The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs was established by the Legislature in 1975. The General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 21A Section 2 outlines the overall duties and functions of the office. The overall mission of the Executive Office is to safeguard public health from environmental threats and to preserve, protect, and enhance the natural resources of the Commonwealth. On April 11, 2007, the Cabinet reorganization took effect, creating the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and adding to the Executive Office the Commonwealth's two energy-related agencies: the Department of Public Utilities and the Division (now Department) of Energy Resources. Our commitment to protecting our environment now recognizes the importance of energy efficiency; making renewable energy a reality in our state, and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels; diversifying our energy sources; and leading the country in energy technology innovation.
To meet its mandate, the Secretariat oversees six departments, listed below. In addition, the Secretary also serves as Chairman of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority and Chairman of the Energy Facilities Siting Board.
Department of Agricultural Resources: The Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) works to provide a safe, local supply of high quality foods and to strengthen the economic viability of Massachusetts agriculture. DAR promotes the environmental sustainability of the agricultural industry by preserving significant farmland resources and supporting agriculture as an important part of the Commonwealth's economy;
Department of Conservation and Recreation: The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) strives to protect, preserve, manage and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Commonwealth in order to promote healthy, livable and sustainable communities, and to connect people to these resources through recreation and education;
Department of Energy Resources : The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is committed to creating a greener energy future for the Commonwealth. This includes: achieving all cost-effective energy efficiencies; maximizing development of greener energy resources; creating and leading implementation of energy strategies to assure reliable supplies at reasonable cost, supporting clean technology companies, and spurring employment in the clean energy industry;
Department of Environmental Protection : The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) works to fulfill Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution, which guarantees the people's right to clean air and water as well as the natural, scenic, historic, and aesthetic qualities of their environment.
Department of Fish and Game: The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is charged with stewardship of the Commonwealth's marine and freshwater fisheries, wildlife species, plants and natural communities, and wildlife dependent recreation.
Department of Public Utilities: The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) is responsible for the structure and control of energy provision in the Commonwealth; monitoring service quality; regulating safety in the transportation and gas pipeline areas; and for the siting of energy facilities. The mission of the Department is to ensure that utility consumers are provided with the most reliable service at the lowest possible cost; to protect the public safety from transportation and gas pipeline related accidents; to oversee the energy facilities siting process; and to ensure that ratepayers' rights are protected.
Within the Secretariat are a number of offices, divisions, and boards including:
Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA): Through the MEPA office, the Secretary conducts environmental impact reviews of certain projects requiring state agency action. Agency actions include granting state permits or licenses, providing state financial assistance, or transferring state land.