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MassDEP has amended six regulations in response to a court ruling and an executive order, directing the agency to establish specific declining greenhouse gas emission limits on many types of sources across the state. The changes follow a lengthy stakeholder input and public comment process.
On May 17, 2016, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) requires MassDEP to promulgate new regulations that “impose a limit on [greenhouse gas] emissions that may be released, limit the aggregate emissions released from each group of regulated sources or categories of sources, set emission limits for each year, and set limits that decline on an annual basis” to meet the requirements of Section 3(d) of Chapter 21N of the General Laws.
On September 16, 2016, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569 (PDF), which directed the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to coordinate and make consistent new and existing efforts to mitigate and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to build resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Executive Order also directed MassDEP to promulgate regulations that satisfy the mandate of Section 3(d) by August 11, 2017, with the objective that these regulations ensure that the Commonwealth meets the 2020 statewide emissions limit mandated by the GWSA.
Note: MassDEP promulgated additional amendments to these regulations in December 2017. Learn more.
MassDEP held stakeholder meetings on potential new greenhouse gas regulations in early November 2016, and received pre-proposal stakeholder feedback that informed development of the proposed regulations. Public hearings on MassDEP's proposed regulations were held on February 6 and 8, 2017, and the formal comment period ended on February 24, 2017.
Additional public comments received via email and in hard copy:
The background document and supplemental materials can be found here: