global warming will have detrimental effects on some of Massachusetts’s largest industries, including agriculture, syrup, tourism, skiing, recreational and commercial fishing, and forestry. It will also increase the strain on electricity supplies necessary to meet the demand for summer air-conditioning in the hottest parts of the state.

(c) Massachusetts has long been a national and international leader on energy conservation and environmental stewardship efforts, including the areas of air quality protections, energy efficiency requirements, renewable energy standards, natural resource conservation, and greenhouse gas emission standards for passenger vehicles. The program established by this chapter will continue this tradition of environmental leadership by bringing Massachusetts back to the forefront of national and international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by emulating statutory action in  California, the only other state to have moved forward with this type of legislation.

(d) National and international actions are necessary to fully address the issue of global warming. However, action taken by Massachusetts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will have far-reaching effects by encouraging other states, the federal government, and other countries to act.

(e) By exercising a global leadership role, Massachusetts will also position its economy, technology centers, financial institutions, and businesses to benefit from national and international efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. More importantly, investing in the development of innovative and pioneering technologies will assist Massachusetts in achieving the 2020 statewide limit on emissions of greenhouse gases established by this chapter and will provide an opportunity for the state to take a global economic and technological leadership role in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

(f) It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Environmental  Protection (DEP) coordinate with state agencies, as well as consult with the environmental justice community, industry sectors, business groups, academic institutions, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders in implementing this chapter.

(g) It is the intent of the Legislature that the DEP consult with the Public Utilities Commission in the development of emissions reduction measures, including limits on emissions of greenhouse gases applied to electricity and natural gas providers regulated by the Public Utilities Commission in order to ensure that electricity and natural gas providers are not required to meet duplicative or inconsistent regulatory requirements.

(h) It is the intent of the Legislature that the DEP design emissions reduction measures to meet the statewide emissions limits for greenhouse gases established pursuant to this chapter in a manner that minimizes costs and maximizes benefits for Massachusetts’ economy, improves and modernizes Massachusetts’ energy infrastructure and maintains electric system reliability, and maximizes additional environmental and economic co-benefits for Massachusetts.

Chapter 21L, Section 3 Definition of Terms

Section 3. For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms have the following meanings:

(a) “Allowance” means an authorization to emit, during a specified year, up to one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent.

(b) “Alternative compliance mechanism” means an action undertaken by a greenhouse gas emission source that achieves the equivalent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions over the same time period as a direct emission reduction, and that is approved by the DEP. “Alternative compliance mechanism” includes, but is not limited to, a flexible compliance schedule, alternative control technology, a process change, or a product substitution.

(c) “Carbon dioxide equivalent” means the amount of carbon dioxide by weight that would produce the same global warming impact as a given weight of another greenhouse gas, based on the best available science, including from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

(d) “Cost-effective” or “cost-effectiveness” means the cost per unit of reduced emissions of greenhouse gases adjusted for its global warming potential.

 (e) “Direct emission reduction” means a greenhouse gas emission reduction action made by a greenhouse gas emission source at that source.

(f) “Emissions reduction measure” means programs, measures, standards, and alternative compliance mechanisms authorized pursuant to this chapter, applicable to sources or categories of sources, that are designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

(g) “Greenhouse gas” or “greenhouse gases” includes all of the following gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride.

(h) “Greenhouse gas emissions limit” means an authorization, during a specified year, to emit up to a level of greenhouse gases specified by the DEP, expressed in tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.

(i) “Greenhouse gas emission source” or “source” means any source, or category of sources, of greenhouse gas emissions whose emissions are at a level of significance, as determined by the DEP, that its participation in the program established under this chapter will enable the DEP to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions and monitor compliance with the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit.

(j) “Leakage” means a reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases within the state that is offset by an increase in emissions of greenhouse gases outside the state.

(k) “Market-based compliance mechanism” means either of the following:

(1) A system of market-based declining annual aggregate emissions limitations for sources or categories of sources that emit greenhouse gases.

(2) Greenhouse gas emissions exchanges, banking, credits, and other transactions, governed by rules and protocols established by the Massachusetts DEP or the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, that result in the same greenhouse gas emission reduction, over the same time period, as direct compliance with a greenhouse gas emission limit or emission reduction measure adopted by the DEP pursuant to this chapter.

 (l) “Statewide greenhouse gas emissions” means the total annual emissions of greenhouse gases in the state, including all emissions of greenhouse gases from the generation of electricity delivered to and consumed in Massachusetts, accounting for transmission and distribution line losses, whether the electricity is generated in state or imported. Statewide emissions shall be expressed in tons of carbon dioxide equivalents.

(m) “Statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit” or “statewide emissions limit” means the maximum allowable level of statewide greenhouse gas emissions in 2020, as determined by the DEP pursuant to Section 5 of this chapter.

Chapter 21L, Section 4.  Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Section 4. The  DEP is the state agency charged with monitoring and regulating emissions of greenhouse gasses with the specific goal of reducing those emissions.

(a) On or before January 1, 2009, the DEP shall adopt regulations to require the reporting and verification of statewide greenhouse gas emissions and to monitor and enforce compliance with this program.

(b) The regulations shall do all of the following:

(1) Require the monitoring and annual reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from greenhouse gas emission sources beginning with the sources or categories of sources that contribute the most to statewide emissions.

(2) Account for greenhouse gas emissions from all electricity consumed in the state, including transmission and distribution line losses from electricity generated within the state or imported from outside the state. This requirement applies to all retail sellers of electricity, including electric utilities, municipal electric departments, and municipal light boards as defined in Chapter 164A, Section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

 (3) Ensure rigorous and consistent accounting of emissions, and provide reporting tools and formats to ensure collection of necessary data.

(4) Ensure that greenhouse gas emission sources maintain comprehensive records of all reported greenhouse gas emissions.

(c) The DEP shall do both of the following:

(1) Periodically review and update its emission reporting requirements, as necessary.

(2) Review existing and proposed international, federal, and state greenhouse gas emission reporting programs and make reasonable efforts to promote consistency among the programs established pursuant to this part and other programs, and to streamline reporting requirements on greenhouse gas emission sources.

Chapter 21L, Section 5. Statewide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Limit

Section 5A. By January 1, 2009, the DEP shall, after one or more public workshops, with public notice, and an opportunity for all interested parties to comment, determine what the statewide greenhouse gas emissions level was in 2002, and approve in a public hearing, a statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit that is equivalent to 90 percent of that level, to be achieved by 2020. In order to ensure the most accurate determination feasible, the DEP shall evaluate the best available scientific, technological, and economic information on greenhouse gas emissions to determine the 1990 level of greenhouse gas emissions.

Section 5B. (a) The statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit shall remain in effect unless otherwise amended or repealed.

(b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit continue in existence and be used to maintain and continue reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases beyond 2020 with a goal of achieving reductions in emissions  such that total statewide emissions of greenhouse gasses are at levels approximately 15% of those in 2002.

(c) The DEP shall make recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature on how to continue reductions of greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020 so as to achieve levels of emissions such that total statewide emissions of greenhouse gasses are at levels approximately 15% of those in 2002 as determined in Section 5A

Chapter 21L, Section 6. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Section 6A. The DEP shall adopt rules and regulations in an open public process to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions from sources or categories of sources, subject to the criteria and schedules set forth in this part.

(a) On or before July 31, 2008, the DEP shall publish and make available to the public a list of discrete early action greenhouse gas emission reduction measures that can be implemented prior to the measures and limits adopted pursuant to Section 5.

(b) On or before January 1, 2009, the DEP shall adopt regulations to implement the measures identified on the list published pursuant to subsection (a).

(c) The regulations adopted by the DEP pursuant to this section shall achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from those sources or categories of sources, in furtherance of achieving the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit.

(d) The regulations adopted pursuant to this section shall be enforceable no later than January 1, 2010.

Section 6B. (a) On or before January 1, 2009, the DEP shall prepare and approve a scoping plan, as that term is understood bythe DEP, for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from sources or categories of sources of greenhouse gases by 2020 under this chapter. The DEP shall consult with all state agencies and regional authorities and agreements with jurisdiction over sources of greenhouse gases on all elements of its plan that pertain to energy related matters including, but not limited to, electrical generation, load based-standards or requirements, the provision of reliable and affordable electrical service, and statewide fuel supplies to  ensure the greenhouse gas emissions reduction activities to be  adopted and implemented by the DEP are complementary, non-duplicative, and can be implemented in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

(b) The plan shall identify and make recommendations on direct emission reduction measures, alternative compliance mechanisms, market-based compliance mechanisms, and potential monetary and non-monetary incentives for sources and categories of sources that the DEP finds are necessary or desirable to facilitate the achievement of the maximum feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

(c) In making the determinations required by subsection (b), the DEP shall consider all relevant information pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions reduction programs in other states, localities, and nations, including California, Canada , and the  European Union.

(d) The DEP shall evaluate the total potential costs and total potential economic and non-economic benefits of the plan for reducing greenhouse gases to Massachusetts’ economy, environment, and public health, using the best available economic models, emission estimation techniques, and other scientific methods.

(e) In developing its plan, the DEP shall take into account the relative contribution of each source or source category to statewide greenhouse gas emissions, and shall recommend a de-minimis threshold of greenhouse gas emissions below which emission reduction requirements will not apply.

(f) In developing its plan, the DEP shall identify opportunities for emission reductions measures from all verifiable and enforceable voluntary actions..

 (g) The DEP shall conduct a series of public workshops to give interested parties an opportunity to comment on the plan. The DEP shall conduct a portion of these workshops in regions of the state that have the most significant exposure to air pollutants, including, but not limited to, communities with minority populations, communities with low-income populations,

or both.

(h) The DEP shall update its plan for achieving the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions of greenhouse gas emissions at least once every five years.

Section 6C. (a) On or before January 1, 2011, the DEP shall adopt greenhouse gas emission limits and emission reduction measures by regulation to achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in furtherance of achieving the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit, to become operative beginning on January 1,

2012.

(b) In adopting regulations pursuant to this section and section 7 to the extent feasible and in furtherance of achieving the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit, the DEP shall do all of the following:

(1) Design the regulations, including distribution of emissions allowances where appropriate, in a manner that is equitable, seeks to minimize costs and maximize the total benefits to Massachusetts, and encourages early action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

(2) Ensure that activities undertaken to comply with the regulations do not disproportionately impact low-income communities.

(3) Ensure that entities that have voluntarily reduced their greenhouse gas emissions prior to the implementation of this section receive appropriate credit for early voluntary reductions.

(4) Ensure that activities undertaken pursuant to the regulations complement, and do not interfere with, efforts to achieve and maintain federal and state ambient air quality standards and to reduce toxic air contaminant emissions.

(5) Consider overall societal benefits, including reductions in other air pollutants, diversification of energy sources, and other benefits to the economy, environment, and public health.

(6) Minimize the administrative burden of implementing and complying with these regulations.

(7) Minimize leakage.

(8) Consider the significance of the contribution of each source or category of sources to statewide emissions of greenhouse gases.

(c) In furtherance of achieving the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit, by January 1, 2011, the DEP may adopt a regulation that establishes a system of market-based declining annual aggregate emission limits for sources or categories of sources that emit greenhouse gas emissions, applicable from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2020, inclusive, that the DEP  determines will achieve the maximum technologically feasible and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, in the aggregate, from those sources or categories of sources.

(d) Any market-based mechanism will be designed to work alongside  but in no way undermine any existing greenhouse gas emissions markets in which the state, suppliers of electricity, generators of  electricity, or industries, within the state may be participating.

(e) Any regulation adopted by the DEP pursuant to this section or section 7 shall ensure all of the following:

(1) The greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved are real, permanent, quantifiable, verifiable, and enforceable by the DEP.

(2) If applicable, the greenhouse gas emission reduction occurs over the same time period and is equivalent in amount to any direct emission reduction required pursuant to this section.

(f) The DEP shall rely upon the best available economic and scientific information and its assessment of existing and projected technological capabilities when adopting the regulations required by this section.

(g) The DEP shall consult with the Public Utilities Commission in the development of the regulations as they affect electricity and natural gas providers in order to minimize duplicative or inconsistent regulatory requirements.

(h) After January 1, 2011, the DEP may revise regulations adopted pursuant to this section and adopt additional regulations to further the provisions of this chapter.

Section 6D. Nothing in this chapter restricts the DEP from adopting greenhouse gas emission limits or emission reduction measures prior to January 1, 2011, imposing those limits or measures prior to January 1, 2012, or providing early reduction credit where appropriate, nor shall this chapter be seen as  preventing any more stringent limits on emissions.

Section 6E. The DEP shall consult with other states, and the federal government, and other nations to identify the most effective strategies and methods to reduce greenhouse gases, manage greenhouse gas control programs, and to facilitate the development of integrated regional, national, and international greenhouse gas reduction programs.

Section 6F. The DEP shall ensure that the greenhouse gas emission reduction rules, regulations, programs, mechanisms, and incentives under its jurisdiction, where applicable and to the extent feasible, direct public and private investment toward the most disadvantaged communities in Massachusetts and provide an opportunity for small businesses, schools, affordable housing associations, and other community institutions to participate in and benefit from statewide efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Chapter 21L, Section 7.  Market Based Compliance Mechanisms

Section 7A. (a) The DEP may include in the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 6 the use of market-based compliance mechanisms to comply with the regulations.

(b) Prior to the inclusion of any market-based compliance mechanism in the regulations, to the extent feasible and in furtherance of achieving the statewide greenhouse gas emissions limit, the DEP shall do all of the following:

(1) Consider the potential for direct, indirect, and cumulative emission impacts from these mechanisms, including localized impacts in communities that are already adversely impacted by air pollution.

(2) Design any market-based compliance mechanism to prevent any increase in the emissions of toxic air contaminants or criteria air pollutants, with particular attention paid to emissions  of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, and mercury.

(3) Maximize additional environmental and economic benefits for Massachusetts, as appropriate.

(c) The DEP shall adopt regulations governing how market-based compliance mechanisms may be used by regulated entities subject to greenhouse gas emission limits and mandatory emission reporting requirements to achieve compliance with their greenhouse gas emissions limits.

Section 7B. Nothing in this part or Section 6 confers any authority on the DEP to make less stringent any programs administered by other state agencies for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions

Chapter 21L, Section 8: Enforcement

Section 8. (a) The DEP shall monitor compliance with and enforce any rule, regulation, order, emission limitation, emissions reduction measure, or market-based compliance mechanism adopted by the DEP pursuant to this chapter..

(b) In the instance of any violation, by either an incorporated entity or an individual, of any rule, regulation, order, emission limitation, emissions reduction  measure, or other measure adopted by the DEP pursuant to this chapter, the violating entity shall be subject to those penalties set forth in Chapter 21I sections A and B of the Massachusetts General Laws.

Chapter 21L, Section 9: Miscellaneous Provisions

Section 9A. If the regulations adopted pursuant to vehicular emissions of greenhouse gas do not remain in effect, the DEP shall implement alternative regulations to control mobile sources of greenhouse gas emissions to achieve equivalent or greater reductions.

Section 9B. (a) The DEP, by January 1, 2008, shall convene an environmental justice advisory committee, of at least three members, to advise it in developing the scoping plan pursuant to Section 6B and any other pertinent matter in implementing this chapter. The advisory committee shall be comprised of representatives from communities in the state with the most significant exposure to air pollution, including, but not limited to, communities with minority populations or low-income populations, or both.

(b) The DEP shall appoint the advisory committee members from nominations received from public interest groups, environmental justice organizations and community groups.

(c) The DEP shall provide reasonable per diem for attendance at advisory committee meetings by advisory committee members from nonprofit organizations.

(d) The DEP shall appoint an Economic and Technology Advancement Advisory Committee to advise the DEP on activities that will facilitate investment in and implementation of technological research and development opportunities, including, but not limited to, identifying new technologies, research, demonstration projects, funding opportunities, developing state, national, and international partnerships and technology transfer opportunities, and identifying and assessing research and advanced technology investment and incentive opportunities that will assist in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The committee may also advise the DEP on state, regional, national, and international economic and technological developments related to greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Section 9C. (a) All state agencies shall consider and implement strategies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall relieve any person, entity, or public agency of compliance with other applicable federal, state, or local laws or regulations, including state air and water quality requirements, and other requirements for protecting public health or the environment.

Section 9D. (a) Nothing in this chapter affects the authority of the Public Utilities Commission.

(b) Nothing in this chapter affects the obligation of an electrical utility to provide customers with safe and reliable electric service.

Section 9E. Nothing in this chapter shall preclude, prohibit, or restrict the construction of any new facility or the expansion of an existing facility subject to regulation under this chapter, if all applicable requirements are met and the facility is in compliance with regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter.

Section 9F. The provisions of this chapter are severable. If any provision of this chapter or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

Section 9G. (a)The DEP may adopt by regulation, after a public workshop, a schedule of fees to be paid by the sources of greenhouse gas emissions regulated pursuant to this chapter. The revenues collected pursuant to this section, shall be deposited into the Renewable Energy Trust and are available upon appropriation,  by the Legislature, for purposes of carrying out this chapter..

(b) those funds deposited are available for appropriation by the legislature,  but only in amounts not to exceed those deposited into the fund under subsection(a) of section 9G.

Section 9H. (a) Nothing in this chapter shall limit the existing authority of a state entity to adopt and implement greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures.

(b) Nothing in this chapter shall relieve any state entity of its legal obligations to comply with existing law or regulation.

Section 9I. (a) In the event of extraordinary circumstances or catastrophic events, the Governor may adjust the applicable deadlines for individual regulations, or for the state in the aggregate,

to the earliest feasible date after that deadline.

(b) The adjustment period may not exceed one year unless the Governor makes an additional adjustment pursuant to subsection

(a) of section 9I.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be seen to limit the powers and duties of the Governor as executive during times of emergency.

(d) The Governor shall, within 10 days of invoking subsection (a), provide written notification to the Legislature of the action undertaken.

(e) The governor shall, within 90 days of invoking subsection (a), provide a detailed, written, and publicly available explanation of his reasons for invoking subsection (a) to the legislature.