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.
Guide Reducing GHG Emissions Under Section 3(d) of the Global Warming Solutions Act
Table of Contents
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled in May 2016 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.
In September 2016, Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569, 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 satisfying the mandate of Section 3(d) by August 2017 to ensure that the Commonwealth meets the 2020 statewide emissions limit mandated by the GWSA.
310 CMR 7.72: Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas-Insulated Switchgear
310 CMR 7.73: Reducing Methane Emissions from Natural Gas Distribution Mains and Services
310 CMR 7.74: Reducing CO2 Emissions From Electricity Generating Facilities
Regulations - Continued
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 and the formal comment period ended in February 2017.
See below for the background document.