House Passes Environmental Bond Bill

State Representative Mike Connolly recently joined his Cambridge and Somerville colleagues to vote in support of H.4599An Act promoting climate change adaptation, environmental and natural resource protection, and investment in recreational assets and opportunity.

H.4599 includes $2.2 billion in bonding authorization over the next five years, allowing the state to make investments in climate adaptation, conservation, recreation, environmental protection, and other programs. This authorization also includes $7 million in bonding for Cambridge and Somerville:

  • $60M for coastal infrastructure and resiliency measures;
  • $95M for Department of Environmental Protection’s water and air quality programs;
  • $180M for state, municipal, and publically-owned dams; including $5M to install a fourth pump at the Amelia Earhart Dam on the Mystic River by Assembly Square in East Somerville;
  • $160M for DCR parkways and trails; including $1M for improvements and repairs at Foss Park in East Somerville and $1M for design and construction of swimming facilities in the Charles River by North Point Park in Cambridge;
  • $165M for natural and coastal resource conservation grants;
  • $9M for Electric Vehicle Incentive Program;

“Our Commonwealth is already experiencing the damaging impacts of climate change, and that is why its necessary to support this legislation because it will allow us to make investments to advance resiliency, adaptation, and preparedness efforts in the face of future storms and extreme heatwaves,” Representative Connolly said. “I am grateful to my House colleagues for working together to advance this legislation that is of critical importance to my Cambridge and Somerville constituents. Now, we must continue with efforts to boost renewable energy production and put a price on carbon.”

This past winter illustrated how vulnerable our costal state has become to the effects of climate change. Subway stations flooded and many lost power along the shoreline. According to the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, the March 2018 storm alone resulted in $1.8B in damage to Massachusetts and neighboring states.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration. After the bill is signed into law, it will be up to the Governor to prioritize the timing and amount of these funding allocations.

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