On Energy & Environmental Justice
Energy & Environmental Justice
There are several environmental concerns that acutely impact this district. We are blessed with numerous waterfronts and beaches that attract visitors from around the world. To preserve our beautiful coastal areas, reduce litter, and protect local marine wildlife, we must fund the placement of more trash and recycling bins at our public beaches. Additionally, the state should expand the COASTSWEEP clean-up program to keep our coastlines free of debris and provide more environmental volunteer opportunities for students and other community members.
The 1st Suffolk and Middlesex district faces unique air, noise, and water pollution challenges from Boston Logan International Airport and the Saugus Wheelabrator incinerator and unlined landfill. Children in our district who live close to the airport or Wheelabrator are more likely to suffer from asthma and other respiratory conditions than children living elsewhere. For the health and safety of our district’s residents, we must hold both the airport and Saugus Wheelabrator accountable to state pollution standards and be unafraid to enact penalties when such standards are violated.
The contamination of our water systems with PFAS from factories, landfills, construction sites, and even firefighting materials presents another environmental challenge for Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection has recently adopted new regulations requiring public water systems to test for PFAS. This was an important first step; however, if such tests show that PFAS is present in public water systems, the state should make funds available to municipalities that will have to make costly repairs to their water systems in order to prevent PFAS contamination. The costs of such repairs should NOT be passed onto Commonwealth residents in the form of higher water and sewer rates.
Equity must be an important consideration in any statewide environmental policy, as injustices disproportionately impact working-class families and people of color in our district.