Baker Administration Receives “C” Grade for Environmental Protection
Thursday, April 20, 2017
GoLocalWorcester News Team
|Governor Charlie Baker|
The grade was issued by Charles River Watershed Association, Clean Water Action, Conservation Law Foundation, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Environment Massachusetts, Massachusetts Rivers Alliance, and Massachusetts Sierra Club, representing thousands of residents of the Commonwealth.
“The Commonwealth and the administration should not be satisfied with a C grade. At a time when Massachusetts should be leading, we are falling behind. Inadequate funding and staffing continue to plague the agencies. That, combined with a lack of vision and leadership, is creating a crisis in terms of protecting our natural resources, enhancing public health and combating climate change,” said Nancy Goodman, Vice President for policy at the Environmental League.
Environmental Protection Numbers
According to the report, the percentage of the state budget spent on environmental protection has dropped from $231 million (0.6 percent) of the budget to an inconsequential $218 million (0.53 percent) of the total $40.9 billion state budget.
The report adds, “the results are clear. We are seeing a lack of enforcement of our environmental laws and very little data collection and new research to help inform decision making. We see continued support for expensive and unnecessary fossil fuel infrastructure which conflicts with the Commonwealth’s statutory commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We see significant backlogs in water permitting and very little attention paid to environmental justice communities that suffer adverse public health and quality of life impacts from environmental and health hazards.”
The report evaluates the Administration’s progress and on-the-ground results and offers a set of policy recommendations for each issue area and a proposed path back to environmental leadership for the Commonwealth.