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For Immediate Release: 10/26/2017
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State Officials Announce Transportation Sector Emissions Listening Sessions

BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced dates for a series of listening sessions across the Commonwealth to discuss solutions to the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. The public forums, to be hosted by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), were first announced by Governor Charlie Baker at a Municipal Climate Change Summit held in September to mark the one-year anniversary of Executive Order 569, "Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth."

"Massachusetts leads the nation in combatting and preparing for the impacts of climate change and our Administration has worked in a bipartisan fashion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ensure we meet our commitments under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008," said Governor Charlie Baker. "While Massachusetts has made significant strides to combat climate change we must continue to work together across the Commonwealth and the region to achieve substantial emission reductions from every sector, including transportation, in order to chart a course that will ensure we can meet emission limits for 2050."

"As Massachusetts works to address emission reductions and improve our transportation infrastructure we look forward to hearing innovative ideas from stakeholders," said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. "We’re pleased to be able to hold these sessions across Massachusetts so communities and residents have an opportunity to help us tackle this next challenge as we continue to develop new solutions to combat the causes of climate change and work to build a more climate-resilient Commonwealth."

As of 2014, the latest year with complete data, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s greenhouse gas inventory shows the Commonwealth on track to meet emission reduction limits of 25 percent below 1990 levels for 2020 with current reductions at 21 percent from the 1990 baseline. Progress to date on emissions reductions has been largely driven by reductions in the power sector, with the transportation sector now representing the largest share of statewide emissions. While Massachusetts has a number of policies in the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 that reduce transportation emissions, further reduction is needed to position the Commonwealth to meet the GWSA emission reduction goal for 2050 of 80 percent reductions.

Executive Order 569, signed last September by Governor Baker, directed the Secretaries of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Transportation to work together on regional policies to reduce emissions from the transportation sector. Expanding on this collaborative approach, the statewide transportation listening sessions will be co-hosted by EEA and MassDOT.

"These listening sessions highlight the collaborative approach the Baker-Polito Administration is taking to work across state government and with our cities and towns to reduce emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Matthew Beaton. "As the state continues to be active in a number of regional efforts including the Transportation Climate Initiative, the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, and the Multi-state Zero Emission Vehicles Memorandum of Understanding, these sessions will ensure that we are gathering all of the best ideas on this challenge from across the Commonwealth."

"MassDOT is working with municipal partners to make a difference in lowering Greenhouse Gas emissions," said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. "From solar panels and new LED lighting along the Commonwealth’s highways and at transit parking facilities, to new LEED certified buildings, improved infrastructure and upgraded rainwater management, MassDOT has been proactive in reducing emissions while strengthening the transportation system that residents and visitors rely on. Working collaboratively with communities, MassDOT is helping to develop new, practical solutions in order to meet commitments made regarding transportation sector emissions."

The public listening sessions for stakeholders will cover strategies to:

  • Reduce transportation sector emissions through measures addressing vehicles, fuels, and land use;
  • Develop a comprehensive regional strategy for the deployment of zero emission vehicles;
  • Increase the resilience of transportation infrastructure as the climate changes; and
  • Address environmental justice, low income and rural communities.

The sessions will be held on the following dates:

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
9:00am
State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza, Boston, MA
Register here for Boston session

Thursday, November 2, 2017
6:00pm
MassDEP Central Region Office, 8 New Bond Street, Worcester, MA
No Registration Required

Monday, November 6, 2017
11:00am
UMass-Amherst, Student Union - Cape Cod Lounge, 280 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA
Register here for Amherst session

Thursday, November 9, 2017
6:00pm
West Middle School, 271 West Street, Brockton, MA
No Registration Required

Those individuals wishing to submit written comments may do so here from October 10, 2017 through January 1, 2018, or email them to gwsa@massmail.state.ma.us.

Efforts to reduce transportation sector emissions support implementation of Governor Charlie Baker’s Executive Order 569, An Order Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth and emission reduction limits established by the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) of 2008. The GWSA requires a GHG emissions reduction of 25 percent below 1990 emissions levels by 2020 and at least an 80 percent reduction by 2050. In early August, pursuant to Executive Order 569, the Department of Environmental Protection promulgated six new regulations to ensure the Commonwealth is on track to meet its 2020 emission reduction limits. The Executive Order also directs the state to begin planning for climate change adaptation and working with cities and towns across the Commonwealth to assess vulnerability and build resiliency to address climate change impacts.

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