Pacheco files bill to protect state's economy, natural, built infrastructure from climate change

State Sen. Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, is pleased to announce he has filed a bill Tuesday, along with cosponsors Senate Majority Leader Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg (D-Amherst), State Rep. Frank Smizik (D-Brookline), Chairman of the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change, and several other legislators, to protect the Commonwealth's economy and natural and built infrastructure now and in the future through a comprehensive climate change adaptation management plan to be established through a collaboration led by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

The adaptation plan would codify in state statute for all future administrations the Commonwealth's goals, priorities and principles for resiliency, preservation, protection, restoration and enhancement of Massachusetts' built and natural infrastructure using data on existing and projected climate change impacts including temperature changes, drought, inland flooding and sea level rise.

"This legislation is a major milestone for Massachusetts, which is already considered a leader nationally and internationally for our initiatives to conserve energy resources, limit greenhouse gas emissions and support clean energy job creation," Chairman Pacheco said. "Where we are lacking, however, is our defense against the threats of climate change that would make sure our built and natural infrastructure remains secure now and in the future. This bill will guide all state administrations, regional agencies and municipalities on best management practices so we will accomplish that goal."

"Our public health, security, economy, and environment are beginning to suffer from a rise in destructive storms, mosquito-borne diseases, coastal erosion, and respiratory illnesses," Chairman Smizik said. "Action must be taken now to recover from and adapt to the changing climate."

Pacheco made the announcement Tuesday at the Massachusetts State House, joined by Mass Audubon President Henry Tepper and The Nature Conservancy Executive Director Wayne Klockner. Along with Sen. Rosenberg and Chairman Smizik, State Sens. Michael Barrett (D-Lexington), William N. Brownsberger (D-Belmont), Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield), James B. Eldridge (D-Acton), Brian A. Joyce (D-Milton), Daniel A. Wolf (D-Harwich), and State Reps. Lori A. Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), Stephen Kulik (D-Worthington), Jason M. Lewis (D-Winchester) and Denise Provost (D-Somerville) have agreed to sign on to the legislation.

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