Environment Massachusetts’ 2023–24 legislative agenda

Environment Massachusetts outlines our priorities for the 2023–24 legislative session as we work to transition Massachusetts to renewable energy, reduce pollution in our air and water, and protect public health.

Daderot, Wikimedia | Public Domain
Ben Hellerstein

Former State Director, Environment Massachusetts

Environment Massachusetts works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy.

Environment Massachusetts is part of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups.

Our priorities for the 2023–2024 legislative session include the following bills:

Clean, Green, and Renewable Energy

Massachusetts should set its sights on 100 percent renewable energy for electricity, heating, and transportation — the three sectors that are responsible for the vast majority of fossil fuel use in our state. We should take steps right now toward a greener, healthier world, one in which we rely only on pollution-free sources of energy. When our communities run on renewable energy, our air will be cleaner, our families will be healthier, and we’ll have a shot at preventing the worst impacts of global warming.

The 100% Clean Act

H.3689: Rep. Marjorie Decker and Rep. Sean Garballey

The 100% Clean Act transitions Massachusetts to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and 100 percent clean heating and transportation by 2045. It lays out clear requirements and actions for the Commonwealth to achieve these objectives.

The Better Buildings Act

S.2178: Sen. Becca Rausch; H.3213: Rep. Dave Rogers

The Better Buildings Act reduces pollution from large residential and commercial buildings with more than 20,000 square feet of floor area. It sets performance standards for those buildings and requires building owners to take steps to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions over time.


H.3171: Rep. Natalie Higgins and Rep. Michael Kushmerek; S.2109: Sen. Brendan Crighton

The GREEN Act retrofits low- and moderate-income housing in Gateway Cities to be efficient, fossil-fuel-free, and powered with renewable electricity.

The Solar Neighborhoods Act

S.2120: Sen. Jamie Eldridge; H.3677: Rep. Mike Connolly and Rep. Jack Lewis

The Solar Neighborhoods Act requires solar panels to be installed on the roofs of new homes, apartments, and commercial buildings wherever it is feasible to do so.

An Act relative to clean lighting

H.777: Rep. Josh Cutler; S.538: Sen. Susan Moran

This bill phases out the sale of fluorescent bulbs in favor of LEDs, which use energy more efficiently and do not contain toxic mercury.

An Act to promote solar energy development consistent with the commonwealth’s 2050 next generation roadmap

S.2119: Sen. Jamie Eldridge

This bill directs the Department of Energy Resources to propose a new solar incentive program with a goal of installing at least 10,000 megawatts of solar capacity by 2030.

An Act to encourage solar development on built and disturbed land

S.2150: Sen. Paul W. Mark; H.3225: Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa and Rep. Sean Garballey

This bill encourages the installation of solar panels on rooftops, over parking lots, and on other lands that have already been developed.

Destination: Zero Carbon

Transportation is Massachusetts’ number one source of global warming pollution, with greenhouse emissions from cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles surpassing every other source. We simply can’t solve global warming without changing how we get around. We must electrify our cars and buses, and reduce the need to drive by making it easier, cheaper and more enjoyable to travel on foot, bike or public transit.

An Act setting deadlines to electrify school buses and public fleets and establishing programs to encourage private fleet electrification

S.2218: Sen. Brendan Crighton; H.3139: Rep. Christine Barber and Rep. Joan Meschino

This bill aims to electrify public and public-serving motor vehicle fleets by 2035, establish a centralized procurement process for public fleets, and set goals for converting private fleets to electric vehicles.

An Act electrifying regional transit authorities

S.2285: Sen. Jacob Oliveira; H.3366: Rep. David LeBoeuf

This bill requires regional transit authority (RTA) bus fleets to be electrified by 2035, and establishes an office to provide technical and planning support for the transition to electric buses.

An Act expanding community access to electric bicycles

H.3145: Rep. Natalie Blais

This bill establishes the “Community Access to Electric Bicycles Grant Initiative” to finance bike share programs and ownership programs run by municipalities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Clean Water

Our rivers and streams are a big part of what makes Massachusetts such a great place to live. While our waterways are much cleaner than they used to be, they continue to suffer from pollution. We must work towards a future where all of our rivers and streams are safe for swimming and fishing, and we must keep water flowing in our rivers, even during droughts, to protect habitat for wildlife.

An Act relative to maintaining adequate water supplies through effective drought management

H.861: Rep. Joan Meschino; S.475: Sen. Jamie Eldridge

This bill would help keep our rivers healthy by empowering the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to limit nonessential outdoor watering in areas experiencing a drought.

Wildlife Over Waste

Nothing we use for a few minutes should be allowed to pollute our oceans and rivers and harm wildlife for centuries. That’s why we’re calling on state leaders to ban single-use plastic products that pollute our waterways, and take other steps to reduce waste.

An Act to expand the bottle bill

S.2104: Sen. Cynthia Creem; H.3690: Rep. Marjorie Decker

Deposits are the single most successful tactic to promote the recycling of beverage containers. This bill would expand the state’s deposit law to cover water bottles, nips, vitamin drinks and other containers, and raise the deposit from 5 to 10 cents.

An Act relative to plastic bag reduction

H.784: Rep. Mindy Domb; S.477: Sen. Jamie Eldridge

This bill would reduce the use of plastic bags, following the lead of more than 150 Massachusetts cities and towns that have already adopted similar policies.

An Act to restrict the use of polystyrene

H.3627: Rep. Marjorie Decker; S.1328: Sen. Michael Barrett

For decades, we’ve known that one of the worst forms of plastic pollution is polystyrene foam — what most of us call Styrofoam. This bill prohibits the sale of most single-use polystyrene containers.

Protecting Public Health and Reducing Toxic Chemicals

Approximately 80,000 chemicals are currently licensed for use, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that fewer than 10 percent of the industrial chemicals produced in the largest quantities have undergone even a limited set of tests to assess their health effects on humans. Additionally, many children are exposed to dangerous lead pollution in schools and daycare centers. We should keep our communities safe from toxic threats.

An Act ensuring safe drinking water in schools

H.851: Rep. Kate Lipper-Garabedian; S.526: Sen. Joan Lovely

Lead is a potent neurotoxin that affects how our children develop, learn, and behave. This bill protects children’s health at schools and childcare centers by requiring the installation of lead certified filters or water filling stations and requiring the immediate shut-off of outlets with elevated levels of lead.

An Act to protect Massachusetts public health from PFAS

H.2197: Rep. Kate Hogan; S.1356: Sen. Julian Cyr

This bill bans PFAS in almost all products, starting with food packaging, children’s products, fabric treatments, cookware, personal care products, carpets and rugs, upholstered furniture, and firefighter protective gear.


Ben Hellerstein

Former State Director, Environment Massachusetts

Johanna Neumann

Senior Director, Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, Environment America

Johanna directs strategy and staff for Environment America's energy campaigns at the local, state and national level. In her prior positions, she led the campaign to ban smoking in all Maryland workplaces, helped stop the construction of a new nuclear reactor on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and helped build the support necessary to pass the EmPOWER Maryland Act, which set a goal of reducing the state’s per capita electricity use by 15 percent. She also currently serves on the board of Community Action Works. Johanna lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family, where she enjoys growing dahlias, biking and the occasional game of goaltimate. 

Find Out More
staff | TPIN

Our wild planet is calling on you this Earth Day

From buzzing bees to howling wolves, and from ancient forests to sprawling coastlines, our natural world is a gift that keeps on giving. Will you donate today to help keep it that way?